In a 2018 court case where the matter was settled in favour of retaining the trees for shade, community-based organisation Parkscape and South African National Parks (SANParks) continue to be at loggerheads over the chopping down of the pine trees in Tokai Forest.
The chairperson of Parkscapes, Nicky Schmidt, said: “I think the bottom line of the problem is that Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is an urban national park and it is largely being managed on the lines of a rural national park. It is being managed by legislation and protocols unsuited to an urban national park.”
At the heart of the matter is the issue of shade provided by the controversial pine trees which were the subject of an agreement between the two bodies hammered out in a 2018 court judgement.
Schmidt said, “The agreement had been to retain shade for recreational purposes. I want to make it clear that we’re not pine huggers. We believe that in an urban environment, people do need shade in which to recreate. Particularly older people or families with young children.”