Cape Town - The Cape Peninsula Baboon Management Joint Task Team’s announcement that it is close to finalising its proposed draft Baboon Strategic Management Plan has been met with a lacklustre response from some of its intended stakeholders.
On Monday, the team announced that the draft plan would be finalised by the end of this month, and released some of its focus areas and intended responses.
Once finalised, the team said it would start engaging communities in baboon-affected areas, and make a call for nominations for representatives from recognised community organisations from affected areas.
The team said it was targeting civil society organisations and other stakeholders to serve on the Baboon Advisory Group, which would bring it a step closer to implementing identified solutions.
However, anti-cruelty organisation Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa said the announcement was not only late, but also a reiteration of the team’s unfulfilled promises made over the past two decades with no implementation of the solutions.
Chairperson Toni Brockhoven said: “We have heard all this before. It has been 20 years of the same cycle of meetings, coming up with simple solutions, but nothing is done to address the issue.
“Having fences put in certain areas has been mentioned numerous times, having locks on bins, and I remember there was also talk about alternative measures for households or businesses that, for example, do not follow through on solutions that were brought up. We cannot keep hearing the same promises, yet nothing is done. I’m not entirely confident that this process will amount to anything, but I would love to be proved wrong.”
Since signing a memorandum of agreement to set the foundation for co-operation between the three parties for a more sustainable management plan for the Cape Peninsula’s chacma baboon population earlier this year, the team has been assessing comments received from all affected parties, from January to March, inclusive of the submissions made at the team’s stakeholder engagement on March 3.
A spokesperson for the task force said all 800 individual comments received were being considered, and the public and stakeholders would be engaged in developing local-level solutions.
“The intention is to operationalise the BSMP (Baboon Strategic Management Plan) with specific local strategies that address the different needs, circumstances, resources and geographical concerns of impacted communities, to ensure these are best suited and most appropriate to their respective areas, and are supported by residents as far as possible,” she said.
The team said the official start date for functional meetings would be in October, and the process would be completed within two to three months.