Minister of Tourism boosts Table Mountain's New7Wonders bid

Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, was the first person to use his cell phone today to vote for Table Mountain to be recognised as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Minister van Schalkwyk has made use of a new SMS voting mechanism to support South Africa’s entrant in the global New7Wonders of Nature contest.

The minister, who was at Parliament for a meeting between himself and provincial MECs for tourism (MinMEC), announced the new voting platform in an effort to drum up national public support for Table Mountain’s campaign.

“Following on from the massive success of the 2010 World Cup, South Africans can now focus on 2011 and a completely different contest. This is a race that aims to preserve the top seven wonders of nature for future generations and which gives South Africa the opportunity to be written into the history books for thousands of years to come,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

To vote for Table Mountain fans can SMS the word TABLE to 34874. SMSes cost R2 each and voters can vote as often as they like.

Previously, voting could only be completed online at www.votefortablemountain.com or by phoning +44 203 347 0901 and keying in Table Mountain’s code 7725. Supporters can now vote by SMS in addition to still using the existing platforms.

Table Mountain is on a shortlist of 28 natural sites from around the globe competing to be named one of the official New7Wonders of Nature. The final seven wonders will be determined entirely by votes from the public, with the organisers aiming to attract more than 1 billion voters across the globe.

Table Mountain is competing against other iconic sites including the Grand Canyon, the Amazon and the Great Barrier Reef.

Voters who participated in the preliminary rounds of the contest and helped to catapult Table Mountain onto the top 28 shortlist in 2009 can vote again in the final round to ensure Table Mountain makes it into the final list of seven.

Visit www.votefortablemountain.com  or SMS TABLE to 34874 to vote.

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