Table Mountain National Park extends deadline for commercial operator registration

The initial deadline of 1 December 2011 for the registration of individuals and companies making use of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) for commercial activities has been extended by six months to 1 June 2012. These individuals and companies, referred to by TMNP as commercial operators, include (but are not limited to) tour operators, tour guides, transport companies, tourist guide training institutions and adventure sport companies.

TMNP, since last year, has been following a series of in-depth engagements regarding the registration of commercial operators with a variety of member-based tourism stakeholders, including the Western Cape branch of Southern Africa Tourism Services Association, Cape Town Tourism and the Cape Tourist Guides Association. The engagements have centred on finding effective ways of streamlining the registration process. One of the outcomes of the engagements has been a request for TMNP to extend the commercial operator registration deadline for six months to 1 June 2012, which it duly has. 

Another key deliverable of the engagements has been to inform the stakeholders of the legislation, which has determined TMNP’s current course of action. The legislation, contained in the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 57 of 2003), states that persons wanting to undertake commercial activities within a special reserve, national park or World Heritage Site may only do so when in possession of a licence, permit or agreement and subject to the payment of the appropriate fees.

TMNP’s commercial operator permitting process aims to ensure that the impact of the commercial activities taking place within the boundaries of the park are carefully managed and do not impact negatively on its core conservation mandate. TMNP’s park manager, Paddy Gordon says, “We are confident that this process will further enable us to make sure that the approximately 4-million annual visitors to the park will continue to have a remarkable experience and that the unique biodiversity offering is nurtured and conserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Once a commercial operator has registered with TMNP at the cost of R150, they will receive an operating permit valid for one year from date of receipt. Companies that have already registered, as well as those who register before the deadline of 1 June 2012, will receive permits valid until 31 May 2013 as a thank you for timely registration.

For information on how to register, contact the commercial operator permitting administrator, Crystal Saville on 021 701 8692 or email crystal.saville@sanparks.org. For detailed information on the legislation governing this process, please visit www.tmnp.co.za.

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Issued by
Merle Collins
Regional Communications Manager: Cape*
South African National Parks
*Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa and West Coast National Parks

Media enquiries
Gavin Bell
Area Manager: South
Table Mountain National Park
021 701 8692
gavin.bell@sanparks.org

General enquiries
Crystal Saville
Commercial Operator Permitting Administrator
Table Mountain National Parks
Tel: 021 701 8692
Crystal.saville@sanparks.org

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