After many years of seeking a solution to the baboon problem in the Overstrand, a formal Cabinet resolution has finally been granted that clarifies the way forward. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell forwarded the signed letter of approval of assignment for the management and control of baboons in the Overstrand Municipality, to the Mayor on 5 September.

This follows the signing of a Compactum between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board and the Overstrand Municipality on 6 March, in order to find a suitable resolution in respect of the management of baboons in the Overstrand Municipality. From this Compactum, the development of a Strategic Baboon Management Plan (SBMP) was formulated to clarify the method, duration and applicable budgets allocated to each authority involved in the management of baboons. The final SBMP was submitted on 1 September and the item was submitted to Cabinet on 4 September.

According to the resolution that was granted, the decision has been taken to appoint a specialised service provider to manage and control the baboons in the Overstrand by means of the virtual fence application, including the appointment of baboon monitors. The Municipality has budgeted R2 million for this project, which will be available to continue with the current project in Pringle Bay and to start with a new project in Voëlklip. However, the draft budget has revealed that R2.6 million will be required to effectively implement the project in the two areas as from October 2019.

On finalisation of the procurement process, an area manager will be appointed for Voëlklip to monitor the current population dynamics of the baboon troop and the impact of the baboon-human conflict in the area. This will enable the service provider to develop the most suitable implementation plan for the management of the Voëlklip troop.

This monitoring process should continue for about two to three weeks, during which the appointment of baboon monitors, PPE allocation, administration of contracts, procurement of tools and equipment, and the protocol and standard operating procedure for the implementation of the project will be finalised. During this time the process of permit applications to CapeNature for the capturing and collaring of specific baboons in the troop will also be finalised. The Municipality envisages that the project will be implemented within the next month.

The Municipality has been approached by interested and affected parties and members of the community to provide funding/sponsorships for the baboon project. Please contact Cllr. Kari Brice on 083 650 4206 or kbrice@overstrand.gov.za for further information.

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