The last few weeks have seen a lot written about animals in the Overstrand, especially feral animals.
In a joint media statement by the Overstrand Municipality, CapeNature and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning it is stated that a compactum was signed in March in furtherance of their mutual obligations to work together and find consensus on what needs to be done.
The agreement relates to the approximately 14 baboon troops roaming in Pringle Bay, Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay, Onrus River, Voëlklip, Hermanus Heights and Fernkloof.
The first step in terms of the compactum has been the establishment of a Baboon Management Joint Task Team for the purposes of compiling a strategic baboon management plan. This plan will include identifying and agreeing on practical measures and the costing thereof as well as the allocation of costs between the three parties.
But while the press release states that the task team has met twice the management plan has not been finalised. It is hoped that agreement will be reached shortly with the finalisation of an agreed budget and allocation of tasks to follow shortly thereafter.
All the while thousands of Rands of damage is done almost daily by baboons and residents feel that they are being terrorised in their own homes.
The baboons are just one of the serious problems related to animals. Last week another two feral horses were killed in an accident. This means that four horses have been killed in three different incidents in nine weeks.
The R43 between Benguela Cove and Hawston has become a danger zone for motorists. Immediate action is needed to stop horses from crossing the R43; the speed limit needs to be lowered and road signs cautioning motorists need to be erected.
It seems, however, that there is a disconnect between what is needed locally and what is being done at a provincial level, leaving the hands of local authorities tied. The time has come that local authorities instruct the relevant provincial authorities as to what is needed, instead of having seemingly endless meetings. The municipality must place the needs of the region and its residents first and if arbitration or court action is needed, then that is the route that needs to be taken.