City plans to extend current baboon programme

The City plans to extend its current contract to manage the baboon population on the Cape Peninsula, due to expire at the end of June, for a further 18 months. Picture: Bonita Francklin

The City plans to extend the contract to manage the baboon population on the Cape Peninsula for a further 18 months.

NCC Environmental Services, a private company, holds the current contract for the urban baboon programme, which is due to expire at the end of June, but the public will now have from May 5 to 18 to comment on the City’s proposal to extend the contract to the end of 2024.

The City says the extension will allow more time for its new baboon strategic management plan to take shape.

This comes after council approved, on Wednesday April 26, the memorandum of agreement between the government authorities who make up the Cape Peninsula Baboon Management Joint Task Team, namely the City, SANParks and CapeNature.

The new baboon management plan, which is being finalised by the task team, proposes a coordinated approach involving all three spheres of government. The agreement sets out the roles and responsibilities of each.

During a public meeting in March, the issue of how the transition would work once the City’s contract with NCC ended was one of the burning questions levelled at the task team (“Task team grilled on baboon plan” Bulletin, March 9).

In terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act, the City is obliged to seek public comment on its intention to extend the contract to the end of next year.

“The purpose of this extension is to allow for the transitioning from the current status quo, where the City is providing all the resources to keep baboons wild and out of the urban environment, to a new era where the three spheres of government work together, and provide resources and services in line with their respective mandates,” said mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews.

“Partnerships with other stakeholders, such as scientific academic institutions, animal welfare authorities, civil society, non-governmental organisations and communities living in areas adjacent to the baboons’ natural habitat, are pivotal to the successful implementation of this new sustainable approach.

“By extending the current contract, including rangers to assist with keeping baboons out of the urban areas as far as possible, we give all involved more time to adapt and plan for the new dispensation as envisioned by the draft baboon strategic management plan.”

The call for comments on the intention to extend the contract would be advertised on May 5.