New baboon plan behind schedule

The Cape Peninsula Baboon Joint Task Team, which is responsible for drafting a plan to manage the Cape Peninsula’s baboons, admits it is running behind schedule.

A task team responsible for drafting a new plan to manage the Cape Peninsula’s baboons says it is running behind schedule but is committed to publishing it before the end of the year.

In a joint statement, the Cape Peninsula Baboon Joint Task Team – made up of SANParks, CapeNature and the City – also said the CT2 troop, a splinter group of baboons roaming Constantia, would not be translocated.

The City’s current baboon programme, managed by NCC Environmental Services, comes to an end in June next year.

According to the statement, the task team workshopped its draft plan and reviewed its draft memorandum of agreement during a meeting hosted by SANParks on Friday November 11. A revised draft memorandum of agreement will be circulated to each member of the task team next week for further review and legal checks.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said the City, along with SANParks and CapeNature, was committed to publishing the plan for stakeholder comment before the end of the year so it could be finalised before the end of June 2023.

“The intention is to transition to a more sustainable programme in the interest of the chacma baboon population and residents who live in areas adjacent to baboons’ natural habitat,” he said.

The task team said it would host a workshop next year to hear comments from stakeholders.

While the idea of translocating the CT2 Troop was still being touted during a meeting with the mayor on Wednesday November 2 (“Baboon Matters picks up the slack,” Bulletin, November 10), this idea has now been scrapped.

This decision was a result of a meeting held by the Cape Peninsula Joint Baboon Operational Team (CPJBOT), represented by SANParks, CapeNature and the City of Cape Town, on Tuesday November 15.

In the meeting “it was acknowledged that it is practically difficult to translocate a whole troop; that there are currently no options for relocation on the Cape Peninsula; and it appears that there is currently no sanctuary that would be able to accommodate these baboons. As a result, it was decided not to translocate this troop,” the task team’s statement said.

“The CPJBOT discussed and welcomes the assistance from community volunteer groups. These groups are encouraged to approach CapeNature for assistance with permits should one be required. Volunteers are kindly requested to keep a safe distance to avoid habituation of the baboons, comply with City traffic laws and never to feed any baboon.”

The statement added that a decision not to relocate the troop would be continually reviewed as the situation changed in future and the baboon strategic management plan was approved.