SANParks is engaging with public about issues

Alanna van der Linde, Bergvliet

Regarding “Judgment reserved in Tokai Park case”, “Parkscape wonders why SANParks has dragged this out, instead of just engaging with and entering into public consultation”.

This article claims that “academic experts and the community are divided” (“Judgment reserved in Tokai Park case”, Bulletin March 8). This is incorrect. The community as a whole is divided.

Most academic experts are united in the knowledge that Cape Flats Sand Fynbos is critically endangered, and in the conviction that Tokai Park should be restored (and plantations removed) to give the plants and animals in this vegetation type a chance at survival.

A scientific petition led by Professor Peter Linder, an esteemed South African botanist, in November 2016, received 17 signatures of endorsement from local academics in the field of botany or ecology. The community at large, however, is divided.

In a petition led by the Friends of Tokai Park in 2016, over 2 850 people signed in favour of the fynbos at Tokai being conserved and restored. This in comparison to a petition led by Parkscape in favour of keeping the pine trees (which they will deny and state that they are only looking for “public participation”, “safety” and “compromise”), which had only 1 773 signatories by the same date.