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Hikers raise alarm bells at 'shoddy work' on Lion's Head safety renovations

SANParks closed down parts of Lion's head for necessary safety and renovation work in January.

Read: SANParks explains Lion's Head closure

Portions of the path have now been reopened.

Hikers took to social media over the weekend and raised serious concerns over the work done so far.

One hiker posted photographs of what appears to be a cracked chain and damaged metal spikes secured in rocks.

Head of Communications at SANParks, Wanda Mkutshulwa says the photographs were taken from an area that has been cordoned off due to unsatisfactory work by the contractor.

He says they are waiting for the contractor to come back and fix the concerned areas as well as grant them a certificate which states that the area is safe for public use.

Read: Lion's Head hiking trail officially re-opens after delays

Listen to the interviews below:

It is not yet completed. We are also not happy and that is why we have said he must come back and bring with him an engineer of a person who can certify that it is safe to use.

Wanda Mkutshulwa, Head of Communications - SANParks

We have also highlighted everything on the pictures for him to relook at.

Wanda Mkutshulwa, Head of Communications - SANParks

Mkutshulwa says it took a decision to open parts of the mountain because it has been inundated with calls from people wanting to hike the paths.

Lion's Head is a tourist attraction...so we thought let us open Lion's Head because there is part of the mountain that people have been using which is fairly safe and can avoid the area with shoddy work.

Wanda Mkutshulwa, Head of Communications - SANParks

We don't want tourists to come here and leave having not ticked a box in their itinerary.

Wanda Mkutshulwa, Head of Communications - SANParks

Mkutshulwa says it has marked the incomplete area with red tape will be placing a person to redirect hikers.

MEC for Economic Development and Tourism, Beverly Schafer says it is concerned that SANParks has awarded the tender to a company incapable of doing the job.

I would really like to caution SANParks that they going to have to ensure that the area is safe and that they have not compromised on safety with these upgrades.

Beverly Schafer, MEC for Economic Development and Tourism - WC Government

Dave, who took the photographs called in and explained that though these areas of shoddy work are still behind red tape, receiving a certificate of compliance is not a solution.

Taking the red tape off or getting a certificate of compliance is not going to improve the way it looks or the way it works. I am embarrassed to take tourists up there.

Dave, caller

The ladder I photographed - which has the welds in the middle of the rungs - it's like they went to a scrapyard, gathered a few pieces of metal, welded it together to make it the right width - and that part is not cordoned off.

Dave, caller

Photographs courtesy: Table Mountain Watch, Facebook


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Hikers raise alarm bells at 'shoddy work' on Lion's Head safety renovations


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