Baboons, an occasional feature of Greyton, are increasingly visiting the village foraging for fruit, vegetables, water and shade. In a survey undertaken it is evident residents North of Kloof Street are experiencing increased incidents of destruction of veggie gardens, trees and property as well as worries for personal safety and that of children and pets. Baboons are attracted to Greyton because it offers easy pickings and is accessible. Poor/Inadequate waste management is a contributing factor.
How we address the issue
- Improve waste management.
- Adopt proposed baboon management plan with monitors.
- Financial load must be spread over large area including currently unaffected areas. Accountability and management crucial to success.
- Investigate establishment of Special Ratings Area to finance the programme in equitable manner.
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The cost of doing nothing
- Escalation is inevitable. If unchecked the baboons will extend their foraging range to include all of Greyton with daily incusions into the village.
- Baboons will start entering homes in search of food/trash.
- Significant property damage – thatch, gutters, fences, trees, satellite dishes.
- A change in lifestyle. Residents will have to lock doors and windows and be on constant alert.
- Visitors/Tourists affected which may impact tourism.
- Baboons cannot be untrained. If they habituate to Greyton, the problem will become entrenched.
- Need to follow baboon management policies of Cape Town and Cape Nature.
- Euthanasia cannot be undertaken without following the correct procedures dictated by the policy. It is also not proven to be effective. Cape Nature does not support relocation.
- Introduce non-lethal, non-aggressive monitor programme starting June 2017. Go big or go home.
- Programme to employ one manager and four monitors (or more) on duty daily – sunrise-sunset.
- Equal importance placed on the protection and conservation of the baboons.
Monitors tasked with:
Ensuring baboons do not cross an identified buffer zone and enter Greyton by following the baboons and acting as a deterrent.
Collect data of movements and numbers of baboons to provide accurate data/insight for the management process.
Use spare time completing useful community or conservation type tasks.
Address waste disposal of holiday/weekend houses.
- Theewaterskloof Municipality will provide four monitors as part of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP):
- Daily rate of R100 per monitor.
- Total contribution R8 400 per month.
- Addition funding to be sourced from the community:
- A daily rate ‘top up’ for monitors of R50, totaling R4 200 per month.
- A manager at a daily rate of R250, totaling R5 250 per month.
- Total cost of around R9 700 per month.
- (If an additional monitor is required the full salary of R3 150 would have to be sourced from the community, increasing total cost to R12 600 per month.)
- Equipment cost will be financed separately.
- Total programme cost (excluding equipment) ranges from R17 850 to R21 000 per month.
- In the long term the establishment of a Special Ratings Area (SRA) will be sought:
- All rate payers pay an additional monthly rate towards the funding of this programme.
- Not feasible to establish in the short term, pragmatic action needs to be taken now.
Accountability and capacity
- The programme needs to be accountable and deliver the goods. Requires professional and effective management, with adequate staff, equipment and funding, addressed by the community as a whole. Need more volunteers from the community.