Talk:Table Mountain National Park

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Planned additions[edit]

I plan to add sections on history, flora, fauna, etc.; but if someone else feels like doing it, they are, of course, absolutely welcome. :-) - htonl 01:00, 19 January 2006 (UTC)


I do not believe that the sentence I added was POV. One the one hand we have a group of people who are using Table Mountain Nation Park for recreation, and on the other we have people running it as a business. There has been conflict between these two groups. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaelbarreto (talkcontribs) 14:56, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

It's a misrepresentation of the situation, though, in that it paints SANParks as a mercenary organisation that is just "in it for the money". SANParks' stated desire for the removal of the pines is down to conservation of the fynbos, not finances. Indeed, it seems that the money from the logging goes to the forestry company which holds the rights to the plantations (is it SAFCOL? I think it is) not to SANParks. SANParks' part in the whole business of the pines is that they are not allowing the areas where pines have been harvested to be replanted. People tend to forget that the pine forests have, since they were planted, always been destined for eventual harvesting. - htonl (talk) 15:26, 4 August 2009 (UTC)
There are three facts: 1. There is conflict between two groups. 2. One group of people are involved in the park for professional reasons (it is how they earn their money). The park is run as a business. Conservation is not the only reason for the decision to remove the pines. 3. Another group of people use the park for recreational purposes.
It doesn't matter if the pines were originally planted for harvest. We should allow for changes in land use. What is happening now? What is the park being used for by the people who own it (i.e. the people of South Africa)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Michaelbarreto (talkcontribs) 05:59, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
There's a big difference between "the people who manage the park earn a salary for doing their jobs" (which is true, of course) and "the park management is using it for financial gain". On what do you base your claim that the park is run as a business? SANParks in general is certainly not run as a business - it had to receive R136 million from the government to subsidise its operations in the last financial year. Conservation has always been the stated reason for removing the pines - see, for example, what Brett Myrdal said in the Carte Blanche story. If you have actual evidence to the contrary, lets see it.
To my mind, a fair statement of the situation would be this: there are four groups involved in the conflict:
  1. SANParks, which own the land and wants to see the pines gone.
  2. SAFCOL, which owns the pine trees, wants to harvest them for financial gain. (SAFCOL is, of course, run as a business, because it is one.)
  3. Members of the public opposed to the removal of the trees, who would like them to stay for recreational use, etc.
  4. Members of the public in favour of the removal of the trees, for conservation or recreational or whatever other reasons.
SANParks' stated reason for wanting the pines gone is conservation of the fynbos and reintroduction of the indigenous forest. Opponents have accused SANParks of having a financial motive.
As a matter of fact, it's my understanding that the only way that SAFCOL could be prevented from harvesting the pines would be for the government to expropriate them. - htonl (talk) 13:41, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. I've dealt with conservationsists before. People who spread molasses on grass to attract buck so that tourists can photograph them. People who chop down diseased indigenous trees so that they can sell the wood. Nevermind the organisms that rely on decaying wood as food. At various conferences I've heard talked to South African parks board officials who are very focussed on the business side of things. The parks are run as businesses. Even though they get subsidised they still make their own money. R136 million isn't very much considering the number of employees and other overhead costs involved in running a large park (think of the fuel expenses alone).Michaelbarreto (talk) 03:13, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, I guess my view of conservationists isn't quite as cynical as yours - no doubt there are some who are as you describe them, but most of the ones I've dealt with seem quite sincere. Anyway, if you want to check out SANParks' financial details the annual reports are linked lower down in the left-hand column here. - htonl (talk) 09:58, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that link. Seeing words/phrases like "assets", "economic impact" and "investments" in the site indicates to me that the parks are viewed as things to make money. Perhaps I am cynical about the way the environment is perceived as a commodity. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging the people, but their behaviour and attitudes. There's difference between who a person is and what they do. Attitudes and behaviour can be changed, and I believe that a too materialistic attitude is just as dangerous as a too spiritual/idealistic one. Michaelbarreto (talk) 14:32, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

(Resetting indent.) Well, I think they use words like "assets" and "investments" because that's the standard terminology that accountants use according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (the GAAP that is referred to in the report). So I don't think that's really a reflection of the way SANParks is run, just a reflection of the language that auditors would use for any organisation. If you look on page 130 of the latest annual report (page 130 of the PDF that is, labelled page 112) they say "As part of its mission, South African National Parks, is responsible for managing a wide range of bio-diversity, encompassing fauna, flora, geological structures and unique scenery. The exact quantity and value of these assets can not be measured with reliable accuracy. South African National Parks, therefore does not reflect the value of these assets in its financial statements." - htonl (talk) 14:54, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Notice on the default page of their website that there is a section called "Economic Impact" but none called "Ecology" or "Biodiversity". Michaelbarreto (talk) 10:03, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I've just found a section called "Conservation", but it's right at the bottom of the page! "Economic Impact" is far more important than "Conservation" by the way their website is structured. Michaelbarreto (talk) 10:19, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Table Mountain[edit]

I strongly oppose this proposed merger. The mountain is only a small portion of the park. The park covers 221 km2 and probably 70km from north to south, with the mountain itself at the far northern end of the park. The park article forms part of a series of articles on SA National Parks. Zaian (talk) 20:04, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose. They are two different things entirely, sharing the same name only for branding purposes. Greenman (talk) 20:24, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. They might share a name and Table Mountain might be part of Table Mountain National Park, but they are not the same thing. Table Mountain is notable enough in its own right to have its own article. Merging the two would be akin to merging Mount Kilimanjaro with Kilimanjaro National Park or Mount Fuji with Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park --NJR_ZA (talk) 20:36, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per the arguments above. - htonl (talk) 21:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree that they are two different things. Where was this proposed? Please make a link to the proposal here. I can't find it. Michaelbarreto (talk) 03:59, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

I've removed the merge tag from the Table Mountain article. No votes in favour. Zaian (talk) 06:07, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Merger of controversy section with flora[edit]

I'm opposed to this merger because it dilutes the importance of the controversy. These are separate issues and should remain separate. Please discuss reasons for wanting the merger here. Michaelbarreto (talk) 10:15, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

In general, it's more encyclopedic for "criticism" or "controversy" sections to be merged into the relevant part of the article. As separate sections, they encourage POV forks in an article. Stylistically, what was there before was clearly the result of person A adding a sentence, then person B adding a "However" sentence with an opposing view. It's fine for opposing views to appear in an article, but the end result should read smoothly as if written by a single "neutral" editor, which is what I tried to achieve, and (excuse me for bias here), I think I wrote it pretty well! Clearly you disagree, since you've reverted my effort. So let's attempt a better consensus. Zaian (talk) 10:51, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
There's another controversy brewing with accusations of racism against the park. See this link for one report. This should go in the controversy section. Michaelbarreto (talk) 12:46, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
As per my previous comment, that should go under "hiking trails", rather than "controversy", along these lines: "there are two overnight hiking trails in the park. One of them, the People's Trail, is reserved for "previously disadvantaged" (black) people,[1] although the group Afriforum has challenged this policy as reverse racism[2]..." Zaian (talk) 08:15, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I believe that there should be a separate section for these controversies. To try and hide them in other subsections dilutes their importance. Michaelbarreto (talk) 09:41, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not trying to hide them or dilute them. WP:AGF. I'm trying to improve an encyclopedia article. Zaian (talk) 09:54, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
I think there should be a separate section for this. The claims of racism and disregard for the people who use the park are controversial. The controversies of the park are issues in their own right. Assuming good faith; so I shouldn't suspect you of working for the park and trying to whitewash this page to improve the park's image? Michaelbarreto (talk) 10:44, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't work for the park; I generally whitewash articles for free. Bye now. Zaian (talk) 11:40, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
So you admit to changing the article to improve the image of the park. This distorts the truth and in fact you ARE trying to hide the controversies. I feel disgusted! Now I know why thousands of editors no longer bother to edit wikipedia. All editors are equal, but some are more equal than others. Michaelbarreto (talk) 13:16, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
You failed to recognise my attempt at sarcasm. No, I have not been trying to improve the image of the park. Can we please stop this conversation now? Zaian (talk) 13:30, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Southernmost point in Africa[edit]

This article incorrectly states that the Cape of Good Hope is the southernmost point in the African continent. This is incorrect. Cape Agulhas (about 100 miles Southeast of the Cape of Good Hope) is the southernmost point in Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Where does it say that? In the introduction it says "the Cape of Good Hope, the southwesternmost extremity of Africa", which is true. Further on it says "the southernmost area of the Cape Peninsula, stretching from Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope in the south", which is also true. Near the end it specifically says "Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are very scenic, although they are neither the southernmost tip of Africa nor the meeting-place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, as is often believed." - htonl (talk) 15:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)