The first person to mention the importance of protection of Table Mountain waas in 1923 by General Jan Smuts.  He described the mountain as

“our most precious posession, part not only of the soil, but also of the soul of South Africa”

Sadly his words passed unheeded!

Table Mountain

Table Mountain – our most precious national asset

Despite the establishment of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve in 1939 it was only in 1951 the Van Zyl commission was appointed to investigate the preservation of Table Mountain as a national asset. Its recommendations led to the establishment of an advisory board, but still in reality little was done to protect the mountain.

At last in 1963 the City of Cape Town proclaimed the Table Mountain Nature Reserve and two years later the Silvermine Nature Reserve.  Even now though little was still done to enforce protection.

It took a report in 1976 by some university of Cape Town botanists on the “The ecological status of Table Mountain” to wake the authorities up. Following this report a one person commission was established to look into the future protection of the mountain. This report led to the formation of the Cape Peninsula Natural Environment Protection management advisory committee. This aimed to establish a uniform management policy to cover the entire area.

Table Mountain and Signal Hill

Table Mountain viewed from Lions Head

Eventually in 1998 the various authorites decided to establish a national park in the peninsula encompassing all the different reserves in existance. In 2004 it was renamed “The Table Mountain National Park”