From the beginning of November, SANParks will be introducing new gate access technology at Table Mountain and West Coast National Parks and it’s expected to streamline ticket purchase and quick access for visitors to these parks.
The roll-out of the new gate system coincides with the introduction of differential conservation fees at Table Mountain National Park which offers South African residents and Southern African Development Community (SADC) nationals reduced rates.
According to SANParks managing executive for Tourism Development and Marketing, Hapiloe Sello, visitors to these parks will now be able to buy digital tickets online before arriving at the gate. These digital tickets will then be scanned at the gate for quick access.
Ms Sello said this system also catered for tour operators who in the past, had to purchase group tickets from SANParks offices.
“They too will have access to an online portal through which they can purchase digital tickets according to their respective group sizes,” she said.
Ms Sello added that with the introduction of the differential conservation fees, prospective visitors would be required to indicate their citizenship or residence status when buying tickets online and upon entry, South African residents will be required to produce their identity document or card, driver’s license or residence permit.
Ms Sello said SANParks implemented differential conservation fees in 2004 in all its parks with the exception of Table Mountain National Park. “The only reason why differential conservation fees were not implemented was due to the complexity of processing visitors at the two high volume access points, namely Cape Point and Boulders,” she said.
The standard conservation fees for Cape Point for adults will be R303 for international guests, R152 for SADC nationals and R76 for both SA nationals and foreign nationals with official SA residence status, while for Boulders this will amount to R152, R76 and R39 respectively. The Cape Town Cable Car will not be affected by these changes.
“This initiative further aims to increase accessibility to South Africans, more especially the sectors of society that do not traditionally visit national parks,” said Ms Sello.
SANParks is currently hosting its 13th annual SA National Parks Week, until tomorrow, Friday September 14. The week gives day visitors free access to most of the 21 national parks including Table Mountain with special emphasis on ensuring that people from local communities close to parks get to know and experience a national park.