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CT hiking community ‘living in fear’ after attacks

A 56-year-old man was stabbed to death while hiking with his wife at Echo Valley above Kalk Bay on Sunday.

Police on the scene after a body was discovered on Table Mountain on 30 May 2017. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A Cape Town hiker says the hiking community is living in fear due to a spike of violent attacks on Table Mountain.

A 56-year-old man was stabbed to death while hiking with his wife at Echo Valley above Kalk Bay on Sunday.

Two weeks earlier, nine people were ambushed by knife-wielding attackers in the Silvermine Nature Reserve.

Member of the Hiker's Paradise Adventure Club Taahir Osman says: “Our concern is what is SANParks doing about these attacks? Many of us who are not hiking anymore have received messages on social media that people are sad about these happenings. They can’t go out and hike; that was their happy place.”

On Tuesday, Parliament's Tourism Portfolio Committee also raised concern, saying the attacks on hikers could affect tourism.

There have been at least 85 attacks over the past 12 months.

Earlier this month, SANParks said it would enhance safety at the Table Mountain National Park.

At the time, SANParks' Merle Collins said 75% of the park had open access to multiple entry points across thousands of hectares.

She said they have an active team to ensure the safety of hikers.

“We’ve established visitor safety teams who will look after the visitors and we also have 12 dogs that have been trained. We also have rangers who play a law enforcement role.”

The national park receives more than five million visitors a year.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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