City may light up Signal Hill

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is exploring ways of lighting up Signal Hill without affecting ships at sea.

This is one of the plans authorities have come up with to try to boost security on Signal Hill following the rape of a 19-year-old Norwegian exchange student last month after she and her boyfriend were robbed by two armed men there.

On Wednesday, police spokesperson Andrè Traut said no arrests had been made but “progress is being made”.

The case was still under investigation as a high priority, Traut said.

Days after the April 6 attack, the city, SANParks and police announced a number of safety measures they planned to implement at Signal Hill.

This included an application by SANParks to the city to control access along Signal Hill Road and Tafelberg Road between 10pm and 5am, refurbishing a CCTV camera at the Signal Hill parking area and possibly improving lighting in the area.

Ward councillor Dave Bryant said on Wednesday that the city had identified that the efficacy of the camera was directly dependent on the quality of lighting.

Bryant said the port authority had in the past raised concerns about possibly increasing lighting in the area.

“The city is therefore looking at ways to illuminate the direct area with minimal visual impact from a distance (for ships),” he said.

Bryant said a follow-up meeting to finalise details about the lighting and refurbishing the camera would be held. The request for access control along the two roads was being considered.

The public would be informed via a formal notice in print media soon.

“At the end of the formal notice period, the implementation of the controlled access mechanism may be undertaken, subject to there being no strong objections,” Bryant said.

Proposals for the installation of licence plate recognition cameras had been discussed by the city and community police forum and were being evaluated.

“No incidents have been reported on Signal Hill since the unfortunate hijacking of the couple.

“It is important that we look at the safety of the general area which has contributed to muggings around Signal Hill in the past,” Bryant said.

He was trying to find ways to reduce crime as a result of squatters in the old military base in Tamboerskloof and criminals who operated in quarries in Strand Street, Bo-Kaap.

Clean-up campaigns and law-enforcement inspections were helping.

In one of the latest mountain-chain crimes, a couple cycling on a jeep track were mugged at Rhodes Memorial on Sunday.

Regional SANParks spokesperson Merle Collins said the couple had fought back and injured the mugger who got away with the woman’s bicycle.

“(Table Mountain National Park) had an observation point in the area which unfortunately did not cover that particular spot,” Collins said.

Patrols had been increased and additional observation points would be considered, she said.


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