Government Regulations could mean the end of climbing...!

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Government Regulations could mean the end of climbing...!

Post by Guy » Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:40 pm

[color=blue]The message below was posted in the news section of SA Mountain Magazine's website. Does anyone know specifically which Government Regulation is being referred to and what that regulation states.

If this regulation makes landowners responsible for injuries on their land - it could mean the end of rock climbing as a sport! I mean, if you owned land (say you were SA National Parks, CNC, a farmer or the MCSA) would you allow climbing if it meant that climbers could sue you if they hurt themselves?[/color]

Nicholas Le Maitre of the Hottentots Holland MCSA Mountain Rescue team, supplies us with some explanation for the removal of the bolts from the Surfside crag, Gordons Bay.


The reason the Surfside crag was 'debolted' was because of the new health and safety regulations introduced by the goverment late last year. What these regulations basically boil down to is: If someone is on your property, with or without your permission, and they somehow injure themselves in any way, you are responsible and can be sued. So the decision was taken by the Cape Town City Council (or whatever they call themselves now), on whose land Surfside is, to debolt the crag. As far as I know the crag was bolted without permission anyway?

I must stress that this is not an official letter/communication, I only know this because I was one of the people from the Hottentots Holland MCSA Mountain Rescue team who actually debolted the crag.



Post by Q20 » Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:05 pm

First of all I can't help shed any light on the matter, this is the first I have heard of this, but does this make any sense to anyone else. :?:

So, logically every time anyone gets hurt doing absolutely anything they get to sue someone, right, cause unless they were airborne/underwater at the time they would have been on land that must in some sence belong to someone, even if it is state land.

And further more it seems that this applies even if you are trespassing??? So if I don't win the lotto this week I can waltz into some rich dudes garden, get bitten by his maltese poodle and sue the poor bloke for all he's worth! I can they go by some bit of land in the karoo with a few small crags on it and climb as much as I want till Joe Bloggs slips on my doormat.


Post by Grr! » Thu Jun 02, 2005 6:46 pm

:twisted: This sounds like the biggest load of codswallop, no wait thats far too polite, Bullshit Ive ever heard. Hey now I can sue The City of Cape Town for my motorcycle accident, after all it happened in one of their streets! You know how much pleasure Ive lost from not being able to climb? (injured wrist) hell man! This is gonna make me a mint.

Ok I digress, Big fat ugly raw rasberry to Nicholas from Hottentots Holland MCSA what an a-hole!!! How about informing the climbing community of your intentions first - chickenshit, What about Waiver releases? Was that option even considered? Removing hangers is hardly debolting, we can just put more hangers on moron!!! Maybe we'll weld them in place this time. Also if the land belongs to the city then we have every right to be there. Dont let people chase you away in future. This whole episode is so typically backwards, just the sort of BS that makes me want to pack up and waai!


Post by Stu » Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:11 pm

I don't think we should get too worked up. My initial reaction was one of concern. But my guess is that this is just the excuse they wanted to use to keep people of that piece of land. I doubt they will close areas like Silvermine to everyone, walkers for instance could fall of a path, etc. There is no way they will not allow rock climbing or walking up Du Toit's Kloof for instance it would be completely and utterly insane.


Post by crosswind » Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:14 am

Surfside Crag looked like a rubbish dump when I was there so I'm not particularly surprised that it was closed down-obviously I don't know all the facts but is was almost certainly not climbers who threw their junk there(condoms, beer bottles etc.) so kudos to the council for barking up the wrong tree.

Now climbers can't climb there but average Joe can still chuck a few beer bottles against the rock and wonder why he's such a loser.

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Post by Fool » Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:25 am

With allot of Sports and other activities that are less common or less pursued by the greater public, people seem to automatically put things like climbing, skateboarding, and most alternative sports in a big 'mental' bag along with gangsters, ho's, crack heads and drug dealers....

I believe that the major reason for this is inherent in human nature: The 'if you can’t understand it, it must be evil' mentality.

I know this might sound far fetched but anyway, Just Imagine:
A day at a crag with loads of people (children and their parents, even possibly the grandparents, a large group of kids from the flats &/or a \"reach for a dream\" group) who know nothing about the sport. At the crag there are a group of our more established/experienced climbers sending people up easy routes and others demonstrating the art on harder routes.
And Then!
A helicopter lands nearby.... SABC News camera crew and one of our many over paid under worked government Rep's (someone who has influence over environmental affairs of course). Put him in a harness and some shoes, slap on a helmet and get the fatty up a 12.
When he touches solid ground again,
{with a bit of the shakes and sees all the people having fun in nature (not at the cost of nature) and not all falling off the side of the mountain at random because they couldn’t see where they were walking due blinded by the tremendous glare from the thousands of shiny hangers that destroy the natural aesthetics of the rock face… and so not resulting in hundreds of people trying to sue the land owner!}
he will realise that climbing is not the sport of a people you want to destroy nature and sue every second person. But rather he will have gained a greater understanding of what it is that we do and quite possibility not be so quick in the future to blame/punish us for all that is negative on our beautiful mountains.

Ok so maybe I do have a bit of an imagination…. but you surely can understand what I am trying to get at.


Post by Hmm... » Fri Jun 03, 2005 3:38 pm

:? Yeah it will be great when our country develops that far, more general knowledge of, and support for the sport, would be fantastic. Maybe then I could find funding to sponsor the training of those promising youngsters I see cranking at the gym.

But it still totally sucks that the most accessible sport crag in Cape Town has been shut down without any attempt to consult with climbers and possibly negotiate a mutually agreeable solution. Big fat up-yours to the people who removed the bolts. Maybe climbers should approach the land managers and offer to help clean up there in return for guaranteed permanent access? I disagree that there is no cause for anger or alarm here. Get pissed off! Become activists! We have as much right to access to this land as any other resident of Cape Town. If we just roll over and act pathetic then the authorities get the idea we are disorganised pushovers and you can look forward to more crag closures in future.

Come on people its not the crag itself, its the principle. Lets start standing up for our rights, right here, right now. Write e-mails / letters to the access committee of the MCSA and to the relevant land managers (anyone know for definite who this is?) the more mail the better. The pressures on land usage are only going to become more as the years go by. If we dont take a stand we will lose out! Fight for your right to climb or kiss it goodbye, your choice. :!:

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Let's get back to the point

Post by Guy » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:57 pm

OK - so we're all getting a tad pissed. But does anyone actually know anything about this regulation? I tried looking through the regulations on Actsonline but I couldn't find anything.

Maybe someone knows someone at the City Council who we could speak to directly. Just phoning the Council is likely to bring as much joy as sweeping leaves in a ripping south-easter.

The point is - IF there is a regultion to this effect, then the Council is acting very sensibly. However, I cannot believe such an absurd piece of legislation exists.

Derek Marshall

Post by Derek Marshall » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:54 pm

A government regulation...indicates that they are going to regulate....sort of like they regulate the number of people who get attacked. Its as if they have some sort of control over any things that happen in SA. Lets get real they don't have control over most stuff. So why worry?


Post by Fred » Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:57 pm

Surely the MCSA should have some insight to share on these supposed regulations after all they are the ones who stand to lose the most if there is any truth behind all this.

come on all you 'big chiefs' give us some real gaf so we don't have to drown in all these ladies over-excited tears.

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