SA’s parks to go cash-free to reduce crime risk
More than half of South Africa's national parks will not accept payment in cash from September 1 in a bid to reduce the risks of handling money.
Some 12 parks are affected including Garden Route, Agulhas, Richtersveld and Namaqua in the Northern Cape, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast in the Western Cape, Mountain Zebra, Camdeboo, Addo Elephant in the Eastern Cape as well as Mapungubwe in Limpopo and Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State.
“From September 1 cash will no longer be accepted as a method of payment in some of the parks,” said SANParks CFO Dumisani Dlamini.
“All trade and tourism activities will be cash-free and therefore cash will not be accepted.”
The system, which will be implemented in two phases, had been adopted to minimise “the risk associated with the handling of cash by staff”, as well speed up entry into the parks, especially at peak times.
Visitors would be encouraged to use prepayment systems for bookings or speed point payment systems in parks.
While visitors who only have cash will not be turned away during the first phase of the project, no cash payments will be accepted from December 31.
Solar power will be installed in parks where connectivity and reliable electricity supplies are a challenge.
Shops, restaurants and other concession operators contracted to SANParks will also still accept cash, Dlamini said.
SANParks will accept Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express and international cards.