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The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department urges residents to practise effective waste management over the summer season to prevent homes and neighbourhoods from becoming ‘fast food’ outlets for baboons. Read more below:

During the festive season, more waste is generated in residential areas which, if not managed effectively, may attract animals including baboons.

Ensuring that baboons do not gain direct access to food by feeding or indirect access to food in recreational areas from open cars or from inadequate waste management at home, plays an essential role in minimising baboon visits to human areas.

‘The City needs your support to create baboon-free residential areas and achieving this requires the co-operation of every resident,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.

Baboon-proof bins
Residents of baboon-affected areas should ensure that they have the prescribed lockable two-pin baboon-proof bins.The City of Cape Town provides lockable bins to residents in baboon-prone areas on request. Residents can request these baboon-proof bins, or a replacement if theirs is broken, or a 0-pin, or one-pin, through the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089 or their local municipal office.

The municipality will require your nine-digit municipal rates account number and you must get from them the 10-digit C3 Notification Number as a reference to this request.

All residents who already have baboon-proof bins can padlock their bins to better secure them from baboon raids. The City’s Solid Waste Management Department will be able to empty the bin even with the padlocks in place.

Residents are thus urged to purchase two strong padlocks to properly secure their bins, thus removing one of the greatest temptations in residential areas from the baboons.

If you do not have a baboon-proof wheelie bin: contact your local municipal office or the City of Cape Town on 021 400 5239 or email

Top 10 tips to reduce baboon raids:

• Note the times of the recycling truck service to make sure that the waste is only put out near the time of collection to avoid waste from piling up in the neighbourhood.
• Ensure that your bin is baboon-proof and has locks on the latches.
• Warn neighbours when baboons are in the vicinity.
• Report the presence of any baboons in the suburbs – or any incident with baboons – to the Baboon Reporting Helpline on 071 588 6540.
• Install burglar bars (with gaps smaller than 8 cm, including the sides and tops of the bars) on windows you usually keep open.
• If there are no burglar bars or security doors then keep doors locked and windows closed when baboons are in the vicinity.
• Never leave food on display inside the house (e.g. a bowl of fruit on a window sill or kitchen table).
• Never leave pet food or feed pets outside a house.
• Never put seed out for wild birds.
• Fruit trees, vegetable gardens and compost heaps are not recommended, unless they are in a locked caged area or surrounded by electric fencing.

Tour operators and their clients and tourists are requested to please view baboons responsibly.

Please do not exit your car to photograph or view baboons for your own safety and theirs. Please ensure that vehicle doors and windows are locked.

The law
‘The City would like to remind the public that baboons are a protected species in the Western Cape, in terms of the CapeNature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, 2000, Ordinance 19 of 1974.

‘The law also states that it is illegal to feed baboons; to poison, trap, hurt or kill a baboon by driving with the intent to kill; hunt by shooting at baboons using a pellet gun, catapult, bow-and-arrow, stoning, setting your dog on them, or use a weapon of any kind in order to injure a baboon; or to keep a baboon in captivity without a permit.

All these offences are punishable by law and carry stiff penalties. Residents are encouraged to report any tip-offs regarding transgressions, or any other baboon-related incidents to the Baboon Helpline,’ said Councillor van der Merwe.

Any baboon-related incidents can be reported to the Baboon Reporting Helpline on 071 588 6540.

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