South Africa gears up to celebrate Table Mountain, our African wonder
The event will draw global delegates from six New7Wonders sites to South Africa, who will be hosted in Cape Town and Pretoria for the festivities.
The first official inauguration will take place on Saturday, December 1, on Tafelberg Road, at the foot of the mountain. Guests will include the New7Wonders Foundation, delegates from the other six New7Wonder sites, the City of Cape Town, Vote for Table Mountain ambassadors and members of the Table Mountain Official Supporters Committee (OSC).
A public inauguration for Table Mountain will take place during the City of Cape Town’s free concert taking place at the Grand Parade on Sunday, December 2. The concert is part of the City of Cape Town’s Festive Lights celebrations and Capetonians and visitors will witness the unveiling of an impressive plaque honouring Table Mountain’s triumph.
“Table Mountain is a natural feature of our landscape, a symbol of nature’s permanence and the majesty and beauty of our environment,” said Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille. “Table Mountain’s inauguration as one of the New7Wonders of Nature is a worthy recognition of this symbol that we all own and cherish. This title will also bring tremendous direct economic and socio-economic benefits to our city and our country.”
Immediately after the concert a Table Mountain float will join a vibrant procession of floats representing Cape icons, which will travel through the city in the lead up to the moment when Mayor de Lille switches on the Adderley Street’s festive lights, marking the start to the holiday season.
“Our mountain being named a New7Wonder of Nature is genuine cause for rejoicing and we hope residents flock to the Grand Parade and Adderley Street to celebrate this incredible achievement,” said Sabine Lehmann, chairperson of the Table Mountain OSC. “Each of the New7Wonders of Nature sites have hosted celebrations and now it’s our turn!”
Table Mountain’s status as one of the New7Wonders of Nature became official after an international audit confirmed the result of a global voting process in May this year. International voting had closed on November 11, 2011 when the provisional New7Wonders sites were announced.
The African icon will be the sixth site to host its inauguration ceremony following the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Amazon, Jeju Island, Halong Bay and Iguazu Falls. The seventh site, Komodo Island, will host its inauguration ceremony in 2013.
A second New7Wonders plaque will be unveiled in Pretoria on Monday December 3, which will take place at Muckleneuk, the headquarters of South African National Parks.
Paddy Gordon, manager of Table Mountain National Park, said the parks sound ecological principles played a vital role in its success in the campaign to be named a New7Wonders of Nature.
“Table Mountain National Park has a broad visitor base as diverse as the biodiversity of the park. As custodians of the park, we understand the relationship between its visitors and the natural environment and manage the park so that we can present all visitors with an ecological system that is a benchmark for the globe.”
“It is wonderful to receive acknowledgement from the people of the globe for the work we do in maintaining the delicate ecology of our wondrous mountain.”