The socio-economic impact of the Table Mountain National Park
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This article will determine the socio-economic impact of South Africa’s largest urban national park, and the one that attracts the most visitors. Because national parks have more functions than mere conservation, the following questions arise: “What economic and social impacts are created by such parks?” and “How do communities benefit from allocating land for conservation?” Little research on this topic has been conducted in Southern Africa, and this research therefore contributes to our knowledge. Two surveys were conducted. One focused on the communities surrounding the park and the other on visitors to the park. A Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) determined the economic value. Results showed that, although the park attracts the most visitors, it does not generate the greatest income when compared to other national parks. Results concerning the community survey revealed that the surrounding communities have very positive perceptions, although they believe the impacts to be more economic than social. Problem areas were also identified.