This means that no hikers, dog walkers, climbers or sightseers will be able to roam the extensive footpaths and hiking trails. A hefty entrance fee will be charged to those who want to enter the park, and their movements will be severely limited.
Tjops van den Berg, a spokesperson for SANParks, said reasons for this drastic move are fourfold: Firstly, to prevent the recent spate of muggings on the mountain; secondly, to prevent dangerous dassies, baboons, tahrs and other animals from escaping and causing havoc in residential areas; thirdly, to prevent people falling or jumping off the mountain; and fourthly, to protect the mountain now that it has been named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
He added that people must pay for the privilege of entering one of the Natural Wonders of the World.
The recent decision to build a tollbooth and offices at Chapman's Peak had led officials to realising that they could do the same for the rest of the park, he said.
A tender has been awarded to a company linked to President Jacob Zuma's controversial nephew, Khulubuse. Tender documents indicate the R487-million cost will mostly cover fencing, the construction of ticket booths, and the running costs of a BEE company to run it. This cost will be recovered by ticket fees, which have yet to be announced.
A spokesperson for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway company confirmed that they were secretly quite happy about the plan, as it meant many visitors would use the cableway as their only experience of the mountain.
An indignant member of the Mountain Club of South Africa, Willy Walker, labelled the plans as "befok".
"This lunacy must be stopped. I have walked on the mountain every day of my life and I will not stand for this."
He urged members of the public to join the public demonstration outside Parliament at 11.59am on Sunday 1 April.