South African Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, was the very first person to cast his vote for Table Mountain from a cell phone. He did this from a giant handset that had been set up in one of the parliamentary squares that boasts an especially picturesque view of the mountain.
Along with a selection of Tourism MECs, Van Schalkwyk confirmed the Tourism Ministry’s support for the effort, and urged all South Africans to renew their voting efforts to make Table Mountain one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
“We would like to mobilise all South Africans to vote for this campaign. The New7Wonders of Nature Foundation is expecting a billion people to vote globally, and we want to make sure we make our mark!” he enthusiastically urged. He added that if Table Mountain got into the top 7 natural wonders, both the mountain and South Africa will go down in the annals of history for thousands of years to come.
“What we found with the previous round of voting was that 98% of the votes we got were from non-South Africans. What we need, however, is for all 40 million South Africans to cast their vote and to get their ex-pat friends to vote as well,” Sabine Lehmann, CEO of Table Mountain Cable Way Company, explained at the launch of the SMS campaign.
In a historic first, SMS voting is being run in the six main South African languages, not just in English. So for example voting is not only by sending “TABLE” to the shortcode 34874, but also by sending “ITAFULA” (Zulu), “ITAFILE” (Xhosa) or “TAFEL” (Afrikaans) to the same shortcode number. SMS voting in South Africa is also possible (in English) for all the remaining 27 Finalists. For more information on how to vote by SMS from South Africa, click here. Table Mountain is the only South African site in the running for the New7Wonders of Nature, and along with Kilimanjaro, one of only two on the African continent!