If you’ve visited Cape Point over the years, you’ll know that operations surrounding the funicular, stores, and Two Oceans Restaurant run seamlessly and without incident. The staff at Cape Point work incredibly hard to ensure that you have the best possible guest experience when you reach this section of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and much of the hard work happens behind the scenes.
Renate Baatjies is one of these Cape Point staff members that you may never see, but who plays a critical role in the smooth running of a number of key Cape Point facilities.
Renate has been working at Cape Point for 15 years, and she currently holds the position of Deputy Manager. He job entails supervising and delegating tasks to all members of staff. She also ensures that all staff members adhere to the procedures laid out in the safety, health and environment system, and works hard on the administrative side of funicular ticket sales and invoicing.
Renate’s average day requires her to oversee operations to ensure that they run smoothly, and that the entire site is clean at all times. She is also on hand to help customers with queries or concerns, and in between that she gets down to the day’s admin.
As with many Cape Point staffers, Renate loves the diversity of the guests that visit Cape Point, and in spite of the occasionally challenging language barriers, she enjoys interacting with both local and international guests.
According to Renate, the most challenging aspect of being a deputy manager is in the event of power failures or emergencies, but even during the peak season, she handles these issues by “remaining calm and attending to situations as they arise”.
Over the years Renate has met a number of iconic people who have visited Cape Point, including Sean Paul, Forest Whitaker, and Vladimir Putin, among many others. But in spite of the high-profile guests, Renate still appears to have a greater passion for the scenery and wildlife that define Cape Point.
Her standout memory over the 15 years is witnessing two Puff Adders mating at Olifantsbos, and if she had the day off, she would do an early morning hike with friends and family, and possibly end the day with a quick swim and a braai at one of the demarcated spots around the park.
Early mornings are the best time to see the animals that roam the park, and she strongly recommends that visitors do the Olifantsbos hikes to see the two iconic shipwrecks of the Nolloth and Thomas T. Tucker. If you are pressed for time, Renate believes that “sitting on the Cape of Good Hope and looking down onto Dias beach, just listening to the waves crashing”, is also a rewarding experience.
Working at Cape Point has had a profound impact on Renate’s life, and she is particularly proud to be able to provide for her family. Cape Point has taught her that “nothing in life should be taken for granted, and that you will only succeed through hard work, dedication and determination.” And if you spend just a few minutes with her during the course of her working day, you’ll see that she embodies this philosophy wholeheartedly.