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Parks in need of TLC

How often does the City of Cape Town service its parks, or so-called public open spaces (POS)?

This was one of the questions TygerBurger posed to the municipality recently after a visit to a Parklands POS where it is clear that some tender love and care is urgently required. The Dorchester Park POS along Dorchester Road, Parklands is a popular playground among children, especially over weekends; however, uncut grass and overgrown bushes are a common sight here. The playground equipment is also in need of some attention as it appears unsafe, while loose paving is another danger factor.

A rusted basketball hoop and footings were removed by the City’s Recreation and Parks Department for safety reasons, along with a damaged swing for the same reason.

Replacements and repairs of the damaged park equipment are currently underway, the City claims. Another eyesore is the nearby T-Shape Park. Residents have also complained about the state of Echium Road Park where vagrants often hang out, and litter is strewn among the playground equipment as well as the Waterville POS on Sandown Road, Sunningdale.

TygerBurger approached the City a week ago to ask how often they tend to their parks; and how many times the grass is cut, areas cleaned and infrastructure serviced or maintained. We also wanted to know if the City works according to a timetable, or services these sites upon requests from members of the public.

In response, Luthando Tyhalibongo, the City’s media manager, explained that their Recreation and Parks Department has appointed a private contractor to do mowing on a six-week cycle and that the same contractor is responsible for all weeding maintenance.

“The contractor is presently attending to Parklands and surrounds. The contractor also works over weekends in order to stay within the maintenance standard service cycle.

“A City employee has been appointed as a foreman to monitor and ensure that the contractor is in compliance with this standard,” Tyhalibongo explained.

He added: “A City employee works in the Parklands area to repair all of the paving problems as they arise. The trees are currently being attended to by a team of Expanded Public Works Programme staff.”

Tyhalibongo said vandalism and theft have been a problem throughout the City and that some parks are more affected than others.

“The maintenance of parks requires ongoing management and the Recreation and Parks Department has put in place the necessary teams and resources in order to maintain a reasonable standard, based on a scheduled plan,” said Tyhalibongo.

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