Crossing over ‘not safe’

2015-07-07 06:01
Residents say not enough has been done to ensure safety around a canal in Blackbird Street, Parkwood. The City of Cape Town recently did repair work along the Big Lotus canal which this canal forms a part of.

Chevon Booysen

Residents say not enough has been done to ensure safety around a canal in Blackbird Street, Parkwood. The City of Cape Town recently did repair work along the Big Lotus canal which this canal forms a part of. PHOTO: Chevon Booysen

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A request to close up a Parkwood canal, which held a safety risk, has finally been approved and a fence erected.

The canal, running along and forming part of the Big Lotus canal found on Blackbird Street, was reported by a resident after the safety hazard was realised.

According to residents in the canal surrounds the incomplete bridge was often used by vagrants.

Resident Grant Slinger says, although the fence has been erected, it has done nothing for safety around the canal.

“It is still wide open on the side so somebody could still fall down there. Having a straight barrier up does nothing to keep children from playing there,” he says.

Slinger says he knows of vagrants using the bridge as shelter.

“The bridge also attracts unsavoury characters at all times during the day. We know of people sleeping under the bridge as well and that is no place for anybody to sleep or feel safe,” Slinger says.

A complaint had been sent to the City of Cape Town by resident Keith Blake in which he voiced his concern with the previous state of the bridge.

“I noticed that the one side of this very high bridge had no wall and on the other side a yellow plastic type of wall. Further down the canal, facing north, I saw another bridge and this had solid walls on both sides of the road. I then heard that a child a few years ago drowned in this canal and, the way it is now, the residents of Parkwood (sober or under the influence) and the energetic children’s lives are in danger,” Blake pointed out in his letter.

Since the letter was sent, Blake received correspondence from the City that the issue had been addressed.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport, says work to secure the bridges along the Big Lotus canal was completed in May.

He adds the particular bridge in Blackbird Street cost R12 561.

“The total cost for securing all of the footbridges that form part of this project cost R117 654. All of the footbridges along the Little and Big Lotus canal within the Grassy Park area are included in the maintenance programme. Currently the embankment along the canal between Duck and Stint roads is being closed off with a security fence line,” Herron adds.V

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