Play time not so safe

2015-06-09 06:00

Playtime in a Mountview park is not as pleasant as it should be due to unsafe equipment.

Residents living around the park in Dolomite Avenue say they fear the worst when their children make use of the recreational facility in the park which is more than 40 years old.

One resident who did not want to be named says she has two children who regularly play in the park.

“However, I do not allow them to go play there alone. Some of the equipment is unsafe for any child to play on and I’m afraid they might get hurt,” the concerned resident says.

According to the mother her children have not yet returned home with bruises caused by the equipment in the park.

“They have come home with nicks and bruises from playing in the park but these were not caused by the equipment itself. Sometimes children play carelessly and fall but they should not have the added danger of unsafe equipment,” she adds.

Another resident, Anthony Hooper, says he has complained about the state of the equipment before.

“It really is unsafe for children to play on equipment that could either cut them or leave them with other serious injuries. Something must be done to make the park safer,” Hooper says.

He adds swift action must be taken by the City of Cape Town or the park might attract unwanted elements.

“If the equipment is deemed unsafe and parents tell their children to stop coming to the park then it will become a white elephant and that is something we definitely do not want,” he says.

“If parks aren’t being used for their recreational purpose then we risk seeing the space being used by unwanted elements. This would definitely be detrimental and should be avoided for as long as possible. Our children need a safe place to play,” Hooper says.

He adds he has a “huge concern” when parks are not being used for what they are intended.

“When people see the park just standing there because nobody is using it they assume they can carry out their activities there. This includes ill activity like smoking and drinking in the park. At the end of the day we also risk having vagrants move onto the park. Something needs to be done before it could potentially get to that point.”

Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede says he has received complaints about the park’s equipment from residents and has forwarded their concerns to the City of Cape Town.

Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, says the City parks department “is not aware of any complaints with regard to this park” and that the park is maintained regularly.

“It is raked on a weekly basis and cleaned twice a week. The trees were pruned six months ago. Expanded public works programme staff are also employed to water the park, but with the onset of the winter rains, this will not need to occur as often over the next few months, compared with other periods in the year.”

She adds the play equipment received maintenance two months ago but vandalism has resulted in the equipment becoming unsafe.

“Vandalism to the equipment continues to be a severe challenge. The swings, in particular, tend to get cut by vandals. An order has been placed to have the hanger for the swing replaced, whilst the swings were painted less than a month ago,” Walker explains.

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