This is no play park

2015-05-19 06:00
Residents in Klavier Street in Steenberg are calling on the local ward councillor to invest in their local park to clean the space.  

astrid februarie

Residents in Klavier Street in Steenberg are calling on the local ward councillor to invest in their local park to clean the space. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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Residents in Steenberg are urging their local ward councillor to invest in a park which they believe is not being maintained.

“The public park in Klavier Road in Steenberg has no grass and part of the metal fence is missing. Children play in the sand, some barefoot, while broken glass bottles are strewn all over the ground,” says a concerned resident.

This is what “angers” one resident who says she has had enough. She is now calling on the ward councillor to help them beautify the park.

“We have lived here for many years and over the years the park has deteriorated. It has been forgotten by council,” the woman says.

The resident spoke to People’s Post on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimised.

“People drink in this park, throw their empty bottles on the ground and some even go as far as breaking them. This is dangerous as the children often play in the park and they could easily be seriously injured,” she says.

She also says that the park is a place where people “come and make fires” and “they leave the wood to burn out in the park”.

“This is the kind of respect some people have for public spaces, but it is because it looks the way it does – derelict and uninviting – which makes people think it is fine to destroy it further,” she says.

The resident claims she has tried to meet with the ward councillor, Marita Petersen, on many occasions in an effort to tell her what is going on at the park, but to no avail.

“My sister and I have walked to the ward councillor’s office before to try and meet with her to ask her what we can do and what she can do to make this park what it once was,” she says.

However, the woman claims that she has not yet met with the councillor to try and find a solution for the park.

In response, Petersen says her office is always open to the residents and “I try to be in my office at least one day a week for most of the day to hear residents’ concerns”.

“It is rather sad that people say they cannot get a hold of me as I have a personal assistant who is there to take on their complaints and it gets passed onto me. People are welcome to make an appointment with her if they want to see me,” she says.

Petersen says she has not received many complaints from residents in regards to the park.

“People are sort of scared in a way and do not report to the police that gangsters are hanging around at the park or about the loitering,” she says.

When People’s Post asked Petersen when was the last time the park was cleaned, she responded she was unsure.

Petersen says she is, however, going to use some of the ward allocation funds for the park.

“People must remember that the ward allocation funds I receive is only R500 000 and I have to work with this. I need to do so much for the community. If people want something, they must speak up and come to me with their ideas,” she says.

Petersen says there are plans to upgrade the park, but she will host a public meeting during which residents can voice their concerns and share their ideas as to what they want for their community

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