New plan for urban park

2016-06-21 06:00
 Ward councillor Suzette Little has submitted various motions regarding developments at the Nantes. One of these covers the need for finalising the tender for the tea room.  PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

Ward councillor Suzette Little has submitted various motions regarding developments at the Nantes. One of these covers the need for finalising the tender for the tea room. PHOTO: MONIQUE DUVAL

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An urgent push for various developments at the Nantes urban park has been made by councillor Suzette Little.

Last week, Little submitted four motions to subcouncil 11 calling for urgent intervention into various projects needing attention.

On the list of items are the tender for the tea room, the establishment of a Friends of Nantes Park Association, plans for a fresh produce market and the securing of the banks of the Vygieskraal River.

Once handled, she explains, these items will help the park become what it was intended for. Completed between 2011 and 2012, the park has often made headlines for the unsavoury activities taking place there.

Little says at the top of the list is establishing the association, but without a group of passionate volunteers, the City of Cape Town has a problem. “Over the years there have been people who have expressed interest. The problem comes in when people are not committed or expect to be paid. The park was created for the community and people need to now stand up and take ownership of this asset. This way they can help drive strategic developments according to what the community’s needs are.”

Included in the motion is a draft memorandum of understanding (MOU) which stipulates what the association will be responsible for. Among some of these requirements is that the association will identify areas of common interest and projects that could contribute towards creating a cleaner and safer environment.

The concept of a group of volunteers who oversee developments of a public space and act as the liaisons between the public and the municipality has been implemented in various other parks such as the Company’s Garden and Wynberg Park. The motion proposes that City officials set up a meeting with relevant community organisations to get the ball rolling.

“It really is important that this gets off the ground. There are many initiatives that rely on the establishment of this body.”

Among the list of projects is the establishment of a community garden which will lead to the creation of a fresh produce market. This proposal was also submitted as a motion to subcouncil which calls for the area between Blossom and Petunia roads to be developed for the market. Little says the area has sufficient parking and says trading areas with electrical points will need to be installed.

In her third motion, Little shines light on issues regarding the tender for the tea room at the park. She explains without a place to purchase refreshments or enjoy a quiet coffee, the park struggles to attract visitors.

“The tea room was built when the park was formed, but never used. It has gone out to tender three times now and we are requesting that officials wrap up the process and appoint a service provider. The tea room and the market offer an opportunity to attract visitors. With all the investment into the park it is important that this is not just another public facility, but a living part of the community. Many of the problems we face with the park could be eradicated when we get more people to make use of the park.”

Little has also raised the alarm over the condition of the banks of the Vygieskraal River. She says over the years and during the development of the park, the river’s banks have deteriorated and need urgent attention. “While nobody has been hurt, this is exactly what we are trying to prevent. I have proposed that with the installation of gabions we could correct the problem. In addition many of the footpaths have already fallen into the river and the motion also includes a proposal for building a bridge over the river near Statice Heights.” V If you would like to volunteer for the Friends of Nantes Park, email

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