Park an eyesore to beneficiaries

2018-08-09 06:00
Vandalism at Mandela Smart Park has residents complaining about its state three years after it was first opened. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

Vandalism at Mandela Smart Park has residents complaining about its state three years after it was first opened. PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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Mandela Park residents are fretting over the local park, which they allege is a haven for drug pushers and vandals.

They claim it is in such a state of deterioration, nobody bothers to use it for recreational purposes, the intent for which it was built in the first place.

It was officially opened in 2015 with the aim of integrating the community and to cater for their health and fitness needs.

The park contains a mix of play spaces, active recreational facilities, areas for residents to relax and sports facilities in the form of courts and gym equipment.

Khaya Xintolo said the park is not even five years old, but already in a state of disrepair. “Firstly, there is no security guard, which is the biggest problem. The fence has been torn asunder and gates which were meant to make it a secure have been stolen, including the artificial turf,” he said.

He added that even the gym equipment has been destroyed.

“The youth use the park to smoke drugs.”

He said they have raised their concerns with the ward councillor.

Ward 94 ccouncillor Patrick Mngxunyeni said they were aware of the derelict state of the smart park.

“We bring facilities to our communities because they ask for them, and they become their responsibility, they are supposed to look after them. We can’t have security for all the parks that are in Khayelitsha,” said Mngxunyeni.

He added that the park was not the only one being vandalised in Khayelitsha­.

Mayco member (East), Anda Ntsodo, said the City of Cape Town has repaired the fence twice already since the park was established, and the concerns raised have been brought to the attention of the Mandela Park Committee.

“We urge the community to stand up for their park and protect this valuable asset for the benefit of all who use it,” added Ntsodo.

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