No adults allowed?

2015-08-04 06:00
There is a dispute between the Sheraton Park Residents and Ratepayers’ Association and the women who run a crèche in a recreational facility. 

astrid februarie

There is a dispute between the Sheraton Park Residents and Ratepayers’ Association and the women who run a crèche in a recreational facility. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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The use of a public facility in Sheraton Park has left some residents and the women who run the crèche in the recreational facility divided.

Eric Bailey, chairperson of the Sheraton Park Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, says the community centre is not available to all to use.

“It is unfair that we cannot use the hall to hold events, meetings or after-school programmes for children,” he says.

The centre is currently being used daily as a crèche, which is run by several women in the community.

When People’s Post visited the crèche last week, the hall was filled with typical supplies used in a crèche facility, such as tables, chairs, educational posters, toys and small mattresses for children to sleep on.

The director of the crèche says she has been running the crèche for more than 30 years and is leasing the hall from the City of Cape Town’s sports and recreation department.

“We have a non-ending lease with the City and have been using this facility for a very long time. We are not claiming that the hall belongs to us, but we have a responsibility to maintain,” she says.

She further says that in the past the crèche hall was open to be used for events, but since those who used the facility left it in a bad condition she put a stop to it.

“We had to clean up after people in the past, move our equipment into a small storage facility to prevent it from being damaged. This is not fair to us as our names are on the lease,” she says.

Bailey claims the director of the crèche is keeping them from using the facility for public meetings.

“We have to use a nearby church or use the Coniston Hall while we have a facility in our area within walking distance from our homes,” he says.

Bailey further says that residents would like the hall to be upgraded so that it can be used for extramural activities.

“We would like to run various programmes in the facility, which include exercises, mother support groups, a place where children can come and do their homework and interact with one another in a safe and friendly environment,” he says.

In response the director claims the hall is open to anyone who wants it for meetings.

“In the past we used to open the hall for public meetings, but about six people would show up and we feel that it is unnecessary to unlock it for only a handful of people,” she says.

Bailey says he now wants to see proof that there is a lease agreement between the City and the director of the crèche.

“I want see it in black and white, so that if they do have a lease we want to request that the lease agreement ends, so that the rest of the community can use the facility in future,” he says

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