First steps in park upgrade

2018-09-18 06:00
The estimated cost of the total project is in the region of R8m, Anstey says, and the organisation is looking for donors to contribute towards the upgrade.PHOTO: nicole mccain

The estimated cost of the total project is in the region of R8m, Anstey says, and the organisation is looking for donors to contribute towards the upgrade.PHOTO: nicole mccain

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The first phase of an upgrade to transform Van Riebeeck Park into the “gateway to Table Mountain” has been completed.

The park now boasts extensive paved pathways, with lighting expected to be installed early next year. A raised intersection in front of the park will also be completed early next year.

At a launch event on Wednesday, ward councillor Brandon Golding explained that although most of the funding for the upgrades came from his ward allocation budget, the vision for the park is much bigger and will require involvement from the community.

Golding hopes the upgrades will improve safety in the park, and reduce the number of street people.

“How do you reclaim a space? You activate it. This (the upgrade) is a way of activating [Van Riebeeck Park].”

Friends of Van Riebeeck Park chairperson, Gary Anstey, says the organisation still has many plans for the space, including upgrades to the piazza, a cycling track and a social component aimed at assisting street people living in the park.

The organisation’s proposal centres on the concept of the park as the gateway to Table Mountain, and the upgrade, dubbed the Platteklip Project, aims to “restore the link between the mountain and the sea by extending the existing greenbelts, pathways and parks from the Waterfront to Platteklip Gorge on Tafelberg Road”, he says.

Anstey previously told People’s Post (“Plan links city, mountain”, 10 October): “Van Riebeeck Park occupies a unique space in the City Bowl in that a city park borders directly onto Table Mountain National Park. The Platteklip stream runs down through the park, and trees dot the landscape. A number of residents observed that community-led attempts to revitalise urban parks produce fantastic public spaces which are enjoyed by the broader community. For example, look at Green Point Urban Park and the exercise equipment at Three Anchor Bay.

“Thus the Platteklip Project has taken shape which aims to capitalise on its unique position. The project is about investing in a legacy project which will make the city proud and provide recreational and educational space for the residents and ratepayers in the City of Cape Town.

The estimated cost of the total project is in the region of R8m, Anstey says, and the organisation is looking for donors to contribute.

The future phases of the project will be discussed at the organisation’s upcoming annual meeting.

V The Friends of Van Riebeeck Park will hold their annual meeting on Wednesday 10 October at 18:30 at Herzlia High School. V Visit the Friends of Van Riebeeck Park on Facebook or email friendsofvanriebeeckparkcpt­@gmail.com.

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