Fountain desparate for attention

2019-07-16 06:00
Mowbray Fountain in Durban Road.

Mowbray Fountain in Durban Road. (Tiyese Jeranji)

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Rosebank and Mowbray Civic Association would like to get the Mowbray Fountain in Durban Road upgraded and moved as a matter of urgency, but feel their hands are tied.

According to the association’s chairperson, Jonathan Hobday, the fountain has been on their wish list for over 10 years and they are not getting the go-ahead. This, he said, is due to the red tape within council.

With its location and cars parking on both sides of the fountain, it leaves very little space for big trucks to drive through. 

The association now fears that if this is not prioritised, the fountain will go down the same route as the Rondebosch Fountain (‘History smashed into pieces’, People’s Post, 25 August 2015)

Hobday says they submitted all the plans on what they want to done but they are still waiting. The association’s fear is that it is only a matter of time before something happens to the fountain.

“Our wish is to have it moved about three to five metres back to where it used to be. At least by so doing, we will know that it is safe. We also want to have a fence around and add a garden to it, we already have people that are willing to do all this for free, just to preserve the fountain,” he says.

Hobday says as a community they want the historical fountain restored and moved to a less vulnerable place.

“We have made various proposals and none of them have been successful. We can’t do it ourselves because there is electricity and a water connection, we need council for that and that is where we are getting stuck,” he says.

He admits that the fountain needs some attention.

“It is in desperate need and begging for some tender, love and care. It is not just the painting but we want to have the fountain restored to its original state and have water flowing – this will be recyclable water,” he says adding that they need this done as soon as possible.

Hobday adds that they have been working on this for years and with council dragging their feet. “It is a very sad reflection on the inability of council to maintain and enhance historic landmarks.”

Ward councillor Paddy Chapple says he is aware of the situation and the matter has been put forward for recommendation in the next budget. 

“It will be heard in February 2020. The matter was put forward by the association, it is a proposal on what can be done. This matter also joins the waiting list on things to do in the new financial year,” he says.

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