Getting their hands dirty in clean-up

2018-12-18 06:00
Volunteers painting the wallsPHOTO: Samantha Lee

Volunteers painting the wallsPHOTO: Samantha Lee

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A beautification project aimed at uplifting five parks and open spaces in Tafelsig was officially launched on Thursday.

The project aims to upgrade the parks and open spaces with soft landscaping and artwork.

“With just one coat of paint, it has already transformed the space,” says Michael Bell.

Bell is a Tafelsig resident who also runs Mitchell’s Plain Online, a website aimed at promoting Mitchell’s Plain as a tourist destination (“Mitchell’s Plain just a click away”, People’s Post, 28 August).

Ward 82 councillor, Sheval Arendse, also showed his support of the initiative and donated 20 litres of paint to assist the project.

Bell teamed up with Wesley Nash, a young urban designer from GAPP Architects, to pilot the initiative after meeting at a recent conference.

Nash then came up with a concept for two of the parks in the hopes of securing funding for the project.

“We needed to get the buy-in from the community but they were more than happy that we were doing this,” says Bell.

“We have identified five parks and the idea is to create a cultural hub.”

Nash says it will be a general beautification initiative including the Nelson Mandela Youth and Family Centre.

Nash has come up with a formal plan which includes a traffic circle in AZ Berman Drive at the intersection with Langeberg and Kilimanjaro streets, and community art installations and murals done by Mitchell’s Plain artist Mac1One.

“The City of Cape Town has an obligation to provide services and that is not being done. We as a community must hold them accountable. I understand the processes, but we don’t have to put up with it. It is important to have a dignified space for the community. There are children and elderly walking past here or using it and all they see is bland spaces. The park is not being used for its intended spaces and that is what we want to change,” says Bell.

Nash says: “I was interested in what Michael was up to and he asked me to get on board. That is where the art and other ideas were born. Michael has a lot of connections with other artists around the world and he met Mac1One who is also quite world renowned. The idea was to start small.”

Nash and Bell agree that by painting the walls white, they are creating hype ahead of the official mural painting next year.

The two parks on AZ Berman Drive bordering Kilimanjaro and Langeberg streets were chosen as the pilot of the project.

Volunteers from the community assisted by painting the walls.

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