Local park set for new attraction

2018-06-19 06:01
The park situated betwen Gemsbok and Fourth Avenue in Lotus River. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

The park situated betwen Gemsbok and Fourth Avenue in Lotus River. PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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Residents and particularly the children in Fourth Avenue will have a new attraction to make use of in a few months’ time.

A wooden structure in the park between Gemsbok and Fourth avenues has become a bugbear to residents in recent times. Complaints from residents in Gemsbok Avenue have led to the removal of the structure.

“We are taking down the wooden structure there because there are so many complaints from the residents in Gemsbok Road of the gang elements, smoking in the playpark and not leaving it open for the kids to play with,” says ward councillor Patricia van der Ross.

She says the plan is to break down the structure, move it and reconstruct it on the Fourth Avenue side of the park.

“[In] Gemsbok Park, in the past we had gym equipment up there and paving. The gym was damaged within a year and the paving was stolen and sold to the people in Gemsbok Avenue. With that, there was an entire year or so that nothing happened in the park. There was nothing given to the park and there is a crèche right in the park as well as another one down the road.”

The crèche’s teachers approached Van der Ross and asked for facilities at the park for the children to make use of.

“What we had in another park was two wooden eight-piece structures, so I requested [the Recreation and Parks Department] to move the one wooden structure to the Fourth Avenue side in order to give kids a fair opportunity to play and activities in the park for them. Everything went well until the gang element stepped in. They used boxes and stuff to close the bottom of the structure and they would sit under there and smoke,” explains Van der Ross.

Residents in Gemsbok Avenue have complained for the past six months.

“Now with it being Eid, the residents who live closest to the park found it difficult when it came to breaking the fast, because the smell of the dagga would go into their houses. They also had a problem where the children stand on top of the structure and start throwing stones,” she adds.

It is yet to be established if the children are throwing stones at one another or if they are throwing them at the houses opposite the park. “I have also requested [the Recreation and Parks Department] to break the structure down for now, because we don’t have funds to rebuild it, so we are breaking it down now in the course of the next week or so. From July we are moving the structure closer to the Fourth Avenue side, closer to the crèche. There won’t be houses which are affected on that side, because the old rent office is there.”

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