Ward 72 councillor Kevin Southgate encourages all residents of Retreat, Grassy Park and areas near the Princess Vlei to use the facilities available for fun, family-orientated, recreational purposes.The new Princess Vlei jungle gym was completed on Thursday 18 July and forms part of the City’s efforts to rejuvenate the area and to create safe spaces that residents can use at their leisure.The play area for children cost the City more than R300 000 to complete, according to Southgate.“The whole idea is to develop this entire precinct and we’ve been doing it, bit by bit. We’ve put in braai areas and plants. So all the work that has been done here thus far has come out of my ward’s allocation budget. Every year I’ve allocated about R200 000 towards this,” Southgate reveals.Secretary of the Princess Vlei Forum, Bridget Pitt, expressed the organisation’s delight over the completion of the play structure. “It’s something that’s been asked for in the community for years now. We are really pleased it’s finally up, after having urged the City to put it up for some time,” she says.Southgate hopes that the new park will encourage residents to use the area and to show criminals that the area is off-limits for illegal activities.He explained: “We want the community to take ownership of the play area. What we’re trying to do is create a space for families. “They no longer have to travel to Green Point – they can braai here. This is one of the few water bodies that we have.”Unfortunately, the jungle gym was vandalised last week when one of the swings was cut off and stolen. However, Pitt confirms that the vandal was caught whilst trying to make off with his prize. The swing will be reattached soon. She asks the community to assist in ridding the area of crime.“We want to appeal to the community to help stop any vandalism or theft; for example, if someone tries to sell you a swing that has been cut off, please report it,” she urged. Southgate hinted at an upcoming project which will take shape around the Vlei soon; a walkway encircling the water has been considered in the budget allocation for the 2019/2020 period.