Alex Park gets a makeover

2016-02-03 13:09
Mandla Zuma and Steven Naick of the cityÕs community services and parks and recreation stand at the promenade between the Harry Gwala Stadium and new athletics stadium.

Mandla Zuma and Steven Naick of the cityÕs community services and parks and recreation stand at the promenade between the Harry Gwala Stadium and new athletics stadium. (Ian Carbutt)

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Pietermaritzburg - A new walkway, aloe garden,­­ amphi­theatre and braai area are on the cards for a revitalised Alexandra Park, with work to upgrade the grounds and restore it to its former glory well underway.

The project is expected to be ­completed in about two years.

At the moment, Msunduzi municipal workers are busy implementing the new irrigation system in the park, with plans in place to revamp the area extending to Harry Gwala Stadium.

A new, state-of-the-art and ­internationally recognised athletics stadium is being built next to the stadium, with a promenade separating the two.

The promenade, painted abstractly in bright red, also houses the outdoor gym that was recently donated by the ­Comrades Marathon Association.

“The idea we have is that people of Pietermaritzburg can come to this spot to take a walk, relax or even train and play a sport. We want people to come back to the park and for the famous ­Alexandra Park to return to its glory,” said Parks and Recreation manager Steven Naick.

The first phase of the revitalisation plan is expected to be completed by the end of June this year.

This phase includes the promenade, athletics stadium and implementation of the new irrigation system across the entire park.

Naick said the plans to revitalise the park came from the municipal community services teams, and were supported by the management at the municipality.

“We want to get people back to the park and create a safe and fun ­environment for everyone in the city,” said Naick.

The area that was used for the ­Christmas festival, Fantasia, will have the natural rockery restored, with a succulent aloe and azalea garden nearby. The amphitheatre above the rockery will also be restored, and new ablution facilities will be built. A new and updated children’s play area will also be installed.

Naick added that the area now being used by the public just below the Harry Gwala Stadium will be closed off from February 15, until the renovations are completed in the next financial year. This area will be upgraded to become a braai area for the public.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they plan on employing security guards with quad bikes who will ensure the safety of patrons and the facilities.

“In addition, the maintenance and cleaning of the area will be undertaken by the municipality, and this will ensure the facilities are maintained in a good condition,” she said.


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