New park vandalised

A newly equipped play park on the corner of Blackbird Street and Acacia Road has been vandalised less than a month after the equipment was installed.
A newly equipped play park on the corner of Blackbird Street and Acacia Road has been vandalised less than a month after the equipment was installed.

A newly equipped park in Parkwood that has not even been around for a month has already been vandalised.

A wooden structure on a section of the park, located on the corner of Blackbird Street and Acacia Road, was set alight just days after it was erected.

Residents are fuming after the incident, saying that the guilty parties “are robbing our children of their childhoods”.

Paul Phillips, a religious leader in Parkwood, says the only park available to children in the area has now been tainted.

“We are approaching our holiday period with little or no recreation facilities. The City of Cape Town spent so much on this youth park but now it can’t be utilised,” Phillips says.

Another resident who did not want to be named out of fear of victimisation says she is not happy about the park equipment being burnt.

“Earlier this year they also burnt the park. I just want to know what is the purpose behind it. They are taking away the livelihood of our children; this is the only place they can play,” she says.

Ward councillor Melanie Arendse says: “I am so sick and tired of people vandalising what was put up for the children of our area.

“What gives that person the right to rob children of a play park? It’s just not right. We have a suspicion of who it could be, but we are letting the law take its course now.”

Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, says the City has been notified of the vandalism.

“The ward councillor initiated the process by reporting it to the police,” Walker says.

The park equipment, that cost just under R60 000, was installed late November, confirms Walker.

“The (burnt portions of the) apparatus will be partially removed and repaired in the new year, providing funding becomes available,” Walker says.

Asked how much vandalism to recreational facilities costs, Walker says about “R300 000 per financial year for the area”.

“Vandalism is an ongoing problem in the Parkwood and Lotus River areas. The City appeals to residents to work with us by reporting any suspicious activity in our parks to the City’s law enforcement department on 021 596 1999 or to the police,” she says.

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