The cost of City parks . . .

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Vandalism to recreational parks is costly for the City. PHOTOS: Kevin Southgate
Vandalism to recreational parks is costly for the City. PHOTOS: Kevin Southgate

With proposed ward allocation budgets set at R1 million for the 2021/’22 financial year, many are questioning and engaging with the City of Cape Town on where it will all be going.

For Ward 72, councillor Kevin Southgate is looking at his ward’s parks, with a collective R440 000 dedicated to parks and recreation projects and operations.

But with the cost of constantly repairing vandalised park facilities in the ward, is it worth it?

In Ward 72, Southgate says, there are 17 parks and many of them with play or gym equipment for use by residents.

However, the ward has struggled with vandalism and theft over the years (“Residents urged to use the Vlei”, People’s Post, 6 August 2019); most recently the Chiphillside Road park in Retreat was vandalised.

“Chiphillside was vandalised about two months ago. The disappointment though was that the new equipment was vandalised so soon after it was installed. The cost of repairs: R8 000,” explains Southgate.

This ongoing problem he attributes, in some part, to idle youth.

“Vandalism is often caused by youth who are either not in school or people just intent on being unappreciative and disrespectful of public property.

“This can be seen by the indiscriminate spraying of graffiti on walls and public infrastructure.”

The relatively new Princess Vlei park jungle gym equipment has been vandalised several times since it was installed in 2019.

“Princess Vlei park has been vandalised three times. The costs of repairs to vandalised equipment is R30 000. With the appointment of park rangers, vandalism has at least been limited. However, this too comes at a huge cost to the City.”

Secretary of the Princess Vlei Forum Bridget Pitt noted in 2019 that vandalism is also sometimes a means to an end for desperate people who may attempt to sell the stolen equipment. “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, at the time.

Residents are encouraged to use the parks for their intended purposes, with constant upgrades and repairs showing the City’s investment in improving communities. And so, in a public plea to the residents, Southgate wrote on Facebook: “Our parks are there to add value and to benefit our communities.”

What is your view on the proposed ward allocation? Have your say. Email letters@peoplespost.co.za.V For the full breakdown of the ward allocation budget, visit https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Meet-the-City/the-city-budget/the-citys-budget-2021-2022.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Is social media doing more harm than good?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, our children are exposed and we can't protect them
49% - 4134 votes
Yes, but social media is part of the new reality
46% - 3822 votes
No, it's great for growing a child's world view
5% - 412 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.05
0.0%
GBP/ZAR
19.67
0.0%
EUR/ZAR
17.10
0.0%
AUD/ZAR
11.03
0.0%
JPY/ZAR
0.13
0.0%
Gold
1,831.32
0.0%
Silver
27.45
0.0%
Palladium
2,929.64
0.0%
Platinum
1,256.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
68.28
+0.3%
Top 40
62,573
+1.4%
All Share
68,520
+1.4%
Resource 10
71,474
+2.1%
Industrial 25
86,856
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,711
+1.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo