Children play among rubbish and rodents at this Dunoon park

City official says a developer is waiting for approval to fund the repairs of Thandabantu Park but suggest moving the equipment to a different place

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Children take turns to play on the only two working items at Thandabantu Park in Dunoon. Photos: Peter Luhanga

  • The Thandabantu Park in Dunoon is in a terrible state. Most of the play equipment is broken or badly rusted.
  • People who wash vehicles along the road have dug up some of the park’s grounds to illegally connect a municipal water pipe.
  • Ward Councillor, Meisie Makuwa, questioned the City of Cape Town’s budget allocation for the park during a recent subcouncil meeting.
  • The City said that while it did not have any plans to repair the park, a private developer had offered to fund the project.

Only one of the four swings still works, there’s a slide but it’s extremely rusted and the rest of the park has rubbish strewn all over it. The iron fencing around the park is weathered and doesn’t have an entrance gate which means safety for the children is non-existent. People who wash vehicles along the road have dug up some of the park’s grounds to illegally connect to a municipal pipe for water.

Fed up with the ongoing deterioration of Dunoon’s Thandabantu Park, councillor Meisie Makuwa questioned the City of Cape Town’s budget allocation to her ward during a recent subcouncil meeting.

Makuwa had asked why the maintenance of the playground was excluded from the City’s budget. “Our park needs to be fixed,” she said.

Subcouncil chairperson Phindile Maxiti said that Dunoon, like other areas, relies on allocations by the Recreation and Parks department. “There was no plan to develop that park from the department. The department has their plans and timelines … we should wait for that … we don’t know how far we are on the list to build the park,” said Maxiti.

Zamxolo Fena, from the City’s Recreation and Parks department, compared the situation in Dunoon with Joe Slovo Park township in Milnerton, noting that both areas were battling with illegal dumping.

Fena said that the department had repeatedly replaced the equipment at the park, but their main concerns were illegal dumping and the fence being vandalised. He suggested that new playground equipment be installed at the municipal sports field rather than at the Thandabantu Park.

The park is also being used as a dumping ground.

However, Makuwa denied that the equipment at the park had been replaced since it was first built. “We can’t say [children] must use a new park at the sports field. This park must be fixed, and a new one can be opened,” said Makuwa.

Maxiti confirmed that there are currently no plans to repair the park. He said there was a private developer willing to foot the bill for repairing the park.

Subcouncil manager Roxanne Moses said the City has been talking to the developer regarding the necessary requirements and standards, but final approval for the project was still pending from the City’s department of Recreation and Parks.

Meanwhile, residents living near the park say they are frustrated because the park is being used by people who burn items to collect the copper inside.

Mavis Mandayi claims that the park has become a breeding ground for rodents that often come into her RDP house. She said street vendors braaing meat often discard rotten scraps in the park, while others who dump waste or wash cars there are also urinating on the wall of her RDP house, leaving a persistent stench in her yard.

“The City is working. They come to remove the illegally dumped refuse once a week but every time they remove it, people come to dump again,” said Mandayi.

TOPICS:  Recreation and fun

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