root - October 24, 2023

Councillor’s plea to fix Dunoon’s only playground sparks subcouncil debate

Peter Luhanga 

A councillor has questioned the allocation of municipal capital funds in her ward, saying the only public park in the township is in dire need of repair. 

Dunoon ward councillor Meisie Makuwa said the park was filled with illegally dumped rubbish, leaving the children without a safe place to play, and the situation cast a cloud of despair over the community. 

This emerged in a discussion on municipal capital expenditure at the Blaauwberg sub-council meeting on Thursday 19 October when Makuwa asked why the playground was not included in the City of Cape Town’s capital expenditure budget. 

“We also need capital expenditure so our park can be fixed,” Makuwa told her fellow councillors. 

Sub-council chair Phindile Maxiti said Dunoon, just like other areas, relied on planning from the City’s Recreation and Parks Department.

“There was no plan to develop that park from the department. The line department have their plans with their timelines … we should wait for that … we don’t know how far we are on the list to build the park,” said Maxiti.

A City official from Recreation and Parks Department, Zamxolo Fena, drew parallels between Dunoon and Joe Slovo Park township in Milnerton, noting that both areas suffer from illegal dumping. 

Fena said the City’s capital expenditure allocation was for bigger projects. He also said Dunoon’s Thandabantu Park was subject to excessive use.

He said his department continuously replaced the equipment at the park, but the primary concern remains illegal dumping, and the fence was persistently subjected to vandalism.

He proposed putting play equipment at the municipal sports field to it could be used by the children who used Thandabantu Park. 

But Makuwa disagreed with Fena over the issue of vandalism and theft of the park’s fence and gate. 

“I don’t agree with him that every time he reinstalls equipment it gets stolen … it is a lie … no equipment has been replaced.”

She said she was a ward committee member before being elected councillor and didn’t agree with putting the equipment at the sports field. “We can’t say [children] must go utilise a new park at the sports field. This park must be fixed and open a new one,” said Makuwa. 

Maxiti said at present the Department of Recreation and Parks had no plans to repair the park. However, he said there was a private developer willing to fund the capital costs of repairing the park.

“We just have to make it easy for them, as he is just waiting for approval,” said Maxiti.

Sub-council manager Roxanne Moses said the City has been in communication with the developer regarding the necessary requirements and standards that must be adhered to, but final approval for the project was still pending from the Department of Recreation and Parks.

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