Upgrade for Cox Crescent park

The yucca trees which residents planted but were removed by the City.

The City of Cape Town has confirmed that the upgrade to a park in Cox Crescent, Mountview, will be completed soon. This after Mariam Sonday, who lives nearby, told the Athlone News that she had sent numerous emails to the City pleading with them to build a proper park for the children to play in.

The piece of vacant land in Cox Cresent has a fence around it and trees on the pheriphery, but has no play equipment in it.

Ms Sonday said after she emailed the City in August last year, they had erected a fence around the land to prevent criminal activity, but crime was still a problem.

She said residents had collected trees and plants which they had planted along the fence to prevent people from standing on it, but the City had pulled them out of the ground.

“Every time we complain about the park, they don’t do anything but they could quickly pull out the trees we planted there when they put in the fence,” she said.

Ms Sonday said that in September last year, residents had signed a petition against the crime happening on the field.

“We want them to do things with us, to sit down with us and plan a park not just plan it on their own. In front of the gate is thorn weeds growing so how must our children access the park with the thorns there?”

JP Smith, the City’s mayco member for safety and security; and social services, said the park was being upgraded at the request of surrounding residents and their ward councillor. He said the contractor was expected to install the outstanding equipment in the next month and that the planting of grass had been postponed until June when weather conditions would be better.

Mr Smith said R206 000 had been allocated for the upgrade of the park and that the actual spend to date stood at just over 71%.

In response to residents’ complaint that the City had removed the trees they planted, he said: “Unfortunately, the planting occurred without the City’s permission. All materials were returned to the person responsible. There was a further concern about the type of plants used such as yucca plants that are not safe for children using the open space, given their sharp, sword-shaped leaves.”

But residents said they planted the sharp-leafed yucca to prevent people from jumping over the gate.