Vandals strip children’s play park

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An entertainment park in Mdantsane’s NU17 is under threat from brazen thieves who have stripped the park of its fence and an outdoor merry-go-round erected for the entertainment of children.
Concerned ANC ward 22 councillor Veliwe Sakube told the Daily Dispatch that the park, built in 2014, suffered constant vandalism.
“We are very worried. That park is fairly new but has already been attacked a number of times by adults who are selfish and not considerate of the children. Thieves are stealing the new equipment and that is affecting other community projects,” said Sakube.
The fence was stripped last year, leaving a big gap and exposing children to danger.
“The police were called immediately when the thieves were busted stealing the fence. They ran away leaving the fence (lying) behind, but when the police came they did not even bother to come out of their vehicle. They never took the fence as we requested, as they said their vehicle was too small. No case was opened.
“Instead, after the police left, the thieves came back and took the rolled fence. Our children are exposed in that park. They could run into fast-moving cars as the park is situated between busy streets. There is no fence stopping them now. It’s also very easy for thieves to steal equipment now as they don’t have to struggle get the equipment through the gates. They recently stole a big merry-go-round and used the gap to run away with it,” said Sakube.
She said she had requested palisade fencing from BCM but was told there were budget constraints.
Plans to develop a community garden in the park are now on hold as residents fear that produce will be stolen due to the lack of security.
Although a new tender was advertised last week for the fencing of BCM infrastructure, BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya said the park would not benefit from the three-year long tender.
Ngwenya said: “The tender that has been advertised will cover the infrastructure holistically, meaning it includes graveyards, parks and sports fields.
“The city will look at acquiring fencing that is not appealing to vandals.
“With regard to the NU17 park the ward councillor reported the matter to the unit responsible for parks.
“However, it will not benefit from the current process because it was not budgeted for.
“The budget will cover the infrastructure that is allocated funding in this financial year.
“This is part of routine maintenance and also the ward has an opportunity to submit a proposal for the R700,000 ward-based allocation should they deem it necessary,” Ngwenya said...

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