Playtime blues at Pakhuis Park

Two-hundred excited children rush to Pakhuis Park every day, only to stand in a queue to play, because there is not enough equipment to accommodate them all.

Now Tafelsig residents are demanding answers from the City of Cape Town about the future of the newly built park, which is in Piketberg Street in Tafelsig.

At this park, there are only three sets of equipment – a seesaw, a roundabout and a sliding board. When the Plainsman visited the park, there was no grass or gravel, just sand around the equipment.

Morishia Fortuin, from the Mustadafin Foundation in Tafelsig, said it was the only park in the area and was used by children from Tafelsig East, Mitchell’s Heights and Freedom Park. “It is ridiculous that our children have to stand in a queue, and also fight to be on the equipment. The older ones are bullying the younger ones because they too want to play.

“This is going to cause trouble among the adults because people confront the children when they are doing wrong or tell them to give the younger children an opportunity to play,” she said.

Ms Fortuin said while it was great that the City had built a park in the area, it was equally as important that the park meet the area’s needs.

“Just because we are from Tafelsig, you think its okay to give us a crappy park with limited equipment. And even if it is unfinished, why is the park open? (If it’s unfinished) the park should be closed. We need to keep our children safe, “ she said.

Tafelsig resident Shahieda Snyman said the park was often full over the weekend, with children leaving the park after dark.

“As soon as they saw the gates open, they ran to the park. But it is not conducive for children because there is glass lying around and it is very sandy.

“We are also calling for fencing at the back of the park. People have access to the park from their yards, and we don’t want adults and skollies sitting, smoking on the field,” she said.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, said work on the park only started earlier this year and had been done in consultation with the ward councillor.

He confirmed that the play equipment had been installed.

“Please note that the park is not completed yet and contractors are still on site. The area currently used by the children is complete and is safe to use,” he said.

Mr Andrews said the rest of the work would be completed in the next few months and additions would include additional wooden play equipment.

He added that trees and plants would be planted in the cooler months.

Mr Andrews said the total cost of the park upgrade was R500 000.

“Once the park is complete it will be completely fenced and the gates locked. The community will have access to the park and a community member will be appointed to lock and unlock the park,” he said.

He added that the officials clean the site daily. However, when the Plainsman visited the site, there was a heap of dirt inside the park. You can report illegal dumping to the City’s call centre at 0860 103 089.