Tafelsig residents unite to beautify parks

Tafelsig residents are working with a non-profit to beautify a local park.

Tafelsig residents are working with a non-profit organisation to beautify two parks.

Ciske Smit, the project manager of the organisation, Our Future Cities, says the parks – one on the corner of Kilimanjaro Street and AZ Berman Drive and an adjacent one off Langeberg Avenue – were chosen for a project being funded by a grant from the SA Cities Network.

“We have created a toolkit for the community so that it is easy and simple to follow if another community wishes to follow it. The toolkit comes with bricks, stormwater pipes and culverts, which are concrete, that can be filled with bricks and sand to be transformed into a bench.”

The project started to come to life on Wednesday October 21 when a milkwood tree was planted in the park.

Wesley Nash, an architect for Our Future Cities, said they had started painting and doing the artwork on the walls of the two parks last year.

“People will see with this toolkit how easy it is to make a space beautiful again. If this project is successful, we may assist other communities,” he said.

Tafelsig resident Michael Bell, who helped to get the project off the ground after meeting representatives from Our Future Cities, said it was important for communities to take ownership of public spaces.

“Through this initiative, we hope to create safe and dignified spaces in Tafelsig, which is plagued by crime and escalating gang violence. As this is a community-led project, we wanted to get community members involved and develop a sense of ownership around these spaces.”

Unemployed artisans in the community had been willing to get involved, he said.

“We hope to secure more funding and appeal to corporates to come on board and help us address the issue of safety in our public spaces but also create opportunities for unemployed artisans,” said Mr Bell.

Ward 82 councillor Washiela Harris said she was proud of how far the community had come with the project.

“I worked together with Mr Bell to get the approval from the City to beautify the park. It’s good to see residents together with the City taking ownership of our parks.”