Tafelsig tots dodge glass in the grass

Little Shining Stars Educare toddlers with their principal, Ruwayda Williams. Behind them is the park in Chimney Street that needs to be upgraded.

Schools near a park in Chimney Street, Tafelsig, say it is desperately in need of an upgrade.

Little Shining Stars Educare in Tafelsig does not have a play area so pupils use the park, but principal Ruwayda Williams says it’s not suitable.

The Plainsman visited them during play time, and Ms Williams had to keep a close watch over the children and guided them away from the park because of glass in the grass.

“The field is utilised by gangsters and criminals. We see dumping on the fields, and it is not safe for the children to play or use during play time,” she said.

The younger children at her educare are not allowed to play at the park at all as they need more attention. Shamierah de Vos, mualima at Nurul Islam Madrasah, said Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers had cleaned on Thursday October 17, but, the park still needed to be upgraded.

The merry-go-round and the see-saw needed maintenance, she said.

Her daughter, Mymoena Mullins, also a mualima at the madrasah, said the children at Cascade Primary School passed the park, but didn’t use it.

“It is not appropriate for children to use,” she said.

Ms Mullins said they went as far as changing their uniform from white to black because the children’s clothes got dirty on the park’s equipment.

“The park is the centre of the community, and it should be fixed,” she said.

Ms Williams said she had spoken to the late Sheval Arendse, of Ward 82, about the park and their needs for the educare, but he had told her the budget did not allow them to renovate the park just yet.

“In this community, the people are aware of this issue but no one will do anything about it. We would like to make use of a vegetable garden, but that’s not possible yet.”

It was part of the educare’s curriculum to have the children play and engage in life outside of the classroom, she said.

Washiela Harris, Sub-council 12 PR councillor, said EPWP workers cleaned the area weekly “but sadly our community do not take pride in our area.”

Ms Harris said she had logged a notification and would assist Ms Williams where possible.

Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said due to budgets already being allocated to specific projects in the 2019 and 2020 financial year, capital funding for fencing and concrete bins at the park was not available.

Itwillcostapproximately R300 000 to install palisade fencing. At the moment, bollards and pipe railings are installed,” he said.

“A cleaning team from the recreation and parks department is currently attending to clearing litter and glass at the park.”

“Cleaning of parks is generally scheduled once a week, but for problematic parks, this can be increased to twice a week. Cleanliness can be maintained in partnership with the community,” he said.