CAPE TOWN- A park built at the cost of more than R12 million, which opened less than a year ago in July 2017, is depleting as gangs have apparently staked it out the Atlantis park as their territory.
Drug dealers are allegedly active in the park, whilst pretending to enjoy the park.
According to a GroundUp report, vandals have removed swings in the park, seesaws, the water pipe has been damaged and now has been shut off.
Residents spoke to GroundUp under condition of anonymity, “Residents around the park are not interested in taking ownership of the park. They don’t see the need for the park. If they saw its value, they would have protected it,”
Founder of X-Treme Youth Atlantis Empowerment, Michelle Fortuin, said,” I don’t really have an issue with the idea of a smart park, but I feel, with all the social ills and struggles happening in our town, the smart park was not needed for now.”
“Our youth was promised an internet café, which wasn’t realised; we don’t have a 24-hour youth centre where our kids can go to whenever the need arises; we don’t have drug rehabilitation centres – all things that are much more needed than a smart park,” said Fortuin.
She added, “It just feels so ridiculous to have a smart park, while other things are so needed. It’s almost like having a Mercedes Benz to drive around in, but no roof over your head.”
Mayoral Committee Member for Area North Suzette Little, responded, “Unfortunately vandalism of City of Cape Town infrastructure is not only occurring in Atlantis. It’s a problem we are facing across the City. It’s people that don’t appreciate the things done for them. I’ll get my office to investigate.”
Photo Credit- Architect Africa