City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

 

Johannesburg Zoo

 

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Working with communities to provide a new, safe inner city park
 
Ekhaya park
 
The recently refurbished Ekhaya Park in Hillbrow was unveiled by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development in the City of Joburg (CoJ), Cllr Nonhlanla Sifumba on Wednesday, 7 June as part of the city’s World Environment Week celebrations.
 
Ekhaya park2
 
The R1.4million refurbishment included the installation of a full size, synthetic soccer field; a new ablution block; park furniture embedded with a chess board and table tennis; themed playgrounds for toddlers; landscaped lawns and murals.  The local subcontractors involved in both projects created jobs for 6-months, with a total number of 13 SMME’s, 16 EPWP and 12 beneficiaries being empowered from the local community during construction the process.  
 
The fully enclosed newly developed park is a welcome sight, for residents living in the towering high-rise apartments adjacent to the new park.
 
The luxury of sprawling open spaces to enable communities to connect with nature, and to bring residents together, are non-existent due to low-cost inner city densification in Hillbrow and its surrounding areas. It is therefore critical that the spread of urban degeneration is averted in the parks in the inner city.
 
Developing safe parks is also a complex issue that must be thought through from the design phase, together with community involvement; supporting maintenance programmes and regular recreation activities.
 
“Park safety is of paramount importance for City Parks and the Zoo, who are responsible for the maintenance of the facility, however it requires the need for communities to become closely involved in the parks’ everyday use and protection, to ensure that these spaces are sustained,” stated Sifumba.
 
Sifumba commended the Ekhaya Neighbourhood Improvement District for establishing a forum with business, Bad Boyz Security, local schools, SAPS, JCPZ and the community to reclaim the park, which was beset with problems of grime, petty crime, vandalism and substance abusers, and acknowledged their outstanding contribution by presenting the forum with an award for exceptional service to the community. 

 

 
Ekhaya park3Ekhaya park4