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JOHANNESBURG City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) has set aside more than R16-million for the implementation of several infrastructure and services projects under the Jozi@Work programme next year.

City Parks to spend R16m on Jozi@Work projects
Jozi@Work": empowering community cooperatives and enterprises to tackle poverty, inequality and unemployment in the City.

This was revealed at a recent end-of-year service delivery information sharing session for ward councillors hosted by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Councillor Chris Vondo.

Jozi@Work is a mayoral initiative aimed at empowering ordinary Johannesburg residents and creating thousands of job opportunities in response to the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

New parks along Corridors of Freedom

Some of the R16.35-million will be used under the horticulture and arboriculture Jozi@Work packages and on the implementation of projects such as the rejuvenation of Westdene Dam, Princess Tailings and Mshenguvile, as well as the development of several new parks along Joburg's emerging Corridors of Freedom.

The money is part of Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo's R166-million budget for the 2014-15 financial year.

Other projects to be undertaken in 2015 include the building of 13 new parks, the continued development of the new Olifantsvlei Cemetery and the rejuvenation of Johannesburg Zoo.

Said Councillor Vondo: "As an entity, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo has positively worked towards achieving the goals of the Joburg 2040 strategy.

"Visible green change can be seen along the Corridors of Freedom as new parks are being developed and made available to the community, addressing and responding to fundamental issues such as poverty, inequality and accessibility. The entity has also had successful developments of parks in Noordheuwel, Yeoville and Westbury."

My Parks, My City

He said another exciting project JCPZ had undertaken was the "My Parks, My City" initiative, which seeks to ensure that residents gain a deeper understanding in the way communities can use open spaces.

"This is a very exciting citizen programme that seeks to encourage everyone to appreciate and nurture their parks and open spaces, promote social cohesion and healthy lifestyles, and make residents see parks as multi-functional areas, safe places where they can express themselves."

Vondo added that JCPZ had put contingency plans in place to manage the expected increase in the number of visitors to public open spaces over the festive season.

He said Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo's wardens and Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officers would undertake a highly visible preventative policing and bylaw enforcement drive throughout the festive season. Patrols in open spaces and nine flagship parks will also be monitored.

General Manager for Infrastructure Development Reginald Mokalapa said JCPZ's highlights in 2014 included the planting of 212 trees during Arbor month, the continued breeding of high economic value rare species at its Rietkuil Conservation Farm, and being honoured with a prestigious Loerie Award, presented to the Johannesburg Zoo for its innovative hosting of Night Walks.

"We also centralised complaints to ensure timeous service delivery," Mokalapa added.

Source: www.joburg.org.za