The new Smart Park currently under construction in Nomzamo, Strand, will be of great benefit to local residents, according to Ward 85 councillor Stembile Mfecane.
“This is going to be a very beautiful park, and the community will benefit a lot from it,” Mr Mfecane told Bolander.
“We are going to have play grounds in this park for netball, soccer and a few other activities. People will have a place to relax, especially in the summertime. As you can see, there will be benches to sit on, and nice shade trees.
“The park needs to be maintained properly so that we keep to an acceptable standard,” he said.
“To do so, we need to create a job opportunity in the park, so that it will be kept clean all the time.”
The Nomzamo Smart Park is part of a City of Cape Town initiative, which goes beyond providing playground equipment for children.
Equipment installed must cater for a broad range of ages, according to then mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, Belinda Walker, since retired. Under stewardship of the City’s Parks Department, the innovative concept won a merit ward of excellence in 2015, from the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA).
“Smart parks are designed with communities in mind, to cater for both young and old. The concept is aimed at providing for inclusivity, social interaction and the integration of communities. The intention is that the expanded number of activities provided for in smart parks will cater for the needs of all members of the community. ILASA’s recognition of the novel work being done by the City Parks Department is very exciting and it bodes well as the roll-out of smart parks continues,” Ms Walker said.
A key aspect of the initiative is the close involvement of community members in deciding on the nature and form of the planned facilities, according to Ms Walker.
She said residents of Nomzamo were thrilled to have been included in the decision-making process, which resulted in four distinct park sections: a relaxation area, a play area, an active area, and an area for leisurely movement.
The active area of the park will cater for those who wish to participate in ball sports, and a synthetic pitch will be installed to accommodate the various sporting codes. This will be decided at a later stage, and depends on what the community will suggest.
The edge of the synthetic courts will be defined with low-wall seating to accommodate spectators. Large trees will be planted strategically for shade.
To facilitate ease of movement, well-defined pathways will be incorporated, to support activities like jogging, and walking leisurely through the various areas of the smart park.
Construction started in April, and is now 60% complete, according to new mayoral committee member for community services, councillor Anda Ntsodo, and should be finished by December.
“The City will maintain the park in terms of maintenance standards applied to City Parks facilities. An area management team will ensure that a regular maintenance programme is followed. “This may include the presence of a community parks worker or workers, through the Expanded Public Works Programme,” he told Bolander.
“Safety of park users is a priority, and every effort will be made by the City to ensure that it is a safe space. It is located adjacent to other significant public facilities, where there is a public presence. This is done to ensure that there is as much activity and surveillance around the park as possible, to make it safer,” Mr Ntsodo concluded.