Ready, get set… and mow

The spring flowers are set to bloom, and the City of Cape Town is gearing up to mow its many parks and open spaces.

With spring around the corner, the City of Cape Town’s recreation and parks department is gearing up for the maintenance and mowing of more than 6 300 hectares of parks and public open spaces.

The mowing schedule is being finalised and R128 million has been set aside to keep parks and public open spaces looking good.

The recreation and parks department manages more than 3 560 community parks and gardens, 13 district parks, 10 biodiversity sites and 40 cemeteries.

Apart from maintaining facilities, different mowing cycles apply for the various green open spaces. As such, district parks have a higher level of maintenance and a minimum mowing cycle of once a month, whereas community parks and cemeteries have a mowing cycle of up to nine times a year. 

It is also an opportunity to create temporary job opportunities through the City’s expanded public works programme. The department is in the process of growing its internal mowing team complement in order to ensure high quality services are delivered across the city. 

“Public open spaces and parks provide an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with various activities such as play parks and exercise equipment. Parks also add value to the built environment as it aesthetically enriches the urban landscape. Well kept open spaces is an investment in quality community life,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien.

 As part of its mowing programme, the recreation and parks department works closely with the environmental management department to ensure that biodiversity sites are protected and maintained.

 “A lot of the City’s parks will be popular places to visit after the good rain we experienced thus far. Every year when spring has sprung, the City needs to perform a fine balancing act to mow or not to mow when the wildflowers are blooming. Be that as it may, the recreation and parks department will ensure that mowing schedules are implemented and that parks are kept clean. We would like to urge communities to ‘own’ their parks and report any vandalism or destruction of community facilities.

“The City will soon also initiate the ‘Park Buddy’ programme which will be a partnership with communities to add value in looking after community facilities,” said Dr Badroodien.    

Residents who want the City to stop cutting grass in a certain park to allow for the wild flowers to bloom, need to submit their request in writing to their local recreation and parks department with signatures of support from neighbours, indicating that they agree with the request. Staff are then instructed not to mow those parks while the spring flowers are in bloom, usually during September and October.

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