Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality creating safer environments for children

NOVEMBER 12, 2014

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) said it is committed to creating better and safe communities for all, with special emphasis on the safety of children and other vulnerable groups of society.

This is after the municipality unveiled a new play-park for the children of Tabata Street and surrounding areas in New Brighton on Tuesday, November 11.

The play-park is part of the municipality's programme, rolled out through its Public Health Directorate, to convert illegal dumping sites into play-parks for children. The Directorate has already constructed 10 such parks in the past financial year, creating safe playing areas for over ten thousand children across the City.

“This programme does not only create safe places for children to play in, but also addresses the challenge of open spaces being used as illegal dumping sites. It also strengthens the partnership between government and local communities. The protection of these parks is the responsibility of the communities themselves, with the Municipality instilling a sense of ownership in surrounding communities. Volunteers from the relevant community are assigned to protect each park against vandalism and criminal activities,” the municipality said in a statement.

A community member, Nothembile Mswane stated that the park in the area constituted an exciting transformation.

"This area used to be a dumping site, where criminals used to hide. I have also been a victim of crime while walking in the area, but today we can confidently say it is a safe place for our grandchildren to play in and for us to enjoy".

Another community member, Momvelo Gula observed: "The smell that used to come from this dumping site due to the carcasses of dead dogs being dumped here was unbearable. We used to worry about our children and grandchildren's health, as people used to dump dangerous materials here. All that is now in the past. We will now have to protect it for the benefit of generations to come."

Ward 17 Councillor, Ncediso Captain, said that residents should receive and treat the park as their own.

"This is one in many responsibilities that government has to create better communities. Our children are the future, we can no longer take the risk of them being knocked down by cars on the road due to a lack of facilities. It is our duty to deliver; it is our obligation to take care of our children for a better future," said Captain.

The park has been equipped with children's playground equipment and benches for parents to sit on as they supervise their children. Trees have been planted to provide shade and bring some greenery to the park.

File photo.