Playtime for Bellevue children at the new park

It was an exciting day for the children of Bellevue when the newly renovated park was unveiled by MMC for Community Development Nonhlanhla Sifumba on April 4.

Sifumba took the opportunity to interact with the children as they shared the joy of having a park.

“This park addresses the needs of the residents of Ward 66.

Also read: Bellevue kids share their thoughts on the new park

“Beautifying public open spaces such as this park are important for the general well-being of the residents,” said Sifumba.

She joined in the fun, taking to the swings and playing with two-year-old Sibusisiwe Gwegwana, who was delighted to play with her.

Officially playtime: Bellevue children share the joy after cutting the ribbon at the unveiling of Bellevue Park on April 4.

“The park is for the community, but most importantly for the children to enjoy playtime in a safe environment.

“It’s a gift to the community to have a place to go to and just relax,” said Sifumba.

The Bellevue Park includes a synthetically turfed soccer field, a playground with rubberised surfacing, a running track, skateboard ramp and outdoor gym.

The development of the park cost R4-million.

The park’s design accommodates the surroundings. No trees were cut during the renovations and everything was built around the trees.

Also read: Community welcomes Bez Valley upgrade project

Sifumba said such parks are important in a community such as Bellevue.

“Areas like Bellevue are dominated by small yards and high-rise buildings with no recreational spaces, so parks become an essential human settlement feature.

“People need to get in touch with each other and express themselves. This park is a space to do that, and it caters for all age groups,” said Sifumba.

Taking a swing: MMC Nonhlanhla Sifumba reveals her inner child at the Bellevue Park unveiling ceremony on April 4.

The renovation of Bellevue Park is part of the City of Joburg’s programme to rejuvenate and renew the inner city.

The Bellevue Park was previously infested with drugs, crime and illegal dumping, which caused problems for the community.

“We know what this park used to look like. It was not friendly. I urge the members of the community to ensure that their use of the park does not endanger the lives of the children and others, but that it brings a sense of belonging and brings the community together.

Also read: Youngsters clean up streets in Troyeville

“It should be everyone’s responsibility to look after it and keep it beautiful,” said Sifumba.

Ward 66 Clr Carlos Da Rocha took part in the unveiling of the renovated park. He was pleased with the end result but expressed concerns about safety.

“I’m happy with what I see and pleased that children in Bellevue will have a safe environment to play and enjoy themselves and just be children.

MMC Nonhlanhla Sifumba plays with two-year-old Sibusisiwe Gwegwana at the Bellevue Park unveiling ceremony on April 4.

“I just want to urge City Parks and Zoo to consider having security in these parks because we have people living within our communities who don’t have good intentions and would want to vandalise the park,” said Da Rocha.

He said he was sad that one person who was part of utilising the open space for the good of the community had passed on and did not have the opportunity to see this beautiful park.

“Ma Elizabeth had a vegetable garden here, and when the public meetings were called for this project, she was one of the people who supported the project. She came to the public participation meetings and it shows how a community can contribute to such projects,” said Da Rocha.

He said he was happy to see that the park included a feature that was requested by a child during one of the public participation meetings.

“The skateboard ramp is proof of how everyone’s contribution is important. This was a request that was made by a little boy at the public meetings when it was asked what kind of games and facilities should be added to the park. He made his contribution and now the park has a skateboard ramp for the children in the area,” said Da Rocha.

He urged the community to take responsibility for the park.

“The park is for you. As a community, you must take responsibility because it benefits the community. It provides a safe place for the children to play, and as parents we must look after it,” said Da Rocha.

 

Gallery:

  AUTHOR
Busi Vilakazi

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