Story By: Ntombi Khumalo
It has not been yet five years since the park was opened by the former Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa, but the plaque has already been stolen.
Bothokgo Park situated in Extension 1, Soshanguve Ward 39 was opened in 2016. The Park is part of Tshwane’s two parks per ward programme.
The former Mayor asked the residents to take care of the park by protecting it from vandalism because it does not belong to Tshwane but to the members of the community.
Japan Baloyi, councilor of ward 39 said that the park is still unfinished and the replacement of the
plaque will be made as soon as the contractors come to finish up.
“I have already reported the missing plaque and the department said they are busy doing some investigations and they are still busy with budget allocations for both finishing the park and the replacement of the plaque that is missing.”
“The R1.4million Park is about 40% complete since 2016 and it has not been maintained by the department since it was opened. It has been said that money for maintenance wasn’t allocated. So, I decided to arrange with the Community Working Project (CWP) to at least try and keep it clean while we are waiting for the budget allocations,” Baloyi added.
Jimmy Masilela, a resident said the new park was expected to be used by young to play with swings and old for community gatherings, entertainment, and other things, but that is failing to happen due to vandalism by community members.
“I am very disappointed to hear of such a disgrace, this clearly shows that people in this community are not appreciative and do not like to have any sort of improvement in their community. We have to stand up as community members and do something about this issue of vandalism and crime,” he said.
Palesa Mohadingwane, who is also a resident said the Tshwane municipality is not doing anything in the townships but is busy developing what is already developed.
”Even the Tshwane municipality has never maintained this Park from the beginning. There was this time whereby we just saw swings which were the one thing that showed us that we are at Park, but the whole place was a bush, all thanks to the CWP workers,” she said.
Lindelani Mashigo, City of Tshwane spokesperson said they kindly request for a deadline extension to allow the City to conduct a proper investigation that includes a site inspection so they can be able to factually respond to issues raised.