The newest extreme park has opened in Ivory Park, where a piece of barren, open land was transformed into a welcoming park, complete with sports courts and play equipment.
A DUSTY piece of ground in the teeming township of Ivory Park was turned into a green wonderland in just 21 days by City Parks and the MTN SA Foundation.
Executive mayor Parks Tau is shown around parkExecutive mayor Parks Tau is shown around Mongameli ParkThe transformation was part of the foundation’s 21 Days of Y’ello Care, an annual programme which aims to make a difference in less fortunate communities. City Parks was brought on board to lend its skills and expertise.
Work on the site began on 1 June, and the past three weeks have been committed to transforming the space into one the whole community can enjoy. The project cost R2,2-million. Children’s play equipment, recycling stations and upgraded netball and soccer fields were just a few of the changes made, and the finished product, Mongameli Xtreme Park, was officially handed over to the community by Executive Mayor Parks Tau on 21 June.
“Today, I’m greatly encouraged by what I’ve seen; a shared vision to make a difference to people’s lives,” Tau said. Volunteers braved the harsh Highveld winter to bring the vision to fruition, he said, which speaks to the strength of partnerships.
“We are here in the name of a partnership between three parties: MTN, City Parks, and the community and leadership of Ivory Park,” he explained.
“Through partnerships with communities, private enterprises and other organisations, we can reach our objectives sooner than we realise.”
Mongameli Park follows closely on the heels of other extreme parks, such as those in Pimville, Diepkloof and Wilgeheuwel, and Tau believes it is a valuable platform for residents to see the usefulness of greening initiatives and therefore avoid by-law transgressions such as illegal dumping.
Putting final touches to the swingsPutting final touches to the swings“New greening initiatives can never be underestimated,” he said, “as they have now extended into private residences and illegal dumping and littering has decreased in the city.”
Greening is high on the new mayor’s agenda, and he has plans to plant an additional 200 000 trees and clean the Jukskei and Klipspruit river systems, among others. “Joburg is the blueprint of urban management of the continent.
“Mongameli Park is an addition to the city’s emerald belt, and we want to build a sustainable system,” he said.
Eunice Maluleke, the head of the MTN Foundation, concurred: “We have planted the seed of development and we want to see it nurtured by the citizens of Ivory Park.”
She reassured the mayor that the citizens had been told of the need to take care of the park. Karel Pienaar, the chief executive officer of MTN, reinforced the message though. “Please look after the park; use it, love it and take care of it for future generations.”
He also promised the multinational would return to Ivory Park in the future. “I remember 15 years ago we put our first containerised payphone here. We are back now and we will be back again,” he said.
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