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More green space for Soweto Print E-mail
07 December 2011

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An extreme park extension will be established at Dhlamini Eco-Park, and the enlarged green space will be renamed Petrus Molefe Eco-Park.

DHLAMINI Eco-Park in Soweto will soon get an extension, thanks to City Parks’ acclaimed extreme park make-over expertise. The extension will form phase three of the recreation space.

Dhlamini Eco-Park will named after Petrus MolefeDhlamini Eco-Park will be named after struggle icon Petrus MolefeDhlamini Xtreme Park, which will be started on Thursday and finished on Friday, 9 December, will link phases one and two of the eco-park. Taken together, the expanded facility will be renamed Petrus Molefe Eco-Park.

The completed extreme park, at 700m² in size, will be officially opened by Executive Mayor Parks Tau later that day.

It will be the sixth extreme park built by City Parks. The others are in Wilgeheuwel, Diepkloof, Protea Glen, Claremont and Pimville. The extreme park make-overs – during which neglected, vacant space is turned into fully furnished, green recreational facilities in 24 hours or less – fall under the Greening Joburg initiative, which is aimed at reclaiming and improving neglected spaces.

Work will start early on Thursday, with City Parks employees doing most of the groundwork, such as clearing the space of rubble. On Friday, workers will lay lawn, plant trees, do landscaping and install park furniture.

Playground equipment with rubberised surfacing and a commemorative monument will be added.

The Dhlamini Eco-Park is an integral part of the Klipriver-Klipspruit open space framework commissioned in 1999. The framework involves the development of parks along river systems in Soweto.

It is one of several eco-parks in Soweto, including Dorothy Nyembe, Mapetla, Orlando, Mofolo and Dube. They were built to promote the conservation of biodiversity along the rivers through rehabilitation of the wetlands.

The ceremony to unveil and rename the park will start at Soweto Hotel in Kliptown, where Tau will deliver a keynote address to honour Molefe.

Molefe was a member of the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and was the first soldier to be killed by the apartheid regime on 16 December 1961 in Dube, Soweto. This year marks 50 years since his death.

Members of the mayoral committee and of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association are expected to attend the ceremony. It is expected to begin at 9am and invited guests are advised to arrive as early as 8.30am.

From Soweto Hotel, the officials will head to Nancefield Cemetery, where Molefe is buried, to unveil a tombstone; and from there to the park, where Tau will cut the ribbon to declare it open and unveil a plaque bearing the park’s new name.

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Last Updated on 12 December 2011