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Orange Grove residents slam poor state of parks Print E-mail
04 April 2017

The parlous state of parks and sports facilities in Orange Grove in the City of Johannesburg’s Region E came under sharp criticism at a public meeting looking into the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget at the Jabula Recreation Centre in Sandringham on Monday April 3.

The meeting formed part of a three-week public consultation process aimed at giving residents the opportunity to make an input on the 2017-2021 IDP and the City’s proposed R56-billion 2017-2018 Budget.

The citywide process got under way on Monday after it was approved by the council at its monthly meeting on Thursday March 30.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Cllr Sharon Peetz kick-started the meeting by giving a comprehensive presentation on the 2017-2021 Draft IDP.

In attendance were representatives of various departments and entities such as Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo, Johannesburg Water and the Community Development Department.

Brent McNoodle, a representative of the Norwood Residents’ Association, said the local ratepayers’ main concern was environmental decay. “There has to be capital allocation for this great plan (the IDP) but there has been no action from the City. This could result in fatalities or properties being damaged if we do not allocate funds to address the erosion,” said McNoodle.

Lerato Sebata, of the Orange Grove Business Forum, said Orange Grove was probably one of the filthiest areas in Johannesburg. “Our children play in this filth as there are no alternatives for them. The development of the nearby Patterson Park is taking forever to complete,” Sebata said.

“Another reality we face is that a lot of people in Orange Grove are jobless. We have to look at ways of advancing SMMEs as we look to the IDP to curb the rate of unemployment.”

Lombardy East resident AB Mamarigane said parks were not regularly maintained. “Our sports fields are not looked after. Grass is not cut. We propose that the City look at these facilities as they are regularly used. Another issue that has to be looked into is the collapse of river banks. This is a danger to people,” said Mamarigane.

In response, MMC Peetz, said the IDP process spoke to the average Joburger. “We want to be open and transparent. This is a social contract we have with the people. Officials from every department have captured what has been raised here. They are going to have to drill down to specific issues. Questions that could not be answered at this meeting have been noted.

“This is one of the first groups we are presenting to. As your political head, I am going to fight for funds to be made available”, said the MMC.

Over the next few weeks, both the proposed Budget and IDP will be open to extensive public comment.

A report-back meeting will be held at the Central Johannesburg College in Alexandra on April 22.

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Last Updated on 04 April 2017