Fence to curb social ills

Ward councillor Mmabatho Tembe is pleased that Allenby Gardens Road park has been fenced.

A NEW fence has been erected around the park in Allenby Gardens Road, Umbilo, which ward councillor, Mmabatho Tembe, is hoping will help curb illegal dumping, drinking in public and vagrancy.

Issues at the park were highlighted by Tembe last July when she approached Metro Police to establish a satellite police caravan on the site, and DSW, to clean up the park which has been plagued by illegal dumping, partying and vagrancy.

Tembe said she had received numerous complaints about Allenby Park which is a thoroughfare between Queensmead Mall and Umbilo Road.

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“People were littering in the area as well as dumping illegally, despite there being a sign in the park warning against illegal dumping. Every weekend there are parties in the park, with loud music and drinking in public. I approached Metro Police but they said they didn’t have enough capacity to police the park all the time, so I needed another solution,” she said.

Tembe approached the Parks Department a few months ago which resulted in the erection of the fence around the park last week.

“Fencing of a public park is never an easy decision especially when it comes to the Parks Department as they want maximum access for the community, but with these issues, we needed to reduce access to the park. Gates will be placed at four entrances and we will hold a street meeting to decide who will have the keys to the gates. It will hopefully be kept locked at night to reduce vagrancy and partying in the park,” she said.

She said children living in the area seemed a bit more comfortable playing in a fenced park. She encouraged them to utilise the park and families to have picnics there.

“This was a desperate measure and the fence is a deterrent, even though social ills will always be around,” she said.

Tembe said bollards had also been placed around the boundary of the fence to stop taxis and cars from parking on the road.

 

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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