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Blue Hills wants a park, City Parks says show us engineering report first

Dr Joseph Ndou says they are not experts in development, but deal with greening services in the City hence they want an engineering report from the JRA.

A Blue Hills resident and former Sector 3 Crime Forum chairperson Marvin Maphiri claims Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) is ignoring their pleas to develop a park in the area.

However, JCPZ regional manager Dr Joseph Mbulaheni Ndou said they were not against the community’s request.
Ndou said residents needed to provide them with an engineering report from the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to develop a park in the identified space.

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“JCPZ doesn’t have a copy of the engineer’s report at its disposal as alleged by the resident. We would appreciate it if we could have a copy of it so that we can study it and submit it to our Capex team for consideration. We don’t have an engineer’s report recommending the backfilling of stormwater drainage. The area in question is a small dam meant for water containment, not a park,” said Ndou.

The request is to have the park in two identified spaces in Blue Hills Ext 15 and 32 where the area has a dam with reeds.

Blue Hills resident Marvin Maphiri points out the space identified for a park. Photo: Sphiwe Masilela
Blue Hills resident Marvin Maphiri points out the space identified for a park. Photo: Sphiwe Masilela

Maphiri claimed the open spaces with tall reeds were used as hiding spots by criminals targeting houses nearby.

“City Parks needs to do an environmental impact assessment. As a community, we are saying we want to see development there. We are not going to have a situation where the departments blame each other. We are not blaming them, we just want to give them a mandate and ensure that service is delivered to residents,” said Maphiri.

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JRA spokesperson Mosa Makhalima said, “It is the understanding of the JRA that the space/land on which the dams are built is zoned as public open space for stormwater attenuation purposes and not parks. The attenuation dams cannot be removed as it will violate the stormwater by-laws, as the downstream properties are likely to be impacted by flooding if this happens,” said Makhalima.

She advised the Blue Hills to contact the city’s Development Planning Department regarding the development of a park.

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