Yeoville residents welcome refurbished park
Yeoville residents have asked the city to ensure the park area is safe by day and at night.
EW LOOK. Resident Phileas Moyo and his son at the newly refurbished park at the top of Stewart Drive and Jolly Street in Yeoville yesterday. The park was refurbished recently. Picture: Reitumetse Makwea
As residents celebrate the newly refurbished park at the top of Stewart Drive and Jolly Street in Yeoville, the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation said the park was just the beginning in re-establishing Steward Drive as a heritage site and keeping it safe for locals and tourists to visit.
In a joint effort between the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation, the City of Joburg and Richard Holden, the project to revive the park and one of Johannesburg’s heritage gems, which was neglected for nearly two decades, is paying off.
Yeoville park restoration
The foundation’s chair, Flo Bird, said although the restoration of the park was a success with residents already enjoying the three-month-old facility, “it would be a tremendous bonus if the Joburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) were to patrol at night and what of the Yeoville Saps [SA Police Service]?”
“Joburg City Parks had already developed Stewart Drive Park with playground equipment. The foundation undertook the restoration of the stonework and City Power responded to our request for help,” Bird said.
“While foot traffic had already increased during the day, thanks to the presence of workers and a cleanup of the land behind the low stone walls, lights are needed to make it safe at night, too.”
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A resident, Phileas Moyo, said before the park was restored there was a veld with shrubs where thugs would hide and rob people. “But now it’s better. We can even have picnics here as a family and although it’s not totally safe, it’s definitely better than it was before.”
Moyo said some of the infrastructures at the park had already been stolen or vandalised and urged the city to replace the street lights and consider getting security or police to patrol during the day and at night.
However, Bird said they were also calling on members of the community surrounding the park to “in turn, keep watch over the park equipment and the stonework because we need to restore it to be like Upper Houghton Drive on Munro Drive”.
She added: “We owe the city engineer, Edward Henry Waugh, who, from 1908, built up this team of masons, an immense debt of gratitude.
“They built stairs all over the city – from Bezuidenhout Valley to Kensington, from Bertrams to Highlands, all over Melville and, the best-known, Westcliff Stairs in Randburg and the small stone bridges across the spruits.”
Waugh Avenue in Northcliff is named after him, according to artefacts.co.za.
Joburg City Parks and Zoo has embarked on an awareness campaign to teach communities about the importance of having and taking care of local parks, because “the quality of life is significantly affected by the quality of public open spaces
“Parks are more than simply physical spaces for relaxing and playing and require more input than the simple municipal services of picking up litter and cutting grass,” the city added.
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