Alex scored big this youth month of June when it won a prestigious gold award for its redeveloped picturesque Jukskei Park.
Often reviled for grime, crime and many social ills, the township’s initiative along the Jukskei River in East Bank, notched gold for best practice in design principles which incorporate crime prevention strategies while ensuring the vibrancy of the park.
MMC for Community Development, Nonhlanhla Sifumba said in a statement, “It’s a symbol to address disparities while keeping youth active and engaged on colourful play equipment and park furniture enclosed in a high quality galvanised fence with monitored access between 6am and 6pm.
“It comprises an outdoor gym of new generation play equipment with rubberised surfaces, a multipurpose netball court, 5-a-side soccer field, pockets of contemplative picnic areas with braai facilities and drinking fountains, and concrete walkways and facilities for board games like chess and indigenous morabaraba.
Sifumba also noted the employment spin-offs through 83 temporary jobs created in the construction process and said it will engender community ownership, pride and guard against vandalism.
Mayor Herman Mashaba commended the new-look park as a safe, connecting outdoor assembly space that is also important for residents’ well-being and mental health. “It will inspire active lifestyles and be an attractive alternative for children away from television, cell phones and PlayStations.”
He identified other park’s benefits as:
- Combating obesity and psychological challenges in the youth
- Providing a clean environment, stormwater catchment and habitat for birdlife and small animals
- Space for social cohesion, civic pride and an indicator of safety
- Gathering spot in times of grief and celebration
- An outdoor space to develop values and educate against littering and vandalising of public infrastructure
- A space to stimulate small businesses and preserve local heritage.
Details: Department of Community Development, Joburg City Council 011 407 6049.