Neglected park in Morans Ln, Berea
Speech to eThekwini council on 30 July 2012 in motivation of my Parks Motion. The motion was voted down despite the support of almost all opposition parties:
The “rapidly changing land use of our City” is evidenced by the urgency with which the Development Planning Department has undertaken the Berea Land Use Management review as part of the Urban Core study in order to better manage the relatively uncontrolled growth of mixed use and commercial uses of our desperately needed residential land.
The “changing priorities of city government” acknowledges the fact that the municipality has a much broader set of responsibilities than merely maintaining the leafy nature of many of our suburbs. This is evidenced by the fact that the Parks department is completely unable to meet its obligations which has resulted in many neglected parks and public open spaces across the City.
Many of these neglected public open spaces are used by criminals, vagrants and as sites for illegal dumping. These activities contribute to the degradation of the surrounding residences, thus significantly affecting the quality of life of many of the people of our city. As a City which emphasizes quality of life, liveability and a caring approach to its inhabitants, I believe we are obliged to investigated proposals which may improve living conditions.
The proposal put forward in this motion takes into account the very changes in land use referred to above, where many residential suburbs, especially in parts of the City like the Berea, are now dominated by mixed and commercial land uses. However, the problem with such land uses being imposed on areas designed for residential purposes is that minimal off-street parking is available – entirely unsuitable for businesses.
The proposal seeks to investigate instances where neglected parks which are bounded by businesses can be adopted by those businesses in exchange for shared use of up to 25% of the area of the park as parking.
The businesses would then enter into a formal MOU with the Parks department which sets out the basis for the maintenance and upgrading of the Park to be shared by the council and the businesses.
The proposal seeks our approval for the Parks Department to investigate the possibility of entering into such partnerships to unlock the mutual benefits of increased off-street parking and improvement maintenance and cleanliness of our parks.
I urge you to support this practical proposal which could improve the quality of life of many people living in our City.
Park in Morans Ln, Berea – used as a dump, taxi parking, building storage, vagrants, copper thieves…
The Speaker – eThekwini Council
Councillor Logie Naidoo
16 April 2012
Dear Mr Speaker
NOTICE OF MOTION IN TERMS OF RULE OF ORDER 13
This council noting:
- the rapidly changing land use in parts of our City;
- the changing priorities of our City government;
- the significant challenge of maintaining and cleansing all parks and public open spaces;
- the poor state of maintenance and cleanliness of many parks and public open spaces; and – that neglected parks and public open spaces are often used as bases for criminal activity.
Resolves that the Parks department be mandated to within 3 months of this meeting:
- Investigate and report on the feasibility of entering into Public-Private Partnerships with businesses located adjacent to or across from public parks or public open spaces whereby:
- businesses share the costs of maintaining, cleansing and lighting the parks
- in exchange a portion of the park not exceeding 25% be converted to strictly managed parking
for use by the businesses in a manner approved by the Parks department.
- Report on any bylaw changes which may need to take place to allow for such an initiative.
- Identify 5 pilot sites for a 1 year pilot after which a framework and guidelines be drawn up for this to be replicated across eThekwini.
PROPOSER Councillor Warwick Chapman
SECONDER Councillor Rick Crouch
1. Collect litter near your property whenever you see it
2. Report dumping and don’t give up until it is cleared up
2. Clean your yard, paint your house, renovate
3. Businesses can join the Umbilo Business Forum
4. Community organisations can join the Glenwood Community Forum
5. Enhance our working relationship by joining the Community Policing Forum
6. Participating in the CPF’s community patrols to better understand our safety issues
7. BREAK DOWN WALLS! Walls have closed off and segregated our once open and integrated community. Contrary to popular belief, walls almost never enhance security. In many cases walls hide criminal activity which is taking place from people passing by. Replace your walls with fences. Get to know your neighbours again. Give the surrounding community the ability to keep an eye on your safety.
8. Use our parks, and help to keep them clean.
9. Get the council to trim overgrown bushes, or trim them yourselves.
10. If you know someone who speeds in our residential neighbourhood, let them know how you feel.
If all community members contribute on one way or another, we will collectively contribute to the improvement in the quality and safety of our community.
Note: This is an article produced for the DA West Durban Constituency Newsletter.
DA activists honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela by cleaning Crompton Park
Keeping parks clean, planting trees and providing safe spaces for people to rest and play is a priority of Warwick Chapman, the new DA councillor for Ward 18 (Westville North, Cowies Hill, & Pinetown CBD).
“Parks and other green spaces are important meeting, resting and social spaces and need to be properly maintained in order to ensure they contribute to rather than detract from the social fabric of the community,” says Chapman.
Crompton Park, on the corner of Sunnyside and Crompton Roads, is a green space that has been allowed to deteriorate. It is not uncommon for many illegal activities to happen there, including the trade in drugs and the sorting of stolen goods. The DA chose to clean up Crompton Park as one of its many activities in eThekwini Municipality to mark Mandela Day. This unique day, celebrated across the world to honour the humanitarian legacy of former President, Nelson Mandela, required individuals to contribute 67 minutes of their time to community service. More than twenty DA activists and public representatives gathered in Crompton Park and filled approximately 70 large refuse bags with litter from the park.
Other recent cleaning projects organised by Councillor Chapman include two cleanups in Lahee Park in June. This park moved from a veritable litter dump to clean and green, and the City Parks Department is committed to keeping it that way.
Residents can make a difference by encouraging one another to keep these spaces green and clean. “Crime loves dirt and grime, so let’s get cleaning and greening,” says Councillor Chapman.