Regina Graham

IN a bid to reduce vandalism and provide children with a safe place to play, the City of Cape Town opened a new park in Mitchells Plain yesterday.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said Rita Park would be a “safe” place for children.

“We want to make sure that, while children are in this park, they are safe and that they are looked after,” De Lille said.

She made a special appeal to the community to look after the park. “The park belongs to them. They own it and they must take responsibility for keeping it clean.

“They must take responsibility so people don’t come and vandalise it and that gangsters don’t come out and smoke here,” she said.

De Lille said the new park was a key feature in ensuring that everyone benefited from the city’s resources.

“It’s the first decent park for the community and we want to make sure that, while children are in this park, they are safe,” De Lille said.

The park’s management will also be a reflection of the city and the community working together to improve people’s lives, she said.

“This new park and others like it will help transform the way the residents experience their community and interact with each other,” De Lille said.

Lorenda van Graan, a Mitchells Plain resident who lives opposite the park, said the park was a good thing for the community to share.

“I think it’s something nice, especially for the children. It will keep them out of mischief and busy after school, and mothers will know that their children are playing safely in the park,” Van Graan said.

She said she wanted to look after the park for the childrens’ sake.

“We must look after the children and see that nothing goes wrong with the park,” she said.

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