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A key feature of the City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department’s draft budget includes investments in planned facilities upgrades for Manenberg and Gugulethu. Read more below:

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department will spend a total of R19, 3 million on the upgrading of various community and sports facilities across the metro in the new financial year if the draft budget is approved.

Nearly 90% of the planned spend, or around R17 million, will take place in Manenberg and Gugulethu.

In Manenberg, R10 million has been earmarked for the implementation of an integrated precinct designed by the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading Programme, following engagements with the community and the Western Cape Government.

The work will include upgrades and refurbishments at The Downs and Duinefontein Community Centres, the Sherwood Park Recreation Centre, Manenberg swimming pool and The Greens sports ground. The latter will include parking facilities, four netball courts, two five-a-side soccer fields, spectator stands, ablution facilities and changing rooms as well as landscaping and practice lights for two of the fields.

In Gugulethu, R7 million has been earmarked for an integrated park at the Gugulethu Sports Ground in NY1. This includes an upgrade of the existing park and gym area including surfacing, landscaping, play equipment, multipurpose courts and walkways as well as work to the hall on site.‘Quality recreational spaces are crucial to helping communities thrive. Not only do they provide an outlet to young people to engage in constructive activities, but it is also an opportunity for communities to reclaim their spaces that are often turned to wastelands by those with criminal intent. The projects in Manenberg and Gugulethu hold great potential and I encourage the relevant communities to be part of the process, but also to take ownership of these facilities once they are revamped,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

Another project that the department is investing in is an online facility booking system that will deliver a public-facing, secure and user-friendly web portal, where members of the public, using a PC, tablet or smart phone, will be able to:

search for a bookable City facility
check availability and book the facility
pay online for the facility

The project will also see the implementation of mobile field services technology that aims to improve communication between the booking offices, facility officers and staff based at City facilities.

It is envisioned that all Recreation and Parks facilities that can be booked will be migrated to the online system within the next 18 – 24 months, including community halls, resorts, swimming pools, sports fields and swimming pools.

‘Our existing system is extremely laborious. Taking these functions online will make life easier for clients, but also for staff. They will also be able to get a real-time sense of bookable facilities, available dates, photographs and descriptions of the facilities and what’s on offer, as well as rental rates. That said, residents who do not have online access will still be able to visit their nearest booking office to secure a venue,’ added Alderman Smith.

For the moment, cemetery bookings will remain offline, with plans in place to incorporate it into the electronic system sometime in the future. The department will however look to spend just over R20, 5 million in the new financial year to build and expand various cemeteries including the Atlantis, Vaalfontein, Metro South-east and Welmoed cemeteries to meet the continued demand for burial space. The Maitland Crematorium will also be upgraded to respond to increased demand for cremation services and to ensure that the facility remains operationally compliant in terms of its Atmospheric Emissions Licence.

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