Coronation Park, once known for its tranquility, scenery and farm animals, has been allocated a budget of R22 million for the 2013/2014 financial year for the purpose of being redeveloped. Operations could start later this year.
During a recent public meeting held at Laerskool Millenium, municipal representatives, including the Mogale City Parks Department manager Rinus Bouwer and Arno Coetzee who is a civil engineer from Pro-Plan Consulting Engineers, informed about 50 community members about the plans to restore Coronation Park to “the park it was meant to be”.
Nkosana Zali, Mogale City Local Municipality spokesperson says the money that will be used comes from the municipality’s funds and the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).
The municipality has received a total amount of R29 million of which R22 million will be spent on Coronation Park’s redevelopment.
Coetzer, who is assigned to assist the municipality, has given a visual presentation of the plans for Coronation Park.
If all goes according to plan the park, divided into different zones, will offer the community several recreation facilities such as picnic and restaurant facilities as well as a playground for children.
Recreation facilities for rowing and angling enthusiasts will be provided in the area around Coronation Dam.
An aquatic centre and a community sport facility are proposed as part of a second-phase development that will cater for the sporting needs of the community and will include a rowing gym and a swimming centre.
Coetzer says the public will be given access to the rich history surrounding Coronation Park by means of a proposed museum that will also form part of a second-phase development. Other facilities include picnic areas and a conservatory.
There were talks about providing for a rose garden, heritage and memorial sites and a chapel for events such as weddings to generate an income for the municipality.
Bouwer assured the community that they would make sure that they work around the current structure of the park to prevent serious damage to the vegetation and atmosphere of the park.
“The development will be something that is sustainable and can attract investment opportunities so that everyone can benefit from it.”
He says that the park will be aimed at families. Fences will be put up and there will be 24-hour security patrols.
“The Municipality has taken the immediate residents in consideration and noisy parties that were problematic in the past will be controlled strictly.”
Some community members attending the meeting commented that the ideas sounds wonderful but wanted to know how the park will be maintained and protected against misuse.
“The Municipality and its Public Safety Section will be working closely with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Community Policing Forum (CPF) to curb prostitution and drugs at the park. Regarding the maintenance, it will be budgeted for in each financial year,” says Bouwer.
“To ensure that the park is in good condition and free from misuse the possibility stands that there will be entry charges â€“ in that way the people who wants to be there, will be there.”
Despite Mogale City’s good intentions to redevelop this park, the question on everyone’s mind is what will be the fate of the white squatters currently living in the park.
According to Bouwer, the Municipality is engaging with the residents of the park. After the meeting NEWS journalist Jacobus Myburgh approached Hugo van Niekerk (who is managing the camp), about these new developments.
It is evident that the residents are not happy and the NEWS will publish another article in which they voice their opinions and concerns.