Dumping site turned into community park

The area, next to Koos Matli Primary School in Mamelodi East section 15, was reportedly also used by criminals to hide stolen vehicles and has been the site of several robberies and various other crimes throughout the years, says Pretoria North Rekord.

Thabo Kutumela (43), one of the founders of the new park called the Ghetto community park, said they started cleaning the area at the beginning of the lockdown using garden tools.

“We were about five community members when we started cleaning up and putting up no littering signs. Eventually, more people, both young and old, came in and helped out,” said Kutumela.?It was tough and not an easy job.

Among the things we found were dead animals and syringes. However, it was about time someone took responsibility for the area.

“The illegal dumping site caused a lot of friction between community members because nearby residents felt that their health was at risk because of the smell coming from the site,” said Kutumela.

Isaac Makhura (56) said he was excited about the park and how it turned out. He said the community park would benefit everyone, including small children in the area.

“When it is finished it will have a playground for children and vegetable gardens too,” said Makhura.

“Criminals won’t have a place to hide their stolen goods anymore.”

The volunteers also donated money from their own pockets to buy seven trees to beautify the new park and to decorate it with old tyres.

Makhura said some of the money they donated was to buy food because they worked seven days a week, from 07:00 to 17:00 each day. Sipho Makhubedi pleaded with the Tshwane metro to at least help with watering the new park and plant a lawn.

“We also need bulldozers to clear the area well. The area will soon have a fence.”

He also urged residents to stop littering. The volunteers hoped the community park would bring development to the area as well as business opportunities such as a car wash. They also pleaded with local businesses to help with donations because the park would also need pavement and toilets. Anyone who wishes to help with funds can contact Isaac Makhura on 082-413-7202.

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