Councillor’s Corner: Access to parks

This week’s question is:

What are the general rules regarding public parks maintained by City Parks? To what extent can residents access them and make us of them and what is totally off limits?

Ward 117 councillor Tim Truluck answered:

There are lots of bylaws that pertain to parks. Let’s look at the common ones:

  • No drinking of alcohol
  • No braaing unless in a designated braai area
  • No loud music
  • No littering
  • No putting up tents or gazebos
  • No fishing
  • No swimming or washing in dams or rivers
  • No vehicles allowed in the park
  • Nobody is allowed in the park after dark
  • No dogs off leads
  • Don’t allow dogs to attack or chase wildlife and birds
  • Dog poop needs to be picked up
  • Groups over 30 need to get permission from City Parks
  • Any commercial activity has to be sanctioned by City Parks
  • Walks, runs, promotional events, company events, school or college parties and filming all need permission from City Parks
  • Large events like school walks, concerts, [and so forth] need [Metro police’s Joint Operations Committee] approval
  • Protests [and so forth] need Metro police and City Parks approval.

However, there has been little bylaw enforcement or consultation over park usage in the past. So it is now a struggle to educate the public about what is allowed and not allowed. Also, park maintenance has been woefully inadequate, so there is much catching up to be done.

City Parks is encouraging communities to adopt their parks to help run and maintain them. In my ward, we have User Groups for the larger parks such as Delta Park and Zoo Lake, as well as for the smaller suburban parks such as Verity Park (Parkhurst), Fearnhead Park (Parkwood) and Keith Flemming Park (Victory Park).

Furthermore, a new initiative with myself, City Parks, community groups, businesses and Joburg Property Company is working towards creating a Rosebank Crosswalk that will create new parks, a library, clinic, linkages through commercially owned properties, a new town square and upgrade old parks in the node. The Crosswalk will reinvent how we design and use parks in our City.

Residents should contact their councillor on how to set up user groups, as well as for innovative ideas on how to improve the parks and open spaces in their area.

Do you have a question for a ward councillor?

As a local newspaper, the Roodepoort Northsider provides a platform for residents to learn about, understand and follow local government. As an extension of that, there is a weekly column called Councillor’s Corner which is a platform for you, our readers, to voice your concerns or questions for ward councillors to respond to.

Different, willing, ward councillors will respond to a question each week.

E-mail your burning question to: [email protected] and let’s get the ball rolling.

Chantelle Fourie

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