The multi-million rand Seawinds Smart Park, near Lavender Hill in Cape Town has been reduced to a pile of rubble and ash after criminals vandalised the recreational space developed by the City.

The facility, which cost approximately R7.6 million, was unveiled 16 months ago and included world-class features like a water-play area, a multipurpose playground, and an outdoor exercise are among other things.

Zahid Badroodien, MMC for Community Services and Health, notes that these features are now burned to ash, vandalised or stolen. “The park has been damaged to such an extent that it is unrecognisable as the same space it was when it opened.”

The City of Cape Town has been plagued with vandalism of municipal infrastructure in recent months.  The municipality has had to face relentless attacks on its public transport system with both road and rail infrastructure taking a beating from vandalism.

“The City cannot fight the scourge of vandalism and destruction alone. Each one of us needs to be more responsible. We must report acts of vandalism and theft to the police and law enforcement as and when we witness them. This requires both active citizenry and exercising our moral duty to do what is right,” Badroodien explains.

Clamping down on damage to rail infrastructure

Meanwhile the municipality together with Metrorail and the Western Cape Government embarked on inspection of scrapyards around the City in an effort to curtail metal theft in the rail environment. Arrests were made in the Woodstock and Claremont-Rondebosch area.

Felicity Purchase, the City’s MMC for Transport says she is eager to see more commuters returning to rail. “The Rail Enforcement Unit’s efforts to curtail metal theft will, over time, resonate in a more stable and reliable rail service which will ensure that this mode of transport becomes the first choice for those who are travelling to and from work.”

Minister of Transport and Public Works and Chairperson of the RMTT, Donald Grant, adds that he believes that the work being done by the Rail Enforcement Unit will go a long way towards discouraging would-be criminals from stealing property and damaging Metrorail infrastructure.