The KwaZulu Natal province is known as South Africa’s playground because of its warm weather for most months of the year, enabling both locals and visitors to enjoy extended time outdoors in parks or at the seas. However, like most parts of the country, contact crime is a reality and this has often led to public spaces increasingly becoming crime hot spots and used for mischievous activities. The community of Coedmore outside Durban scored a massive boost to their park facility through a donation by South Africa’s leading cement manufacturer, AfriSam, who revamped Beacon Park, installed outdoor gym equipment, and improved overall safety.
The revamp project entails fencing around the park, a new gate, paving, one information map, five concrete braai stands, five six-seater picnic benches and tables, five recycle rubber bins, signage boards, two three-seater swings, a merry-go-round and a slide. To encourage healthy living, 18 outdoor fitness gym equipment was installed, which includes a space walker, double rowing machine and mountain walker, among others.
The park was vandalized by criminals in the area who loitered in the park due to lack of employment in the area, substance abuse and poverty. Over the years, the park was also neglected due to lack of maintenance.
The grand opening of the park was held on the 1st of September, led by AfriSam Works Manager Mr. Sagie Jaganaikulu, Regional Manager Mr Andre Potgieter, DMRE Acting Assistance Director Ms Moleboheng Sekhonyana, the Deputy Head of Parks, Recreation and culture Unit, Mr. Sibusiso Mkhwanazi along with Manager Sebastian Nasan and Ward Counselor Samantha Windvogel.
The project forms part of a continued relationship between AfriSam, DMRE and the eThekwini Municipality.
The Deputy Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit Sibusiso Mkhwanazi said the City welcomes the donation. “Business’ play an important role in assisting the Municipality and AfriSam has definitely stepped up”.
“The surrounding community will greatly benefit as the park previously did not have any attractive facilities. Now that this partnership has been accepted, we are confident that the park will be safer, and the community will enjoy the new facilities,” Mkhwanazi added.
“At AfriSam, our aim is to support the municipality and create concrete opportunities for our people by making sustainable contributions towards the communities surrounding our operations. With this donation, we hope that this space will change from a high crime zone to a fun filled family and recreational space”, says Senzi Mabaso, Community Development Specialist, AfriSam.
“We are excited and grateful for what AfriSam has done for us. The park now looks beautiful and we look forward to training and having good times”, a beneficiary concluded.