Drugging, drinking and urinating in public are among the ills plaguing a Goodwood park, say residents who blame the City for letting things fester.
Bill and Mimi Louw have lived near Combrinck Park for the past 25 years and they are unhappy about the state it’s in.
“People urinate and sleep along the Vibracrete wall. At night, cars pull up along Kimberley Street and (the occupants) drink and throw beer bottles on the grounds of the park,” Mr Louw said.
The couple want the park fenced off.
Goodwood Ratepayers’ Association chairman Faizel Petersen said he emailed several complaints about the park to the City.
“We should keep all our parks at the same standard, as all ratepayers should enjoy well-maintained public parks, as they ultimately pay rates for it. Service departments should schedule quarterly maintenance and regular cleansing of our parks, as we also had reports of damaged alcohol bottles at the play areas where children play, which compromises their safety,” he said.
Giniel Cornelissen, who stays across the way from the park, on the corner of Kimberley and Merriman streets, said it had been in a bad state for two years.
“The park is more sandy than anything else. Every Sunday, a soccer game is played on the park, and dust clouds form, which means we cannot sit with our windows open,” he said.
Mr Cornelissen said he called City law enforcement every Sunday, but they never come out.
“They always arrive here a day or even a week, sometimes two weeks, after the time. I received an email that they only work during office hours. Until then, the 15-plus soccer players further damage the park. I said in my last two emails that I would go to the newspapers. I didn’t want too, but it’s getting too bad for us,” he said.
Both Mr Cornelissen and Mr Petersen sent Northern News the list of emails they had sent to Ward 27 councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg complaining about the park.
When Northern News visited the park on Friday February 22 and a resident who did not want to named said it had been the scene of several muggings.
“People are robbed, while they walk over the park during the afternoons and the park is strewn with litter,” he said.
Goodwood police spokesman Captain Waynne Theunis confirmed there had been muggings reported in the park, but most times residents complained about vagrancy.
“We receive many calls from residents about Combrinck Park, but we can only act on criminal activities. Not all of the vagrants are criminals. We don’t have jurisdiction to remove or arrest vagrants for loitering; that is an issue for the City. The homeless are removed many times but just return the next day,” he said.
Ms Janse van Rensburg said it was the first time she had heard about the issue.
“The ratepayers and residents have not contacted me, the ward office or the sub-council with regards to complaints related to a park in Kimberley Street,” she said. There are two public open spaces in Kimberley Street – these are not established parks. Residents should channel their complaints to the City and the police.
“Municipal law enforcement officials will respond to complaints related to noise, littering and consumption of alcohol in public. In terms of maintenance, the City Parks department will attend to service delivery requests logged. The City will respond to complaints logged through the correct channels. To fence, a public open space, is dependent on budget availability,” she said.