A Bellville councillor hopes the multi-million rand upgrades to Elizabeth Park and surrounds will return the park to its former glory.
A tender was awarded last year for the planned upgrades to Bellville library and Elizabeth Park.
They started in September and include new pathways and lighting, river rehabilitation and the installation of CCTV cameras. A coffee shop will be set up in the library and a plaza will be built nearby.
Area north Mayco member Suzette Little said the project was part of broader improvements to the Voortrekker Road corridor.
The park, she said, had become rundown and home to drug dealing, public drinking, vagrancy, prostitution, theft and other ills.
“Bellville library had experienced a decline in users due to the negative activities in the park,” she said.
Last year, JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security, and social services, said the library had seen its visitor numbers drop by more than 30 000 from 2015 to 2016 (“Bellville library upgrades gain momentum”, Northern News, August 24).
Ward 10 councillor Jacoline Visser said she was excited about the upgrades planned for the whole CBD.
“We cannot look at the park upgrades as an entity but rather look at the bigger picture – including the upgrade of Kruskal Avenue, Church and Willshamer streets and the Bellville public transport interchange, the extension of the University of the Western Cape’s campus as well as the upgrading of the library.”
She said the park should be a place where everyone could enjoy their lunch in peace without feeling threatened.
“The older residents always tell stories of how they took their marriage photos in the park. We want to own the park for Bellville residents,” she said.
The project is expected to be complete by September.