Residents want ball court fenced

Residents say the basketball court attracts criminal elemants and want it fenced.

Residents of Ruskin Road in Parklands want a basketball court in their road fenced to keep criminals out, but the City says it’s an open space and everybody has a right to use it.

One of the residents, Keena Strachan, said they wanted the courtyard fenced and gates installed at its two entrances. Adjacent properties were being damaged because there was no netting to stop stray balls, she said.

Criminals, she claimed, were also using the courtyard as an escape route.

After Ms Strachan started a WhatsApp street group two years ago, residents have been able to keep each other up to date about activity in the street.

“We have appealed to the Parklands Homeowners’ Association (PHOA) to help us get these upgrades but have had no luck. We have gone as far as saying that we will fork out the money ourselves for the fence but still nothing,” said Ms Strachan.

She, or one of the other residents, was prepared to lock and unlock the gates in the mornings and evenings for residents coming to and from work, she said.

Sandy Jooste said calling the basketball court a problem was an understatement.

“Just last week, a few SAPS vans pulled up at the courtyard and were chasing someone through the pathway.

“The criminals hide in the bushes. They smoke boom at the back of my house,” said Ms Jooste.

She said emails to the City’s recreation and parks department asking for a fence to stop the stray balls had been met with the same assurance – that it was “in the process” of being done – for the past two years.

“I can’t count how many times I’ve had to fix my electric fence because of a ball that’s been kicked against it. It costs me between R800 to a R1 000 for a call-out fee. They’ve kicked it so hard it’s broken through my fence and bathroom window.”

PHOA spokesman Eric Basson said the association had referred the issue to Ward 107 councillor Nicky Rheeder and the City’s recreation and parks department.

“We have been following up with them on an ongoing basis since the matter was first reported to us.

“During our most recent communication with Councillor Rheeder, she advised that this specific application is on their list of applications and that she was meeting with the sub-council chair Johannes Brand and Desmond Baart from City parks to finalise some information with regards to these kinds of applications and that feedback would be provided once the process is complete. Any changes to any parks would be at the discretion of the City of Cape Town,” said Mr Basson.

City of Cape Town spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo said any security upgrades that might result in gated access to the court, “can only be considered after proper consultation through a public participation process”.

And he said “further engagement” was needed with the homeowners’ association to see what it could do to curb crime near the court.

The recreation and parks department was considering putting netting behind the basketball hoops. But that could only happen if there was a budget and an approved maintenance plan, he said.