The Hoosain Parker Sports Field has been a constant target of theft and vandalism, which is adversely affecting the Parkwood community that makes use of the facility. Although it is an open public space, its primary purpose is to serve as an amenity for soccer and netball matches. Recreational activity has been hampered as the complex has been stripped by thieves and vandals.
“Within a month they stole everything that you could take to the scrapyard,” said Parkwood councillor William Akim.
Although the area has strict security and fencing that secures the area and flood lights used for evening soccer matches, water metres were stripped from the facility and electrical cables were uprooted.
“The guys came at night and held knives, batons and guns at security threatening them,” Akim explained.
The City of Cape Town upgraded the area with changing rooms and a minor hall. These changing rooms which were used by players and spectators have been defaced and are currently out of order due to vandalism. The minor hall housing special occasions by community members has been left in ruins.
“It’s sad now as when the soccer is being played, there is no water, nowhere for players to change and also members of the community can longer use the facility for weddings, parties and meetings,” says Akim.
Due a slow response from the police when reporting these incidents, the community formed a neighbourhood watch. Members of the community, particularly the Soccer League Fraternity, have collaborated to form a neighbourhood watch to fight the issue.
Fear has been instilled in the community by these perpetrators who are notoriously known in the area.
“We need to break the silence and speak out against these perpetrators because that is the only way we can solve the problem,” says Akim.
The community approached leaders and councillors in the area regarding the issue but due to fear they have not reported the suspects. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)