May/June 2014 update

IQ BUSINESS – About 25 staff arrived and once again thank you to Mica Hardware in Parkmore who gave us discounts and the paint, oil, turps and brushes the Dinosaur is again bright and cheerful and the Jungle Gym well oiled for another year.
This year IQ Business contacted me after their visit and donated the cost of the paint etc. R2779.60 in total. A huge thank you for this generous double donation of time and money.

SPRUIT DAY 2014 – This huge combined effort to clean the Braamfontein Spruit from it’s start in the
South to its end in the North involved a multitude of people, RP Assoc., clubs, Scouts, Schools, businesses and many more with the support of Jo’burg City Parks.

FOFS was part of it and we thank Brescia House School for their participation with three teachers and 23 girls who did a fine job in the river. Approx. 35 people came to do their part on a rather cold day.
Thank you to Julien Oertel and his Company The Works Group who came with his entire staff and cut down all the poplar saplings that have been growing and spreading at a rate of knots at the South end of the Park. We will deal with them when they start growing in Spring.

WEST BANK RAID – The Metro Police/Park Rangers raided the West Bank on a Sunday morning and burnt ALL the possessions – clothes, blankets,water bottles, important documents etc – of approx. 16 squatters. It was 7deg. that night. They then repeated this by coming back on Tuesday and did the same to more of them assaulting three in the process. I confirmed that they do not have the legal right to destroy property and assaulting them is just that, Assault by those who should uphold the law.
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the Park squatters and I am happy to discuss these should anyone wish to.
This thuggery is NOT the way to solve the squatter problem. It is a far more complex issue that needs to be dealt with by Council and various Depts. Interesting to note that on the Thursday the Metro guys were back at the Bank “tidying up” but I had already got photographic evidence.

I was SO angry at these totally unacceptable incidents that I contacted the Depts. responsible and a meeting was arranged with them and some members of the public who had complained about the squatter issue. We know they shouldn’t be there, the squatters know it and are not there by choice. It is not just the West bank of the Park, it is a common problem along all Sandton’s rivers. We are dealing with human beings who are not going to disappear in a puff of smoke. The issue was discussed with all parties at the meeting and “solutions” were proposed, one being Council “Shelters” in town. Out of the question as these men are not paid enough for two taxi fares into town, food and no place to keep possessions. We will wait and see what feedback and action is forthcoming.

I hope to be well and back at the Park by mid July. ——————— Rose Johnson

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