More improvements are in the pipeline for Hout Bay Common which will no doubt be welcomed by residents as soon as the threat of Covid-19 is over. The space already boasts a picnic area, trim park, dog walking facility, bicycle track, skating ramps, new trees and a playpark.
“This is a massive communal area if it’s enjoyed by all the communities of Hout Bay and it’s so central to everything as well as being located on a major thoroughfare and I developed this vision to start reclaiming this entire space,” said ward councillor Roberto Quintas.
Andrews Park was the first to be completed at the start of Mr Quintas’ term as ward councillor, followed by the implementation of the dog park and then lastly, the old gym equipment was moved to a new location at the common, with extra equipment added to create the outdoor gym.
“I have always maintained that my ward allocation would go towards public infrastructure that is free for the public to use and that improves the public open spaces that exists already.
“I like visual things and I like for people to see where their rates and taxes are going,” Mr Quintas said.
Next on the radar is further improving the dog park by adding more features such as obstacle courses and training equipment, before moving onto the space directly opposite the dog park. This space completes the Hout Bay Common and the vision is to introduce a bandstand, with walking trails and landscaping features for the public to use.
“I want this to become a one-stop area for the entire family, with a whole host of activities and things for them to do, including your dogs,” Mr Quintas said, confirming that his vision for the space could become a reality within the next three years.
Some locals were excited at the prospect of the space being further improved.
Janine Willliamson from Hout Bay has two boys and loves to jog through the area.
After hearing some of the prospective plans, she said: “Those sound very exciting as this space has some huge potential and it could really be lit up with some of these ideas.”
Talks of a bandstand was especially exciting for her, adding that she would love the thought of community concerts being hosted in this area.
“That entire section was a dead space a few years back and by adding these features to the space, it’s bringing life back into the area,” Ms Williamson said.
“The thought of a picnic while watching your kids in their school concert is quite cool actually.”
Attention then shifted to the Salamander Park, with a number of concerns having been raised about the poor state of the park, with some missing features and equipment, (“Playtime blues at Salamander Park”, Sentinel News, March 20).
A fire had destroyed a mural which had been on the walls surrounding the park for about five months.
“The mural was really amazing and it was really sad to see it destroyed in this manner. We are trying to get the artist who originally painted the mural, but for now, we will just have to fill in the gaps that were destroyed,” Mr Quintas said.
At the centre of all the confusion was the unfinished putt putt course, which was not completed as contractors could not get hold of the material for the rubberised surface.
“The suppliers had run out of this material and therefore, the project came to a halt. But we are planning to finish it very soon, with this financial year,” Mr Quintas confirmed.
The City also plans to plant some new trees and possibly close come access points in order to better secure the recreational space.
“We have managed to work the budget around a bit and make some funds available to repair the gates again as well as the panels.
“I do not want to get to a point where we wash our hands and walk away from a community. Hopefully this community will take ownership of the space and assist the City in trying to protect these assets,” Mr Quintas said.