Skaters damage park

The make-shift ramps made by skaters using the bricks removed from the walkway.

Skaters have been removing paving from Hout Bay Common to set up makeshift ramps, according to locals who say it could cause injuries.

Jennifer Schutter, of Hout Bay, jogs through the park daily and was nearly the first casualty when she stepped into a hole, but she only suffered a slight twist.

“Just before I entered the park, my phone actually rang, and I slowed down to answer it. If I had been running at my normal pace, I would have had more force and I probably would have broken my ankle,” she said.

“What if somebody’s phone doesn’t ring next time?”

Later that afternoon, she had revisited the park and found skaters using the bricks as ramps, she said.

“I explained and showed them what it had done. I don’t think they mean to harm anybody, because quite clearly they are bored.”

Shadrick Buffkins uses the doggy park on the common daily and said he had seen people removing bricks, especially from the holes already created.

“There are a few areas which have been affected. People make bicycle obstacles and also skate ramps out of the bricks. What they never do is put it back. It should never have been removed, but at least put it back.”

The holes in the pavement were especially dangerous for senior citizens, he said.

“If their cane or even wheelchair goes into one they could lose their balance and end up on the floor. Vandalism can lead to others being hurt in the process.”

Earlier this year, ward councillor Roberto Quintas showed the Sentinel News improvements at the park(“Big plans for Hout Bay park,” Sentinel News, April 10 2020).

Sub-council chairman Matthew Kempthorne said the City would not tolerate vandalism at public facilities.

“I cannot understand why this will be done in such a manner. It’s really not on. It’s like you cutting your nose off to spite your face,” he said.

He added that the City was appealing to national government to ease some lockdown regulations, especially those governing outdoor activity, and if that happened it could see the reopening of the Eyethu Skatepark.

“We just feel as if some of the regulations do not make sense and that is why we have opened talks,” he said.

Mr Kempthorne appealed to the public to report vandalism at the park.

“Be vigilant and keep an eye out for people who are vandalising the park, because there is really no reason to do these kinds of things. This can also be very dangerous and could lead to some serious injuries,” he said.

“The City has to end forking out thousands of rand to restore these areas and fix the damages.”

Sentinel News approached several skaters at the park about this issue, but they declined to comment or have their pictures taken.

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