City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


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For the past few decades Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo has been receiving grants from G S Elkin Residuary Trust. The late George Elkin was a frequent user of Johannesburg’s parks and would lodge a formal request for park benches whenever he visited the facility. When Mr Elkin passed away, funds from the G S Elkin Residuary Trust were set aside to contribute to Johannesburg City Parks for adequate benches and seating facilities for the benefit of the public using the parks.

Here's how one participant in the third edition of this unique event, which took place on 29 May, describes his experience in an email published here (surname omitted) in full:

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 (Photo: Smart benches in the Inner City.)

Late 2016, Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo approached the Trust to enquire if they would support the design and installation of smart benches in the Inner City. Metro Park was chosen as the preferred site for the pilot project and the first installation was concluded in December 2016.

Isabelo came on board to install the stand alone smart bench, entirely solar powered free Wi-Fi hotspot for public use complete with USB charging points, night lighting and easy seating. The name Isabelo is derived from the Zulu word “to share” and the smart bench is all about sharing, sharing a seat, sharing a public space and sharing content online.


Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo is hopeful that businesses will support this innovation as it attracts an increase in the number of users, is safe to use due to its proximity to the security guard house in the park and will further provide JCPZ with statistics on user patterns in facilities that have been identified to accommodate smart benches in the Inner City.