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City Parks was out in force, cutting back overgrown grass, cleaning verges and picking up litter on open space during its third Blitz Wednesday.

City Parks senior manager Lunga Ncapai helps outCity Parks senior manager Lunga Ncapai helps outOVERGROWN shrubs that had become a nuisance and a hiding place for criminals were cut back by a mass of Johannesburg City Parks employees in an on-going campaign called Blitz Wednesdays. This time, Mofolo Central got the treatment.

On the morning of Wednesday, 18 April, some 120 City Parks workers were on the ground, pruning trees, picking up litter and cutting grass in an open field. Heavy duty tractors were used to cut the overgrown foliage.

Blitz Wednesdays, is an on-going initiative designed by City Parks to speed up service delivery and to tackle the backlog caused by heavy rains which delayed its schedule for cutting grass. It has been rolled out in all Joburg regions.

On the day, community members pitched in to help; some raked up grass, while others cleared up refuse dumped illegally. By mid-day, the field was cleared and immaculate.

The community, which had complained about the overgrown field for a long time, was at peace, with the hope that criminals would no longer have a place to hide out.

Lunga Ncapai, City Parks' senior manager for Region D, said the utility would continue identifying open spaces that need attention through the campaign. "Every Wednesday we will keep visiting various wards to identify areas that need attention to ensure that we keep our public spaces well maintained.

"The reason is that we are trying to curb the backlog of the past months, is because we had a lot of rain so we could not cover all the areas."

Maintenance
Cutting long grassCutting long grassNcapai commended the community of Mofolo Central for helping to clean the area. "We are encouraging the community to be part and parcel of the initiative. This will, in a way, instil community ownership."

The field would now be scheduled for regular cleaning. "We are going to ensure that all the areas cleaned up during Blitz Wednesdays are regularly maintained. This will be guided by our cleaning schedule."

He said public spaces were scheduled for maintenance every 120 days.

Blitz Wednesdays, now in its third week, will run for two months. In Region D, it began in Noordgesig and then moved to Avalon. The next blitz will be in Freedom Park. For now, Ncapai said there was a possibility that the campaign would be extended.

Zet Zingitwa, a senior member of the community who lives on Kgobutla Street, opposite the field, was delighted with the work after the community had long pleaded to have the grass cut.

"Look at this place now; it is clean, just like the olden days when I was growing up. We used to play soccer on this field and have weddings here," he said.

Zingitwa said the community suffered from the crime that the bushes hid. "We are happy that criminals will no longer have a place to hide. From now, we ask Johannesburg City Parks to maintain and keep this area safe."

It was alleged that the bushy area was used to cultivate illegal drugs, Zingitwa added.

Source: Joburg.org.za