UP students restore Hatfield Community Park

Posted on October 25, 2019

The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Department of Facilities Management, with the help of students enrolled in the Community-Based Project Module (JCP) of the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT), recently restored a neglected public park. The park was previously owned by the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, but is now the property of the University of Pretoria.

A ceremony to mark the official opening was held at the park, located on the corner of Richard and Burnett streets in Hatfield, Pretoria, outside the gates of UP’s Hillcrest Sports Campus.

The park was previously owned by the City of Tshwane

According to Professor Susan Adendorff, Director: Facilities Management, “After visiting the neglected park with my colleagues earlier this year, we realised that it was in a bad state and we approached Dr Martina Jordaan, the lecturer responsible for the JCP module, and decided that this is the ideal vehicle for the JCP project. We agreed that this is a community project on our doorstep, for the community by the University.

“I am proud to be an alumna of EBIT, and I think this is wonderful. I am glad these students are interested in continuing with other phases to make this park more beautiful.”

UP came to own the land the park is situated upon after a land swap agreement with the City of Tshwane, which wanted to acquire a Hammanskraal property previously owned by the University.

Professor Susan Adendorff makes the opening official as she cuts the ribbon.

Mechanical Engineering student Altus Bisschoff, who was project manager, said it was a privilege to have led the project to restore the park and to have served the community of Hatfield.

“We decided to make a multi-generational, multi-functional park to cater for pensioners, school kids and exercisers. This is phase one. There is a master plan for the future, in which we envision this park being transformed into a fully functional community park with lots of playground equipment and outdoor gym equipment.”

Ward 82 Councillor Siobhan Muller said she was excited about the project and that it was an example of how the City of Tshwane had envisioned the effect of its adopt-a spot-campaign, which encourages the rehabilitation of unused communal areas.

She congratulated UP for having taken the initiative to create a recreational space where members of the community can enjoy themselves and children can play.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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