South Africa: Children Use Electricity Pylon As Jungle Gym

22 January 2020

Residents of PE township where four children died after playing on rubbish dump call for recreational facilities

Electricity pylons are used as a jungle gym by children in Port Elizabeth's NU29 and NU30 locations. Their parents want the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to develop playgrounds.

Residents GroundUp spoke to complained that their children often risk their lives by playing in sewage-filled drains or under the high voltage pylons.

In December four children in NU30 died, possibly after eating toxic food while playing on a rubbish dump near their houses. Residents blamed the municipality for not providing playgrounds and for not collecting garbage, while the municipality put the blame on illegal dumping.

NU29 and NU30 fall under ward 54, an area to which thousands of housing beneficiaries in the municipality are being relocated.Resident Siphokazi Manana said: "The need for playgrounds for our children has been raised at several IDP meetings but nothing has been done to provide such facilities. There is a public park in NU12 but it is far from here."

Mayoral spokesperson George Geleba said that the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for ward 54 provided for a recreational park to be installed by end of May 2020.

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