Scene 3: Meeting with the Project Members

28 October 2013

Backstory: The first day’s plan involved meeting with the liaison of our project, Joseph Strydom, the area manager within the Parks Department of what includes Maitland Garden Village. This was an important meeting for us, as we were unable to speak with him about the logistics of the project before arriving in Cape Town. We were eager to gain a solid understanding of the project and what was expected of us so that we could get things underway.

scene 3

Cast of Characters:

MGV Park Team: Lucine, Tyler, Katherine, Zack

City of Cape Town Parks Department: Joseph Strydom, Jude Carolissen, Nigel

Community Members: Ronell Trout, Gavin Jacobs


Setting: City of Cape Town Parks Department, Joseph Strydom’s Office



We entered Joseph Strydom’s office, peering inside the room from the hallway. To our comfort, was very welcoming and friendly. We sat around the table in his office and were introduced to various people including, Nigel, Joseph Strydom’s “right-hand man”, and Jude Carolissen, project manager. Joseph explained that Basil Tommy, who had community consensus on redeveloping Perseverance Park, approached him with the project idea to redevelop the play area. Joseph asked us to collect community input on what they would like to see in the park and to create a proposal to present to the City Parks Department. Thus far, the councilors from the community have R100,000 for the project and the Parks Department is trying to match this amount. It was noted that the redevelopment will not be occurring within this financial year, but over the span of about three years. Fencing, an aspect of the project that we had previously researched, was brought to the table. Fencing in the park would be costly. It costs R3000 for one panel of steel palisade fencing. Jude seemed to favor steel palisade fencing because it is most cost effective, permeable, and easy to repair. Jude also expressed interest in expanding the basketball court, adding central equipment such as swings, and securing the area to reduce vandalism.

We left the meeting with a plan to walk around the village tomorrow, introduce ourselves, and begin asking the community what they think of the park and how it can be improved. We plan to meet our co-researchers tomorrow and begin developing a relationship with them. We discussed the options of speaking with the crèche principle and other members of the community. With the plan to meet again tomorrow, Ronell and Gavin walked us to the Pinelands train station where we bought our tickets and headed back to the lodge after a productive first day.



Entering this meeting, we all had our own ideas about what should happen through the process of park redevelopment. For example, after researching steel palisade fencing, our opinion was that it does not provide a natural environment for optimal childhood development in a park setting. However after hearing the concerns of community members and the members of the City Parks Department, we understand the importance of safety for the children within the park. Hearing other people’s opinions, especially those of community members, brought to our attention things that we had not necessarily thought of before we arrived in Cape Town. We are looking forward to gaining more insight from them in order to make the park a safe and fun environment that the village will thoroughly enjoy and benefit from.