Things To Do in SowetoDiepkloof Park
Where? 12257 Immink Street, Diepkloof, Soweto, Gauteng
When? Please enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)11 528-8625
How much? Free
The suburb famous for the Soweto Wine Festival - three nights of wine and festivities -, one of the founding places of kwaito (a style of hip-hop specific to South Africa) and where an estimated 40% of Jo'burg's residents live, is also home to one of the City Parks green spaces, Diepkloof Park.
Set on the eastern side of Soweto, the park is rather narrow but provides a necessary green belt that not only gives children a place to play, but also supplies picnic and braai areas. Before 2008 this was just a dusty corner of Soweto. Now it is a two hectare park known as Diepkloof XtremePark, which boasts a splash pool, a mini-soccer field and a natural amphitheatre area.
It is called an Xtreme Park because it was built in just 24 hours, earning it a gold award at the United Nations' Liveable Communities Awards in Dongguan City, China in late 2008.
It may have gone up in just a day, but it was three months in the planning. The team even calculated how many seconds it would take to lay instant grass or paving. And they included a big screen so that locals can watch local sports programmes.
The Diepkloof Xtreme Park is part of a broader City Parks project to green Soweto – the plan was to plant more than 200 000 trees by the end of 2008, so as to offset pollution and improve the environment for those living here. In the heart of the park is the Vuyani Mabaxa Memorial. Mabaxa was an ANC activist killed by the apartheid police in 1991.
Diepkloof was not the first Xtreme Park. The first was in Eldorado Park on a piece of land half the size of Diepkloof.