Things To Do in SowetoOrlando West Regional Park
Where? Armitage Street and Klipspruitvalley Road, Orlando West, Soweto, Gauteng.
When? Please Enquire.
How? Call +27 (0)11 712-6664 or +27 (0)11 712-6658
How much? Free
The park in Orlando West, Soweto, opened on Peace Day 21 September 2009 on what used to be a dry piece of land with little greenery, overlooking the Orlando Stadium.
The park is not only a series of sport and recreation equipment though. It does have swings, a netball and basketball court, a professional-size football pitch and a 1km jogging track, but it also has around 300 olive trees and other indigenous trees to give the park an atmosphere to match its theme of 'birds and butterflies'. Orlando West is one of the Township TV screen parks, installed before the soccer World Cup in 2010 to broadcast sports matches and other programmes during the day. There is a lawn to accompany this, braai areas, and an irrigation system to make sure that the greenery remains. The park cost R16 million to produce.
Orlando West Park forms part of an intended group of 36 interlinked park nodes or open spaces along the Klip river and Klipspruit. Orlando West, Dlamini Eco Park and Mofolo Park were created along similar designs with environmental themes as the major parks along this route. Another 33 sites will join these three new parks as part of the greening of Soweto.
Orlando West park was built on a wetland theme to tie in the wetland at the lower end of the park. There is also a water play feature for children, and artwork by community artists of dragonflies and birds.
The land on which the park lies used to be a dump site, which produced a number of challenges – particularly soil quality for growing trees and plants. But the other challenge was negotiations with the 24 families living on the site with their cattle, who needed to be relocated. People from the community have been employed to maintain the park.