Things To Do in LanseriaVisit Diepsloot Park
Where? N14 Highway, Diepsloot, Johannesburg, Gauteng
How? Call +27 (0)11 712-6600
How much? Free
The township of Diepsloot lies to the north of Johannesburg - a densely populated area of the city made up predominantly of shacks, with a smaller percentage of brick homes and government subsidised housing, in which 150 000 people - at last count - live. Green space is a commodity in one of the poorest areas of the city.
Diepsloot Park is close to the N14 highway. It was the first park in Johannesburg to get a Township TV (part of a venture to bring sports events to poorer communities) and the second park to recently get an outdoor gym - a series of exercise bikes, chest and back massagers, elliptical cross trainers, leg-press trainers, parallel bars and pull chairs.
The gym is aimed at redressing the rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes in the country, and at encouraging an outdoor lifestyle. The park has 24 hour security, and the township has been encouraged not to invade any of the park to erect shacks.
The park itself received a facelift in 2008 to restore a sense of pride in the community in the lead up to the World Cup, and it has playground equipment that includes a slide and swings, various sports facilities like soccer pitches and a netball court, benches and a water channel. 25 trees were planted in 2010 to provide shade.
The TV screen, which transmits sports events over weekends, is specially designed for daytime viewing. During the week, the focus shifts and education programmes are on offer. But the park isn't about the TV screen, it's about the green space and the chance it offers children to get off the streets.