The plantation section Lower Tokai enjoys extensive use by families, horse-riders, cyclists, joggers and dog-walkers, whereas the dense and often head-height fynbos section is mostly ignored for recreational purposes. Squeezed into this small area, which is perceived to be safe as a result of the visibility provided by the planation, users have come to accommodate and respect each other – and share the same concerns for an area of safe multi-purpose recreation.
Following the brutal murder of Franziska Blöchliger in March 2016, a critical focus for Tokai Park is “Safety First!”
Creation of a community-focused and environmentally-friendly informal urban park that includes sun and shade, biodiversity conservation, culture and heritage, education and above all, safe recreation to meet the needs of existing and new users of the Lower Tokai Park area (the entire area within the 4km bike/walking track).
- Working with the greater community, including SANParks, SANBI, the City, local neighbourhood watches and other interested and affected stakeholder groups and NGOs, to create an area of open, shaded and safe recreation and conservation for all, which also meets climate change and the associated increased need for treed areas.
- Accommodate the needs of all community members – indigenous peoples, conservationists, ramblers, dog walkers, horse-riders, runners, cyclists, families.
- Ensure the community’s rights to health and well-being in the area.
- Strive to create an inclusive community enterprise that breaks down existing social barriers by working with other interested and affected stakeholders.
- Create safe children’s play and adventure areas.
- Create an indigenous garden of remembrance using a labyrinth for reflection for those who have brutally lost their lives while on the cusp of life itself.
- Create a shaded grassed area for picnics and events.
- Identify and create areas for parking.
- Create a working medicine garden for traditional healers working with the “bossie” doctors of Westlake and Steenberg, working with experts in this field.
- Create and maintain heritage and cultural programmes.
- Create educational awareness within the Park pertaining to biodiversity, conservation, culture and heritage.
- Seek to create employment and opportunities for community members, particularly those from Westlake.
- Provide opportunities for social upliftment through a Westlake-focussed craft market and the working herb and medicine garden.
- Provide opportunities for local tourism.
- Retain stands of existing pines for at least ten years as a canopy under which Afrotemperate, indigenous and non-invasive Mediterranean species can be grown. This buffer zone to be adjacent to a parallel strip of low, fire-proof ground-cover juxtaposed to the central core of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos.
- Create good visibility below 3 m and at the same time reduce fire risk beneath the treed canopy.
- Create low growing fynbos “gardens” between the perimeters of the “forested” and core conservation area.
- Protect and preserve critically endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos contained within the existing central and northern sections of the park, while ensuring suitable density and height restrictions.
- Protect and preserve existing fauna.
- Protect, preserve and maintain riverine corridors.
- Provide safety for users through visible patrolling, wider paths and viewing platforms.
- Provide protection to the urban edge from crime and fire.
- Maintain several wide paths suitable for fire access and horse riders.
- Retain and maintain existing perimeter path for joggers and other users.