Hopes for light on Die Oog

The electronic lock is broken so Friends of Die Oog chain the gate and are manually opening and closing it.

The Friends of Die Oog (FODO) want to install floodlights at the wetland and are appealing for funding to do this.

Incoming chairman of the Friends group, Brett Castel, said they would like the spotlights to be erected from Lubbe’s lookout.

“There is no existing lighting to Die Oog other than in the surrounding roads. We would like to put the call out to the community for donations to assist in the varied maintenance issues we are faced with now that there is no more financial support from the City,” said Mr Castel.

Funding of R1 700 a month from the City stopped at the end of July last year. It paid for a part-time caretaker (“Spotlight on Die Oog”, Bulletin August 23). Mr Castel said the City does, however, continue to assist where possible with various upgrades like the new paving, which FODO was very grateful for.

Paddy Hawthorne, who has lived in the area for over 40 years, had never heard of Die Oog until recently. Sometime ago she packed a picnic and took her 6-year-old grandson there.

“It’s such a beautiful, clean, peaceful spot – and what a pleasure to feel safe surrounded by nature in a little spot that is as secluded as Die Oog is,” she said.

When her 10-year-old grandson heard about the picnic he also wanted to go. However, they were disappointed to find a notice saying that the gate had no electricity and therefore couldn’t be opened.

Mr Castel said it was not a an electricity supply issue.

“We’ve met with City officials on-site numerous times to find the problem and fix it to no avail and do not have a deadline from the City as to when it will be fixed,” said Mr Castel.

Meanwhile the Friends chain the gate in the evenings and there is a sign notifying visitors that they are manually opening and closing it.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security and social services, said the City was responsible for the maintenance of the lighting and the gate at Die Oog.

“There’s currently no problem with the electricity supply and power is available. There is, however, a fault with the gate release mechanism and this is in the process of being repaired,” said Mr Smith.

A temporary lock and chain had been provided to the Friends group, he said. Mr Smith said he expected the gate to be fixed within the next two weeks once the City had appointed a contractor. The Friends of Die Oog unlock the gate at 8.30am and then lock up again at 5.30pm. For further details about Die Oog, email admin@dieoog.org.za, or call Janine Ayrton at 021 715 2736.