Save our Fun Park

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Struisbaai Water and Activity Fun Park 31 May 2018

We wish to thank all that have supported the Fun Park over the past 18 months of operation. You have helped and proven beyond any doubt the need for the park as well as the feasibility of the park and we thank you for this.
During the December 2017  and January 2018 Season and again during the following Easter holidays more than 100 people per day enjoyed the park with some days reaching over 200. The most often requested addition to the park has been the inclusion of a Super Tube Water Slide with a pool. This has been our goal from the very beginning that we have been working towards.
Unfortunately, although we have tried and will keep on trying the park at this stage is not been allowed to grow any further as we have once again been denied the opportunity to grow.
Once again, we will be facing another season without our planned Super Tube slide and other features we wanted to build.
In the words of the Municipal Manager Mr Dean O Neil we have not provided enough reasons as to why we should be allowed to carry on beyond the next +/- 19 months we have left on the lease of the ground we are situated on and must rather apply closer to the end of our contract.
Without the extension to the lease we cannot invest any further into the growth of the park.
Without further investment and growth, the park will never survive and will never reach the goals we envisioned.
From the start of this project all involved from the Municipality knew that this was a long-term project that would be built up over time. We were assured from the start that after the initial 3 years we would automatically get an extension that would then continue to be renewed.
At the end of March early April 2017, we heard stories in town that we were going to be closed down to make way for a new Shopping Mall to be built. As the municipality is our “Land Lord” we immediately went to see the Municipal Manager Mr. Dean O’Neil and the Mayor (DA) Paul Swart to try and find out what was transpiring.
The Mayor congratulated us for surviving so long. The Mayor then proceeded to tell us that we must just wait to speak to the developer about our future. We had only been open for 3 months at that stage and had already invested a substantial amount and now stood on the brink of losing it all and now we were being congratulated for surviving 3 months.
We found out that ironically the developer was one of the same persons that had objected against the park been built in its original planned location that been within the parking area next to the beach and caravan park (Duiker Street). We established further that the developer, his architect and the head of the local Business Forum were actively going behind our backs in public and in meetings telling people what an eye sore we are and that we looked like “Duiwe Hokke (Pegion Cages)” Ironically the Municipality dictated what type of buildings we were allowed to erect.
The Town Planner (Bertus Hayward) and the Municpal Manager (Dean O’Neil) who were part of the Municipal Team that dictated what we may build and do and that approved our plans had the following to say when we applied for our extension.

Ek ondersteun glad nie die verlenging nie. Die ontwikkeling is glad nie op ‘n standaard wat mens by die ingang van die dorp wil sien nie. Dit doen esteties afbreek aan die waarde van die omgewing.
There are two things here that we need to take into account when commenting. The legal opinion on Vishuis regarding the use of public property for commercial purposes, and confirmed by the NT, which constitutes a PPP, as well as the application for the purchase of the land for the development of a mini mall and parking area.

If these are their reasons then WHY did they give us permission in the first place build the Park? Why did they approve the Building Plans? Why did they approve the contract to lease the land?
Anyone who has lived in this area knows that nothing grows overnight and very little actual does grow in our soil here. We have planted hundreds of plants of varying types some have taken and some have not. We have planted and now have growing (survived) more than 30 trees and more than 200 shrubs (plants) We have continued and it is our intention to continue to the very end to keep planting more and more in our efforts to transform what was once a weed invested open space into an attractive looking garden.
Our contract with the municipality was to expire at the end of September 2019 after we applied for a 9-year extension we received a 4-month extension until the end of January 2020 effectively this allows us 2 more seasons before we will be forced to close down.
Word on the street (Unconfirmed) is that the Shopping Mall is now no longer on the plans for Struisbaai but yet again our request for an extension to our contract is being denied effectively sabotaging the future of the park. There are those that seem to want us to fail.
We will not be surprised if now that we have gone public with our version of what has and is transpiring that they will now start looking in earnest for reasons to close us down even earlier.

With your continued support we will continue to fight this battle and we will continue to try our best in providing you with a fun safe environment for you and your children for as long as we are allowed to.

Please help us to get our lease extended by at least a further 3 years if not longer. 


Gavin and Elizabeth Eyles

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