The Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato, officially opened the new 105 ha Green Point Park on Wednesday at a glittering function during which he also welcomed Parliamentarians and other dignitaries to the city for the President's State of the Nation address and the opening of Parliament.
On a balmy, beautiful and windless Cape Town evening, with the sun setting softly, hundreds of invited guests strolled through the new park and biodiversity garden in the shadow of the new Cape Town Stadium to the sounds of a string quartet and later a Caledonian pipe band.
The mayor welcomed each guest as they walked along the red carpet into the set of adjoining marquees, where a sumptuous feast and live entertainment awaited them. In his welcoming speech, he said the event had been organised to “celebrate this park and the amazing achievements of our country, its potential”. He described the countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, during which the Green Point Park was laid out and the surrounding golf course and Green Point Common reconfigured, saying that the city gained R13-billion worth of new and upgraded infrastructure, including transport, facilities and public spaces.
“We talked much about the legacy of the World Cup™. Where we are gathered tonight is a legacy. We are formally opening this park tonight. It belongs to all Capetonians and we will have a celebration with our residents here,” he said.
“It is a place to walk, relax, and play sport,” he added.
One of the other main legacy benefits from the tournament was the introduction of the MyCiTi transport network to revolutionise safe public transport in Cape Town, he said. He also paid tribute to the politicians and diplomats gathered, thanking them for their support and for making the event a success, adding that Cape Town is and always will be a part of Team South Africa. The World Cup™ was a proud and defining moment for all the people of South Africa, he said. “We all experienced something very special that comes only once in a lifetime.” He also mentioned the challenges in delivering basic services to all residents of the city, and overcoming the many obstacles through a collective effort.
After his speech, the evening kicked into party mode, with Master of Ceremonies, former Miss South Africa and current Top Billing presenter Jo-Ann Strauss keeping the crowd enthralled between a line-up of top South African artists, including the M-Net Idols’ winners Elvis Blue and Lloyd Cele, Loyiso Bala, Nicolas Louw, Jennifer Jones and The Rudimentals.
Meanwhile, those wanting to get some fresh air and take a break from the music could be seen strolling through sections of the park and admiring its tranquillity, as well as the spectacular backdrop of the lit-up Cape Town Stadium.
The Green Point Park is open every day from 07:00 until 19:00.
- Picnics are permitted
- Swimming, skateboarding, fires, braais, camping, loud music, flower picking and alcohol are not permitted
- Dogs are welcome in the park, provided that they are on a lead and owners pick up and dispose of their excrement. Dogs are not allowed in the biodiversity garden
- Parking is available near the entrances on the corner of Beach/Vlei Roads; on Bill Peters Drive (near the entrance to the Virgin Active gym); and on Bay Road (near the Mouille Point lighthouse). There are also numerous pedestrian links to surrounding areas
- The park has an outdoor gym and play park
Click on image to view larger version.