In the quest to revive Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal to its former glory, one resident has taken it upon himself to revive the town, one area at a time.
On Friday, 3 February 2023, Gustav van der Linde took to cleaning the park situated between Kloof Avenue and Singel Street. This involved picking up all the litter, as well as having the grass cut. He even went as far as to have the sidewalk cleared of all the long grass and weeds.
Discussing the project, van der Linde explained that he initially hailed from Kroonstad where there was an initiative called “Ignite and Revive Kroonstad”.
This campaign saw the Kroonstad Municipality, businesses and community unite as one and resolve issues within the town.
Due to the project proving to be a successful initiative in Kroonstad, van der Linde decided to launch the initiative in Newcastle. Thereby, giving the town a much needed boost in terms of positive development.
“I started to think about how to uplift Newcastle and the initiative in Kroonstaad came to mind. I tested the waters on Facebook on the Newcastle KZN: Connecting the Past & Present Page, and on Friday, I started with the park,” explained van der Linde.
Moreover, after confirming with Cllr Bertie Meiring, who gave him the go-ahead, the project officially kicked off.
“It turned out exactly as I hoped it would,” he said. While forking out the cash from his own pocket for the work, van der Linde pointed out that a number of people stopped to talk to him while he was busy.
Through the conversations, van der Linde secured sponsorships to fix and paint the park’s equipment. The sponsorship came in the form of the necessary materials and repair services.
Through the incoming sponsorships, not only will the swings and slide be repaired and painted, but so will the roundabout. According to van der Linde, the park equipment should be restored within the next two weeks.
“After the park was tidied up, children came to thank me and they are excited that we are going to have the park equipment repaired,” he added.
With the work at the park coming to a close, van der Linde emphasised that he would like to see this project continue throughout Newcastle and gain momentum.
“I am going to have to see how this takes off, but I would like to see Newcastle become Town of the Year through the project,” he pointed out.
But in order for this to happen, the project will need to become sustainable, meaning the Newcastle Municipality, local businesses and community join hands to restore Newcastle to its former beauty.
As van der Linde now calls on Newcastllians to get involved, he said, “When looking at neighbouring towns such as Ladysmith and Dannhauser, Newcastle is definitely one of the better towns. But I would like to see people join the initiative, and not wait for the Municipality to pick up litter and make a positive change.”
To be part of this awesome step in a positive direction, Gustav van der Linde can be contacted at 083 308 0605.
Will you be joining? Share your views in the comment section below.