My Cyclist

Robert Dempster

Natalia Building

Da Gym

I don't like SA, I love SA!

Number of images: 4
Created on: Mon Feb 23 04:14:17 SAST 2015

While training for the 2015 Cape Town Cycle Tour I found myself cycling up Boshoff Street past the gardens on the northern side of Pietermaritzburg's landmark 'Natalia' building. The garden is now completely neglected and surrounded by a palisade security fence.

Normally I would have continued with my journey, but today what looked like gym equipment caught my eye. So I stopped and rom what I could see, a complete and elaborate set of gym equipment specifically designed for the outdoors, had been installed in one corner of the garden. It did not take me long to confirm that it was indeed gym equiupment, as I then spotted a sign that had been erected adjacent to the equipment. While the sign is not large, and is obscured by the tall grass, it presumably serves as a form of advertising for the company that installed the gym equipment.

I guess one's initial reaction when faced with a situation like this, would be to wonder who on earth came up with the idea of installing outdoor gym equipment such that it fronts directly onto the pavement of a busy city thoroughfare. After that, one surely has to start guessing as to who they thought would use the equipment, and when. It is also quite obvious that no one has yet ventured into the garden to try out the equipment, as it is still enclosed by wrapping that is slowly rotting off.

So I pose the question again, why was the gym equipment erected here? Surely it would have been better to simply have used that area of the garden as an overflow parking lot. That at least would be in keeping with the temporary overflow parking lot that has been established at the other end of the garden.

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