South Africa's childhood obesity rate is higher than the international average

South Africa’s childhood obesity rate is higher than the international average

The once parched piece of land is now green with newly installed grass complete with benches and playground equipment.

Edward Maubane, 18, said he was happy that the park would give his siblings a safe place to play.

“I feel happy that part of the park is finished and it’s being used by the community,” Maubane told OurHealth. “At least I know where to find my siblings when I need them because they like playing there after school.”

Community Policing Forum member Frans Petja added that he is relieved that the park has replaced what was once a crime-ridden veld.

Petja said the forum would work to educate the community about the need to respect the park, which has already had its sprinkler system vandalised, according to park keeper Vusi Baloyi.

A local nurse who asked not to be named said she was happy that the park encouraged children to get active and keep physically fit by running around.

The 2012 South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about 14 percent of South African children between the ages of 6 and 14 years were either overweight or obese – a figure about four percent higher than the world average.