‘I will miss this place when it’s gone’

Katleho Molutsoane and daughter, Kuhlekonke, enjoying the day out at the theme park.

Ayanda Magwanyana, of Khayelitsha, is one of Ratanga Junction’s seasonal workers who will be looking for other jobs after the park closes at the end of the month.

Ayanda has worked at the park on and off since 2016.

“I am devastated about what I am going to do when the place closes down because this was a great way for me to make some money,” he said.

“Now we are just in the dark about what is going to happen and my fear is that I will be sitting at home struggling to find work.”

Many of the park’s workers refused to speak to Tabletalk, Vukani’s sister newspaper saying they’d been advised not to talk to the media.

But some were forthcoming like Zanele Madolo, of Delft, who has worked at Ratanga since 2015.

The 19-year-old second year PR student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology said the park had been a fun place to work and the extra bit of cash had helped her pay for her studies.

“Working here has been a fun experience, and, of course, the money we make is good because most of us here are students, so it’s nice to make that something extra on the side. I will miss this place when it’s gone,” she said.

Anga Jonas has worked at Ratanga for two years and says he doesn’t know what he will do after it closes.

“We are in the dark. We don’t even know why the place is closing down. I will definitely miss this place though,” he said.

Others who will miss Ratanga are its many visitors, some of whom, like Emma Dalgarno and her sons, Angus and Rory, have been coming to say their goodbyes in recent weeks.

“The first time I came here, I was with mates a couple of years ago,” recalled Ms Dalgarno.

“I will definitely miss the Monkey Falls because that ride is my favourite. One thing I will never go on is the Slingshot, it terrifies me, but my son, Angus, is going to go there soon,” she said.

Angus, 13, said they had all come from Gordon’s Bay just for the park.

“It’s going to be sad when they close it down because I’ve only been here twice, and I wanted to come here more often,” he said.

“I think we have to spend as much time as we can so that we make great memories.”

Katleho Molutsoane and his daughter, Kuhlekonke, were enjoying a family outing at the park on Saturday afternoon.

It was Mr Molutsoane’s first time at Ratanga although he said Kuhlekonke had been several times before with her mother.

“I like this place because of the family vibe you get here. It’s a wonderful place to take your kids and just have fun. I’m exhausted right now because my daughter wants to go on all the rides, but I see how happy she is and that is what I will probably miss about the place,” said Mr Molutsoane.