Dormant indoor sports centre angers locals

The Swartklip Indoor Sports Centre.

A hiccup in the replacing of flooring at the Swartklip Indoor Sports Centre has left the centre’s main space out of use since June 2016.

The fencing and bricks have also been carried away by vandals.

Tafelsig residents say soccer tournaments took place there every Sunday and this kept youth off the streets.

The centre was also used for SAPS and law enforcement training, after-school programmes, seniors arts and crafts, educare free play, futsal training and fitness classes for women. All this has stopped since the sports centre closed.

Futsal coach Bevan Booysen said Swartklip was the best place for them to train since futsal is played on a hard surface and mainly indoors.

He has been battling for answers from the City of Cape Town as to why the centre has been closed.

“Our team plays on a professional level and we have been deprived of doing our training at the vicinity. All I am asking for is an alternative place for our teams to train,” says Mr Booysen.

JP Smith, the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services said the floor of the facility was damaged after a geyser burst in May 2016.

The wooden flooring was to be removed and replaced but the contractor failed to repair the floor to an acceptable standard.

“The floor which has been installed is slanting to one side. An independent expert will provide the City with a report on the condition of the newly laid floor and any proposed recommendations will be brought to the contractor’s attention.”

He said the City had provided alternative facilities that the community can use, such as Tafelsig Community Centre and Mitchell Heights Primary School.

The Swartklip Indoor Sports Centre would only be able to hold after-school programmes Monday to Thursday 1.30pm to 4.30om and Friday 12.30pm to 4.30pm, daily fitness programme and prayer group on Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm in the boardroom at the facility.

Mr Smith said the City is eager to see the hall in use again for the sporting activities but cannot allow the community to use the facility in its current state.

“I am disappointed that this repair process has taken 18 months and the community has been without a key indoor facility for this time.

“I do feel that the length of time it has taken to negotiate with the contractor reflects poorly on the recreation and parks department. Since becoming aware of this situation, I am monitoring it carefully with the director of recreation and parks to ensure that any remedial works occur quickly and that further delays are minimised as far as possible,” he said.