New plan for sports fields

Danny Christians, councillor for Ward 81, which includes Rocklands and parts of Portland, at Rocklands JP sports field.

Mitchell’s Plain councillors will be advocating for local community businesses to tender for the maintenance and repairs of local sports fields.

Gavin Esterhuizen, an official from the City of Cape Town recreation and parks department, said these projects could lead off from larger tenders.

Mr Esterhuizen was reporting on the readiness of sports fields, post Covid-19 lockdown, including borehole implementation plans and time lines, at the monthly Wolfgat Sub-council meeting on Thursday September 17.

“I am encouraged that this amount that businesses could tender for has been raised from R30000 to R100000. We need to apply our minds and draw up lists of certain functions, which could lead off from larger tenders,” he said.

Mr Esterhuizen said they had never had such discussions before and that they would like to explore these initiatives further.

He said quite a bit of work had to be done as lockdown regulations at levels 4 and 5 had limited their movements but that they were ready for the cricket season.

“Federations must submit protocol plans to ensure the screening and testing of players and spectators, hand sanitising and physical distancing, when hosting sport events,” he said.

Eddie Andrews, councillor for Ward 78, which includes Westridge cricket pitch, proposed that principal facility officers report to the monthly meeting, which would give the sub-council oversight and allow for local businesses to benefit from local opportunities.

The report detailed the standard maintenance and additional functions costs at the Westridge cricket pitch, Dolomite and Rocklands JP sport fields. These include mowing, weed control, fertilisation and de-compaction, totalling more than a R1 million to be spent at each facility for a year.

Solomon Philander, Wolfgat Sub-council chairman and councillor for Ward 79 (Beacon Valley, parts of Eastridge, Mitchells Plain central business district and parts of Portland) said something had to be done to help kick-start local businesses to mitigate the impact of the national Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

He said businesses would have to be registered with their local community database at sub-council. “We will monitor and hold them accountable for their services,” he said.

Their services would include mowing, irrigation, weeding and maintenance needed for the sports field to run optimally.

Oscar Solomons, DA proportional representative (PR) councillor, said the R100 000 cut out the red tape to increase job opportunities. “They would not have the same criteria as a business, who would tender for say R200 000,” he said.

Mr Esterhuizen said the pitches would be handed over to the clubs on Thursday or Friday every week during season; and that a sport field co-ordinator; principal facility officer, vendor and club representative would be present.

He said the vendors would be invoiced monthly on a pay-as-you-go basis for the work done during each respective month.

“Vendors as well as sport field co-ordinators are to photo log the maintenance done on site. As well as provide regular feedback from clubs in terms of vendor performance and performance of the wickets during the cricket season,” he said.

Mr Esterhuizen said sign-off of the invoices would be done monthly by the sports fields co-ordinators along with the principal facility officer on site.