‘Plain sports fields need fixing

Wolfgat sub-council chairman Solomon Philander and councillor for Ward 116, including Beacon Valley; councillor for Ward 76 Avron Plaatjies, including Lentegeur; councillor for Ward 82 Washiela Harris, for Tafelsig East; and councillor for Ward 92 Norman Adonis for Tafelsig West.

Wolfgat sub-council wants to partner with the community to restore Lentegeur, Dolomite and Swartklip sports fields to their glory days

Resolutions were tabled during a special sub-council meeting with City of Cape Town parks and recreation department officials at the Lentegeur chamber on Tuesday March 28. They specifically addressed the “non-playable” state of fields because of vandalism and theft.

Sub-council chairman Solomon Philander and councillor for Ward 116 said clubs and groups were using the fields but without booking through the council’s office.

“We don’t have a measure as to how many people are playing on our fields and there is no management in place for us to measure,” he said.

He said it was difficult for them to validate every sporting code at each facility, so they can deal with challenges.

Each of the sport fields’ will have an open day on Saturday May 6 for clubs to be validated and consolidated and to form facility management committees (FMC).

Washiela Harris, councillor for Ward 82, home to the Tafelsig sports field said they needed to keep the FMC, who are the overseers of the site, accountable

“There are matches taking place. We have the posters and the advertising but they haven’t booked.

“The gate fees the money they make from these events can be used to fix facilities. We can take Dolomite to its glory days, which everyone in Tafelsig was proud of,” she said.

She would like Tafelsig residents and players to use the facility in their community and not be driven out to play elsewhere.

Avron Plaatjies, councillor for Ward 76, said the water irrigation system at Lentegeur sports field had been ripped out twice.

“It was replaced on the day but stolen again within days,” he said.

He said there was the political will and services available to fix the field, changing room, toilets and equipment but they needed security measures in place to prevent theft and vandalism.

“Alternate measures are being considered regarding irrigation, like water canons, sprinklers and water tanks but we need to be sure that the same mistakes will not be repeated,” he said.

There are several interested groups, including rugby, soccer, golf, a dog, driving school and cricket club accessing different parts of the field, bordered by Morgenster Road.

Mr Philander said fencing the field came at a cost of R12 million, which had already been stolen.

He said the field was constantly under threat and that a partnership with the community was needed.

He said initially the council would take full responsibility to make the field user friendly but its neighbours needed to maintain and keep an eye on the facility.

Mr Philander proposed that neighbourhood watches perhaps use the facility during the week and clubs at the weekend.

“We want to get to the point where people are using the facilities for training at least. We want the community to take ownership of these facilities,” he said.

Norman Adonis, councillor for Ward 92, at Swartklip sports field, said “it is a headache”.

He said the building built on a dump site for the 2010 soccer world cup was on the brink of falling apart.

“It is a huge field plagued with dumping, there is a squatter camp, every other week stolen vehicles are found there. The building structure is a safety hazard. It is unsafe. Sport cannot be played on the fields, the valves are repeatedly being stolen,” he said.

Mr Adonis said the field, bordered by Swartklip Road and Spine Road and the Tafelsig and Khayelitsha communities, was huge.

He said up to 20 bodies were dumped on the site for the last month. Mr Philander said people should not go near the indoor facility and that the stadium without rails was unsafe.

The sub-council is waiting on a report possibly recommending the demolition of the building at their next monthly meeting on April 20.

“We want something to replace it. It cannot just be taken away from the community,” said Mr Philander.

The councillors agreed and implored the officials to come alongside them and the community to ensure the better management and maintenance of sports fields in Mitchell’s Plain.