Spin area planned for ’Plain

Lidia Rauch, mayoral committee member for area south, Zahid Badroodien, Johan van Wyk, Ward 76 councillor, Goawa Timm, mayor Dan Plato, chairperson of SPIN (Supporting People In Need), Jonathan Schaffers, mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, Denwor Olhson, John Minords and Nicole Schaffers.

Spinning may be legalised for SPIN (Supporting People In Need) who have applied for a temporary permit at Lentegeur sports field, if they comply with the City of Cape Town’s regulations and if residents give them the go-ahead.

Spinning, which involves spinning a car in circles while you hang out of it and do all kinds of stunts, reportedly has its origins in gang culture, but is now recognised by Motorsport South Africa (MSA), the only controlling body for South African motorsport that carries both local and international recognition.

SPIN founder and chairperson, Jonathan Scaffers, 35, from Lentegeur said the City of Cape Town’s, Transport and Urban Development Authority were sent out to the sports field, also known as The Hills, to check if the site, at the back of the sports field, is suitable for spinning, on Tuesday April 16.

Mayor Dan Plato, Ward 76 councillor, Goawa Timm, the City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith and mayoral committee member for area south, Zahid Badroodien, joined SPIN on Thursday April 18 on a walk to The Hills pitch at Lentegeur sports field, to see the state of the area and learn what SPIN does.

Mr Badroodien said SPIN will need to comply with the City’s regulations.

“Recreation and parks have actively engaged with SPIN in becoming compliant to regulations. We are happy to support this, both Goawa Timm, Ward 76 councillor and Michael Pietersen, Ward 116 councillor, support this initiative. The safety of SPIN members and community members is a priority, and we would like them to exercise this sport in safety.”

Mr Smith confirmed SPIN has submitted an events application. He said there is a technical process which considers it. If they meet all the requirements of that process, they will be issued an events permit, he said.

Mr Smith said the long-term answer would be for them to get a lease on the field rather than submit events applications every time. The lease process is run by property management in consultation with the department who owns the recreation area, namely recreation and parks under Mr Badroodien.

The conditions of the permit or lease will determine how often they get to use the field. It depends on what they’ve applied for.

“They will also need to engage in public participation and the surrounding residents will need to be consulted and will need to indicate their support. If there are objections submittedtoCouncilwewill need to reconsider or adapt the conditions attached to the permit,” said Mr Smith.

“They will need parking, noise management and other safety and events matters to be ad-
dressed through their planning, e.g. ensuring that the streets around the area are not blocked up, that they ensure that alcohol and drugs are notconsumed,that they have support of res-
idents affected by noise in order to get a noise exemption certificate. Thecurrentvenue might not be suitable for the event, in the longer term. This will come out through the events application process.

“Their event application may be approved subject to public participation. This will allow the motor sport event to be held there at the times stipulated in the permit,” said Mr Smith.

Mr Scaffers started spinning illegally at the Lentegeur sports field last year and was called in by City officials to explain to him how he can follow the necessary regulations.

“Spinning makes a difference in the com-
munity,” says Mr Scaf-fers.

“They (youngsters) have two role models – the guy with the gun and the guy with the car. The main purpose of SPIN is to get children off the street and we will stick by this,” said Mr Scaffers.

SPIN, which was registered as a non-profit organisation in October last year, says it has more than 3 000 signatures from residents in Lentegeur, Beacon Valley and Montrose Park who are in favour of allowing them to use the facility and carry out their initiatives.

However, a neighbour who lives close to Lentegeur sports field, who did not want to be named, said the tyres at the field are used by children in the neighbourhood to play in the streets, often unaware of the safety risk posed by passing cars.

“I am not interested in them spinning,” said the woman.

Another neighbour, Youmna Mohammed who lives close to the field in Lentegeur, said she is not happy about SPIN being so close to a residential area, as it contributes to noise pollution.

“I approached them and told them they are not following protocol, as we too have a say on SPIN utilising the sports field. I joined them to assist with making SPIN a NPO and helped in looking for alternative spaces, away from the residential area,” said Ms Mohammed.

She also said there was a petition with 300 signatures opposed to the spinning.

If given the green light, SPIN will have to develop a time schedule. They said for two Sundays a month they will showcase spinning at the field and one Saturday a month they will train young people to spin.

SPIN said they are already working closely with medics, the local community police forum and SAPS for the safety of the community during practice sessions and entertainment shows.

Motorsport SA said on its website it recognises the popularity of spinning among large portions of the population and will do what it can to assist to elevate the sport to a more professional level.

It said its efforts to embrace the sport have taken rather longer than hoped or expected primarily because of the challenges of trying to enforce reasonable levels of safety while not losing the essence of the sport that has made it so popular.

It said while the same standards for spinning competitors cannot be applied as is the case for competitors in other forms of motorsport who are required to wear and use all sorts of safety clothing and equipment, MSA has taken the view that spectator safety should be the area of primary focus.

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