The Dolomites sports facility in Tafelsig has been hit by a series of break-ins and it will cost the City of Cape Town about R780 000 to replace and repair vandalised infrastructure and fixtures.
Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, said more than 14 clubs use the Dolomites sports field, excluding the church groups and schools which often use the facility for athletic training.
Ms Walker said the City is eager to repair the vandalised buildings and fencing, but needs the assistance and buy-in from local residents as they cannot afford to repeatedly repair the facility, only to have it vandalised again.
“Sadly, the City’s community facilities are often the target of vandalism and theft, despite the City doing all it can to invest in security measures.
“Such criminal activity robs the community of access to quality recreational spaces, while the funds that have to be spent on repairs could have been put to better use to invest in new facilities or upgrades. The City calls on residents to act as its eyes and ears and report any tip-offs or suspicious activity to Law Enforcement on 021 596 1999 or to SAPS,” she said.
Tafelsig ward councillor Sheval Arendse said thieves vandalised and stole a range of items including Vibracrete, concrete palisade fencing, doors, steel gates and sports equipment.
“Community facilities enhance the lives of residents in numerous ways. Parks and sport fields provides room to move for people in crowded city neighbourhoods. Residents use the Dolomites sports facility on a Saturday and Sunday.
“There is a Municipal Management Committee that works closely with the City of Cape Town Sports and Recreation Department. The City revamped the Dolomites sports field when it was vandalised in December last year.”
Mr Arendse said it is residents of Tafelsig who are vandalising the facility.
“We have opened cases against these people and the law will take its course,” he said.
Municipal Facility Management Committee chairperson Paul Daniels said since the security guards were removed by the City of Cape Town last year, there has been an increase in break-ins.
“There are no toilets, no water and no cloakrooms. It is so frustrating. The moment there is an upgrade, then the thieves react. We now have to move the fixtures to other venues because we have limited resources.
“There are gaps in the fencing so people gain access during games. This causes chaos and we as the committee cannot control it. We feel that security needs to be brought back,” he said.
Ms Walker said the City is investing in burglar bars and alarms at its facilities and is looking to cluster new facilities together to help prevent vandalism and theft.
She said the Community Services Directorate is also working closely with Law Enforcement and local neighbourhood watch organisations to help protect facilities where possible.
“This has proved a more sustainable means of addressing security issues than employing security guards. For example, providing security guards at this facility year-round could run into the region of over R1 million a year.
“When one considers that the City has over 100 libraries, 180 halls and 155 sports complexes to operate, this is simply not feasible. The City is reliant on partnerships with residents to keep facilities safe. It is vital that the users who have access to the infrastructure like the clubs and the Municipal Facility Management Committee,” she said.