Just days before a synthetic pitch at NY 116 Stadium in Gugulethu was to be officially opened, parts of it were ripped up and stolen.
The City of Cape Town will now have to fork out more money to repair the field, which was to have been unveiled on Tuesday February 11. The contractor was still working on the field.
Gugulethu residents and the security guard at the stadium were shocked to find the damaged field on Monday morning.
The security guard, who did not want to be names for fear of harassment and intimidation, said the incident happened on Sunday night. He said when they arrived at work the following day they found out that part of the field was vandalised.
“This is an act of stupidity because this is our playing field. We were shocked to see the area without grass. But I believe a suspect is known and police are following the leads,” he said.
The artificial lawn at the turf was cut into sections and one big piece has been removed. One resident said she was disappointed that other residents were not taking the case seriously. She said had it been in another area, the suspect would have been confronted and made to pay for the damage.
Ward 40 councillor Bongani Ngcombolo has urged the residents to take full responsibility for what happened to the field.
He said residents should know that the facility belongs to them. “I condemned it. It should have never happened if our residents are taking these facilities as theirs. We are building these facilities for them.
“We always complain that the City of Cape Town or the councillor is not delivering but we vandalise the same facilities,” he said.
Mr Ngcombolo also called on residents to defend the security guards working on the field.
He said the City was planning to have a base at the stadium for the neighbourhood watch.
The mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said the City’s recreation and parks department is currently investigating and the cost of the damage is yet to be determined.
He, however, confirmed that the South African Police Service, with the help of the community, was able to trace some of the stolen goods to a residence located close to the stadium. He said the case is under investigation.
“We encourage community members to assist the City of Cape Town in protecting the stadium and take ownership of community facilities in our fight against theft and vandalism,” he said.
Gugulethu police confirmed the case. Members of the community are encourage to report any vandalism and theft by phoning 021 480 7700 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline.