Opportunities for young people in sports at Gugulethu have become a pipe dream due to the poor condition of sports facilities which continue to rot.
This is according to the Gugulethu Sport Council (GSC), which lambasted the municipality for negligence towards the area’s stadiums and community halls.
The council held a peaceful march in an effort to raise their concerns and handover a memorandum of grievances to the City of Cape Town on Monday January 30.
GSC chairperson, Nceba Sandlana, said the stadium at NY116, and sport field at NY95 are in a terrible condition and these fields could easily be mistaken for plantations with high uncut grass.
Mr Sandlana said the stripping of the stadium had become a normal occurrence and at times thieves would steal items in broad daylight.
He said they wanted the community to also play an active role in safeguarding these facilities.
He said Luyolo community hall had been invaded by people, leaving sporting codes such as cricket, weight lifting and boxing without space for training.
Mr Sandlana said they had urged the relevant departments to assist these people in finding a place to stay so that the hall could serve its main purpose.
A swimming pool at NY117 has no water and electricity; it continues to be ransacked due to a lack of security.
“We are not politicking here, we simply want these facilities to be revamped so that each and every child in Gugulethu could stand a better chance of making it in sport.
“We believe that if these sport facilities could be fixed they would play a great role in derailing young people from being lured into criminal activities.
“If the facilities continue on a downward spiral it means that Gugulethu would never produce sports icons. Pools in Newlands have been fixed and it’s so sad that the black child will never have a chance to showcase their raw talent here in the streets of Gugulethu.
“If these facilities are not fixed and continue to be ignored that means opportunities are bleak which will increase crime rate,” said Mr Sandlana.
He expressed disappointment that the mayoral committee member who is responsible for sports and recreation did not come to accept their memorandum.
He said they are not going to relax until these facilities are back to a quality standard.
Ward councillor Bongani Ngcombolo applauded the route which the GSC had taken in raising their concerns and said that as councillors they do not have budget for such matters.
He said they have raised the poor state of these facilities at the various council meetings and their efforts fall on deaf ears.
He said all the three councillors in Gugulethu have vowed to work together to sort on all matters.
He called on the City to act quickly in fixing these facilities because they were robbing the youth of Gugulethu of a golden opportunity to showcase their God-given talent.
City of Cape Town representative, Mzwakhe Qavashe, said he had been instructed to accept the memorandum of grievances from the council because Patricia van der Ross, Mayoral committee member for community services and health, was not feeling.
However, he said the mayco member was interested in engaging with the sport council and is willing to have a meeting with them any day next week.