Rural community enriched by World Cup facilities

2010-07-13 00:00

The rural community of Keats Drift in Msinga, in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, is one of many places that have experienced a positive spinoff from South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The Independent Development Trust (IDT), in partnership with the Rural Development and Land Reform Department, started a campaign before the World Cup began with the aim of ensuring that those football lovers who come from rural areas would not miss out on the experience of hosting the tournament.

The national campaign sought to create what have since become known as Village Viewing Areas (VVAs) through installing big-screen televisions, DSTV decoders and smartcards in 11 municipalities in poverty-stricken areas of South Africa. In total, 46 VVAs were set up around the country in a campaign that cost R4 million.

KwaZulu-Natal erected 14 big screens in Msinga, Vryheid and other surrounding rural areas.

The Msinga VVA was set up at Keats Drift Primary School Hall and community members have been flooding to the facility to watch World Cup matches, even after Bafana Bafana’s early exit.

All of the VVAs were given 200 chairs and if the community did not have electricity then generators and petrol were supplied. Those areas with electricity were supplied with reloading tokens.

Nonhlanhla Khumalo, the IDT’s General Manager, said that the VVAs were set up to ensure the participation of the rural areas in the World Cup.

“It also created about 180 jobs in the KwaZulu-Natal area as people were provided with training in security, first aid and hospitality, she said.”

Khumalo also said that the IDT had joined forces with the provincial education department to engage in a social project that would see the building and maintenance of schools in the uMzinyathi area.

Ben Zungu, provincial representative of the Rural Development and Land Reform Department said that the World Cup had come during youth month (June) and therefore the department had to explore ways to involve youth in those benefiting areas.

“These facilities were installed to serve a long-term purpose and would be left in schools in those benefiting communities for educational uses in the future,” he said.

Those youngsters attending the Msinga VVA have been lucky enough to take part in organised football clinics that aim to teach the game.

South African football icons Andile Cele, Muzi Malinga and Goodman Mazibuko all attended the clinics. Malinga is the head coach of the clinics which, according to him, are normally attended by more than 50 children.

“We teach them ball control and agility training … These activities have brought heartwarming smiles to these children’s faces,” Malinga said.

The training facilities will remain at Keats Drift Primary after the World Cup has ended.

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