Municipality allocates R14 mln to revamp city sports facilities

2013-03-06 00:00

AFTER years of neglect, Msunduzi Municipality has finally allocated a budget of almost R14 million to revamp and maintain sports facilities in the city.

This was revealed in an 81-page master plan for the maintenance of sports and recreational facilities tabled at the Executive committee (Exco) meeting last week, where council approved the budget of R13,9 million.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the maintenance of sports facilities was scheduled to start in the new financial year, in July.

The 66 sporting facilities in the city, suburbs, townships and in rural areas, will include Harry Gwala stadium, FNB Wadley stadium, Woodlands stadium, the Cricket Oval sports facility, Dales Park, Protea Grounds and Northdale stadium.

The plan includes grass cutting, painting, fencing, repairing of toilets, showers and geysers, hiring of security guards and general workers, an operating budget for each facility and buying of essential equipment. The plan also includes revamping the halls, refurbishing the buildings and repairing floodlights.

The historical Tatham sports ground will benefit from a cash injection of R958 000, despite the fact that the municipality had already applied to develop the area for permanent houses for those living in Jika Joe informal settlement.

Zuma said the provision of permanent housing for Jika Joe informal settlement has been approved by council.

“Application for the project has been made to the department of human settlements and has been approved. The terms of reference are being finalised to procure a service provider to plan, design and carry out the project,” said Zuma.

In the meantime, he said, the Tatham grounds remain a sports field and the municipality had to maintain it for use by the community until the housing project begins.

Vincent Myeni, assistant coach of Brazil Football Club (affiliated to the Safa second division), said they used to train at the Woodlands grounds and then moved to the Ohrtmann Road grounds.

“Despite all our attempts to get the municipality to cut grass and install floodlights at these facilities, we failed to get help. We decided to move to the Durban University of Technology field to train,” he said.

Myeni said he hoped the money would be used correctly, because such facilities were vital for youth development in the city.

“We hope the football facilities will be improved to match the same standard as other sporting codes,” he said.

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