Residents up in arms over camp site

2010-02-20 00:00

RESIDENTS of a plush Durban North suburb have vowed to fight against a proposed camp site for Australian football fans at a local primary school.

They fear that the hundreds of fans, expected to live at the camp site during the 2010 Soccer World Cup, will create havoc in their peaceful suburb.

Crime, increased traffic flow and a lack of proper ablution facilities are some of the issues residents are angry about. Some residents have even suggested a court injunction.

Northlands Primary School’s sports field is the proposed site, which will accommodate 200 football fans. Another two schools have reportedly also been chosen as venues for camp sites.

Pat Van der Veen, who lives on the same road as the school, said: “We have had no notification of the school becoming a camping ground. Besides the traffic problem and the overcrowding, who is going to control these fans, who will want to party every night?”

Peter Rose, from Umhlanga Tourism, said it is unlikely that the camp site will operate, as the municipality has to give its approval first for any sort of 2010 World Cup accommodation.

The only camp site that has been approved is the official one at Sahara Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, which is expected to house about 1 500 fans.

“None of those schools have applied for approval. The cricket oval is the only site that has been approved by the council,” he said.

“I have heard of plans to erect a camp site at Northlands Primary. I don’t know what they are talking about, as a public insurance claim would exceed all profits that the school could make.

“It’s crazy to think that you can put up a camp site, housing hundreds of people, and not have an accident. Rules need to be followed,” he said.

Haden Searles, chairman of the Durban North/Umhlanga Community Policing Forum, said the camp site will place additional pressure on local police officers, who work with limited resources.

Democratic Alliance councillor Dean McPherson said local bed and breakfast establishments are concerned that the camp site will affect their businesses. “They pay thousands of rands to belong to tourism boards, and comply with strict regulations, but it seems that this camp site won’t have to.”

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