Anger over soccer field

2018-07-05 06:02
During the school holidays the soccer field in Lwandle has become a children’s playground.              PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

During the school holidays the soccer field in Lwandle has become a children’s playground. PHOTO: Velani Ludidi

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row has erupted over use of the only astroturf facility in Lwandle by children as a playground during the school holidays.

Wednesday 27 June saw the large group of children take advantage of the unguarded state of the Lwandle Sports Complex, built by the City of Cape Town as part of the 2010 World Cup Legacy Project.

They played on the astroturf, which is quite fragile, and is used by 36 local football teams.

When asked, one 11-year-old boy boldly said no-one had granted the children permission to play on the field.

“We came here and jumped over the fence to play because we are on holiday from school,” he said.

Another 11-year-old boy claimed his parents had told him to go to the sports complex to play with other children. “I asked at home where I can play, and I was told to join my friends at the stadium,” he said.

Players affiliated to local soccer teams were not impressed by the youths playing on the turf. “These children cannot come here to play as they please,” said Lukhanyo George. “It is damaging the only facility we have to use.

“Along with members of other teams, we will have to find a way to stop this happening in future.”

A field, designed specifically for six-a-side soccer matches, was damaged so badly in the past, that matches and tournaments are no longer played there.

Furthermore, City Vision has on several occasions reported on the dilapidated state of the grandstand, which was destroyed by strong winds last year.

Several pleas from the Helderberg Local Football Association (LFA) for council to fix the stadium have fallen on deaf ears.

Mzukisi Madondile, chairperson of the Helderberg LFA, said the life span of the field will not host any matches if anyone is allowed into the grounds and do as they please.

“Thinking of the life span of an artificial field, will it last as long if used the way it is being used?” he asked. “The answer there is no.” He added that the LFA has tried in vain to stop such occurrences at the complex.

“Those affiliated to the LFA are at work during the day,” Madondile said. “By the time we return home, we have to rush to try and get things under control.

“By then, it’s already too late and the damage has been done. Various sport structures using the field were asked to lend a helping hand by patrolling the complex every now and then, but this has not always happened.”

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