Club’s survival battle

2019-06-06 06:01
Langa Karate Club instructor Buntu Mpetsheni with his students.

Langa Karate Club instructor Buntu Mpetsheni with his students.

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Efforts by a local karate instructor to empower children in Langa with self-defence skills, hang in the balance due to a lack of proper resources.

Buntu Mpetsheni, founder and owner of the Langa Karate Club, says his attempts are compromised by unjust expectations and demands. The club has been around for seven years and is required to fork out R40 whenever they use a local municipal hall.

While it continues to meet its financial obligations, Mpetsheni says it is a bit steep for parents, as they need to give money to their children daily to take part in the training.

But that is not the end of their battle. He claims the facility is also not properly maintained and that makes things more difficult as the conditions put children’s lives at risk, he claims.

Mpetsheni says each child brings R2 whenever they attend a class. This amounts to R8 a week and R32 to R40 a month.

“The R2 may sound like it is not too much but it is [too much] for most of the students,” he says, adding that annually they pay R7040.

Mpetsheni claims the money is paid to someone who keeps the keys to the hall, who then says she takes the money to the committee that looks after the facility.

He says they have been trying to get use of other community halls, but where they are situated is affected by gangsters, making it unsafe for the children. Other halls are also overcrowded because of other sports codes.

He says he has had to divide the class into three groups, practising at different times of the day, due to the size of the hall.

Mpetsheni has approached ward 51 councillor, Nomtha Dilima about their situation.

In an interview with City Vision, Dilima says paying for a municipal hall is not in the City of Cape Town’s policy. “The hall is meant to be used by the community for such things and for free,” she says.

Dilima says she needs proof that they are paying before she can try and resolve the issue. A meeting was planned to take place between the club and facility management yesterday.

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