Stadium revamp lauded

2019-02-21 06:01
A packed stadium during a soccer tournament at the Lwandle Sports Complex at the weekend.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

A packed stadium during a soccer tournament at the Lwandle Sports Complex at the weekend.PHOTOS: Velani Ludidi

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Three years after strong winds damaged sections of the grandstand at Lwandle Sports Complex, council has finally listened to residents’ pleas for the structure to be repaired.

Much needed repair work to the destroyed stadium has been completed, confirmed City of Cape Town spokesperson Jan Kruger. The work also included the relocation of the structure.

Over the years, City Vision reported on the stadium when it was first damaged in 2016, and residents’ desperate cries for help from council, which cited budget constraints as a reason for the delay in effecting repairs.

So news of the relocation and refurbishment of the stadium comes as a relief to the Helderberg Local Football Association (LFA), the governing body of local soccer clubs in the greater Lwandle area. Mzukisi Madondile, chairperson of the LFA, says it is happy with the progress.

“We are happy, but not entirely happy, as we expected more [to be done by the City] since it took long to fix the grandstand,” he related.

“We will have follow-up meetings with council officials, where we will address further restoration to the structure and discuss the maintenance of the playing fields, which are in a poor condition. We need the municipality to intervene.”

Kruger says major repair work at the stadium will commence in the new financial year, as of 1 July.

“The City confirms that Lwandle rugby and soccer grandstands have undergone maintenance to ensure community safety when utilising the structure,” he said.

“Seats have been fixed and roof structures removed due to strong winds. The major repair work will commence in the new financial year.”

All matches of the LFA are played at the complex, and the football loving community flocks to the venue for league and friendly encounters.

When the stadium was damaged and fell in further disrepair, it posed a danger to the hundreds of spectators, who were forced to keep an eye cautiously on the structure and the matches whenever they visited the facility.

Following the completion of the project, soccer fans again came out in force and filled the stadium for a soccer tournament at the weekend.

“This has brought so much relief to us,” said football fan Eric Nkume. “As you can imagine, when we watch matches from the stands our emotions get the better of us and we sometimes jump up to celebrate. When the structure was damaged we had to contain ourselves, or risk injury.” V Read more about the weekend’s soccer action on page 7 and 8.

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