Stadium saga addressed

2019-03-05 06:00
Athlone Stadium.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

Athlone Stadium.PHOTO: Earl Haupt

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The Cape Music Institute (CMI) is still unsure of their future after the City of Cape Town appointed a consultant to deal with the continued Athlone Stadium saga after a meeting was held to establish concerns on Monday 25 February.

Colin Daries, former chairperson at CMI, now advisor says the NGO have only been in the stadium for the last six years, after he signed a 10-year lease in 2013.

“We are an NGO which does music development there with 90 students who do a two-year course there,” says Daries.

Mayor Dan Plato halted the eviction process which was scheduled to take place on Monday, with Daries confirming demolition specialists were on standby to break down a drywall which was constructed to make the space occupied more adequate for the needs of CMI.

Plato, along with James Vos, Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management released a statement following Monday’s meeting outlining the way forward.

Plato reiterated the City’s stance on being compliant with the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (SASREA) No.2 of 2010, while balancing the needs of the community who utilise the stadium for events, sport and social use.

“All the users of the stadium have been asked to assist the City and to give their cooperation while the City carries out internal alterations to ensure compliance. This will allow the existing occupants to remain on site,” stated Vos.

This means current occupants of the stadium will remain operational on site, which includes CMI as well as SAFA Cape Town.

“The necessary internal alterations will not affect the structural integrity of the stadium,” adds Vos.

The specialist business analyst appointed will help determine the best way forward for Athlone Stadium.

“After a fruitful discussion, the representatives of the Music School expressed their thanks at being afforded more time to source alternative premises for the school as they have outgrown the space they currently occupy within the stadium,” the statement read.

However, Daries questions the City’s reasoning, citing that the plans were explained too vaguely.

“What I want to know is what is it that makes us non-compliant and how did it become non-compliant, not because of the non-compliance they now want to evict. That is not how you deal with this,” he says.

No timeline has been set yet says Daries, but they do hope to find an amicable solution to the current situation and that they have joined forces with other tenants to help deal with the issue collectively.

“These are all community organisations who make a huge difference in that community, the work that the City is supposed to do, so that is the extension of the City’s work. You don’t just disregard people like that. There are a number of efforts to deal with this differently, including SAFA Cape Town. We want to co-manage the stadium going forward with the City, because it is not just their iconic building, it belongs to the community too.”

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