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Safa CT wants policy revised

With much of South Africa already settled into level two lockdown regulations, many local sport fraternities are gearing up to return to action.

While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reshape the way we live our lives, the City of Cape Town says there are no plans to re-purpose its sports facilities.

Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, confirms that while no activity has been able to take place at facilities run under the auspices of the City, there are no plans to convert and transform its venues.

“The department does not have a specific usage policy but acts in accordance with the national Covid-19 regulations and directions of what is allowed and what not.

“Sporting organisations/federations/bodies apply to the minister and submit plans for the resumption of their specific codes,” says Badroodien.

A few weeks ago, the City released a statement on its plans in preparing sports facilities for the potential resumption of sporting activity and once a sporting body has been granted the certificate of compliance to return to activity by the national government, they are certainly welcome to return to City-run facilities.

“A letter/memo has been sent to federations guiding what is required for sports activities to return at City facilities. There are no special requirements with regards to the resumption of the use of facilities that have not been in use for several months. It remains the responsibility of the club that uses the facility to adhere to the disaster regulations and implement safe practices,” Badroodien explains.

TygerBurger also reported on the potential resumption of amateur soccer to the region (“Amateur soccer in the balance”, 12 August), where Safa Cape Town president Bennett Bailey touched on the prevalence of illegal matches taking place, which the City has also been made aware of, but added that their organisation still requires additional support from the City looking forward and after the Covid-19 pandemic has ended.

“We have a position that lives matter more than a game. However, we need to get back to normal and for that to happen, the old normal will not be the new normal. Example, we need a serious relook at facilities. If you look at some facilities, they were built during apartheid to serve a certain sector of the community. In this new democracy, all facilities had to be upgraded so that we can have equality. Sadly, some of them still resembled that of the apartheid era.

“No additional work was done to it. For the new normal to be normal, the City needs to look at their facilities. Some time ago, there was an attempt to draft a facilities usage policy and its time that that work continues again,” says Bailey.

He adds that Safa Cape Town still does not have a home following their eviction from Athlone Stadium last year.

“Athlone Stadium, a facility built with the 2010 funds, has become a home for everything, but football. The City via their executive director issued a directive that Safa Cape Town, the controlling body for football, does not fit their business model. We are still homeless and squat at a local football association and they want their facility back. Lastly, we need the City to rethink the grant to organisations. In the past, they made grants available, but lately, nothing.”

In response to the ongoing Athlone Stadium matter, the City’s Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos says no new plans have been announced.

“In respect of Athlone Stadium, please be advised that the facility is currently utilised by the City in its Covid-19 response. As a consequence to the current use, the facility will be unavailable for any activities not related to the City’s Covid-19 response until further notice. Further communication regarding the Athlone Stadium will be issued in due course.”

Meanwhile, Badroodien adds the City’s mandate is focused on the development and maintenance of facilities. “Any request for support will be dealt with in line with the City’s recreation and parks department mandate,” he says adding that outside of maintenance, the City has alternative plans in place for recreational facilities, more specifically, sports grounds where no activity is taking place.

“The department has specific recreation developmental programmes throughout the city that seek to promote active lifestyles and healthy living. These programmes take place at recreation centres, sports fields, and parks,” says Badroodien.

  • Have an interesting sport story? Let us know at sport@tygerburger.co.za.
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