By Safiyia Stanfley MPL, DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Sport, Arts and Culture:
The DA is calling on the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to intervene in the management of sporting facilities that fall under the jurisdiction of local government institutions.
This is in order to prevent the further decay of valuable sporting facilities in the province.
This comes after it was revealed that the historic De Beer’s stadium cycling track in Kimberley has been destroyed beyond repair.
The iconic track, which was once considered one of the best in Africa, has been partially destroyed by a company that had an agreement with the municipality to perform upgrades to the grounds.
Poor management by Sol Plaatje municipality of the sporting grounds, as well as contractual agreements pertaining to the upgrade of the grounds, is ultimately responsible for the loss of this precious sporting facility.
Unfortunately, this comes at a time when a provincial cycling union was granted authorization to have the track restored. Sadly, the financial costs of restoration have now jumped into millions of rands, making it impossible for the union to pursue their dream of once again providing “a safe, accessible, affordable and spectator friendly form of cycling to a large previously disadvantaged group of people”.
The DA is of the firm belief that the revival of sporting codes plays an important role in the renewal of our broken society. It is for this reason that sporting facilities must be treasured and sport robustly promoted.
It’s high time the Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture takes ownership of sport in the province.
The DA has today written to Sports, Arts and Culture MEC, Lebogang Motlhaping, requesting his department to firstly identify sporting facilities within all Northern Cape municipalities. The department then needs to involve itself in the management of these facilities. It can successfully do this by becoming the lead player in the establishment of public private partnerships which have the necessary capacity to effectively manage sporting facilities.
Sport development in the province necessitates the buy-in of both government and the community in order to properly flourish. For the sake of all up and coming cyclists, and other sportsmen and women, we hope that the buy-in of government takes place before another sporting facility is lost to this province.