City ‘not living up to pledge’ in rehabilitating Strandfontein Sports Field, Newsline

Cape Town – The Strandfontein Ratepayers and Residents Association said there has been a lack of progress made in rehabilitating the Strandfontein Sports Field, used as a relocation site for the homeless during the early stages of the lockdown.

Chairperson Mario Oostendurp said: “Despite the City’s pre- and post-responses to the rehabilitation of our sports field, the actual work carried out thus far cannot compare to commitments and undertakings by both the mayor Dan Plato and Zahid Badroodien, with regards rehabilitation, restoration and upgrades at the complex, which were to be prioritised as a gesture of goodwill to the Strandfontein community.

“(A total) of R65 million was spent at the Strandfontein homeless camp, with no funds made available for the immediate rehabilitation of our facility.”

Oostendurp said officials had told them of continuous delays and excuses related to budgetary constraints.

“We, the affiliates, users, residents and wider sporting fraternity need to start raising our voices and hold the City and its officials to account to its commitments made during the controversial homeless camp saga,” he said.

This is the sports field where the City erected a massive marquee to house homeless temporarily during the initial stages of the lockdown. It drew controversy after activists slammed the City for the inhumane conditions the homeless were forced to live in.

It was also reported the entire project from the City cost an estimated R61 million. Opposition parties had already referred the matter to the Special Investigating Unit and auditor-general for investigation.

Mayco member for community and health services Zahid Badroodien said: “The City’s Recreation and Parks Department has identified the need for a master plan for the Strandfontein facility. The master plan will detail the future vision of the facility and prioritise projects including maintenance and infrastructure.

“An internal process has already started to gather all the base information. The development of the master plan will require engagement with the community and stakeholders and this will be undertaken in the coming months.”

On the lack of progress claimed by residents, Badroodien said its standard maintenance programme was in place: mowing, weed control and cricket pitch maintenance. “We will look at including mole control. Once the irrigation is in place, this can be expanded to include fertilisation,” he said.

Cape Argus