R6.5 million Giyani stadium now a crime hotspot

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A R6.5-million Giyani stadium in Limpopo meant to be used for nurturing would-be Doctor Khumalos and Caster Semenyas, is allegedly now being used by criminals as a hideout, by cattle for grazing and by prostitutes as a brothel, six years after it was abandoned by the municipality.

The sports complex in Homu village, outside Giyani township, was first built in August 2014, with the promise of a soccer field with a grandstand, a basketball and a tennis court.

It currently has three dressing rooms, with sanitation services and two floodlights.

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There is rubble around the complex, with the dressing rooms and the basketball and tennis courts dilapidated.

According to residents, who had hoped the stadium would help take youth off the streets to prevent them from committing crimes and taking drugs, the municipality has been trying to revamp it since 2015, but always failed.

Picture: Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality/Facebook

“Each year during [integrated development planning], the management and politicians would say they are going to renovate the complex. One day you will see one or two municipal vehicle doing the rounds, but a few days later, there is always nothing to show for their visits,” Mihlothi Nkowashu said on Wednesday.

Residents say they are often mugged when passing by the complex.

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“We have even lost hope that it will ever work. It will not be surprising that after this story appears in the newspaper, municipal cars would be around, pretending to be working,” said Nkowashu.

Last week, the Democratic Alliance (DA) also visited the site.

“This is not on. We will be engaging with our colleagues in the Limpopo Provincial Legislature for the intervention of the MEC of sports, arts and culture Thandi Moraka.

Abandoned and vandalized Zithobeni Stadium
A security guard can be seen near their guard house guarding the vandalised and abandoned Zithobeni Stadium in Bronkhorstspruit. Picture: Jacques Nelles

“It is completely unacceptable that a facility… has become a white elephant as a result of the ANC’s incompetence.” said DA MPL Solly Malatji.

Giyani municipality spokesperson Steven Mabunda was not available for comment.

A woman who answered the phone said “he’s in a very important meeting.

Source: citizen