RESIDENTS of Qaqawuli in New Brighton were happy to get access to the neighbourhood’s first community hall last week.
Named after two anti-apartheid struggle heroes, the Bhasela-Godolozi community hall has been in the pipeline since 2011 and is part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
The hall cost R3-million to build and equip.
It can accommodate about 300 people with chairs and has a small kitchen furnished with a microwave and a fridge.
Qaqawuli Godolozi was one of the Pebco three kidnapped at the Port Elizabeth Airport in 1985 and taken to Fort Chalmers near Cradock where they were tortured and killed.
David Bhasela was killed on Robben Island.
Ward 17 councillor Ncediso Captain said they were happy to finally have a hall of their own.
“We always had to use the hall at Ernerst Skhosana or Nangoza Jebe for events and funerals, which is quite a distance from us,” Captain said.
“The cultural groups in the ward did not have a practising venue and we had difficulties promoting youth programmes so this hall will help a lot.
“The construction process took eight months and we would like to extend our appreciation for being involved in the process.”
Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency spokesman Luvuyo Bangazi credited the success of the project to public participation.
“The project was prioritised by the community and . . . driven by their participation,” Bangazi said.