The Herald of September 1 highlighted the state of disrepair of the sporting facilities in KwaNobuhle (“Sports centre a mess thanks to vandalism, grazing livestock”). This is unfortunately not an isolated occurrence.
One would be hard-pressed to find facilities in townships that have not been vandalised to the extent that they are completely ruined. In the government’s rush to redress the imbalances of the past these facilities were established in these areas without proper planning.
No thought was given to future management and financial needs of these facilities. There has been absolutely no skills transfer in these areas.
I agree fully that these areas need these facilities for children to play and learn skills in the sporting arena.
The methodology used however needs serious rethinking.
I submitted a detailed plan for sporting development in South Africa to all the sporting codes in 2007 and never received any reply. In a nutshell, I acknowledged that all sport is played at school, consequently these sports fields should be established at those schools in the previously disadvantaged areas that have a functional management team, with ongoing skills development and financial support.
Further I suggested there were many inner city former Model C schools whose facilities had fallen into disrepair due mainly to financial constraints and these could be revived at a fraction of the cost of establishing new facilities.
We have so many willing children. All we need is a paradigm shift, put a plan in place with competent management with total commitment to the goal of a sporting environment where the word quota is irrelevant.