Amajuba District oversight reveals sporting facilities in shocking disrepair as government fails the people

Issued by Bradley Singh, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Sport and Recreation
19 Nov 2019 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) today calls on KwaZulu-Natal Sport and Recreation MEC, Hlengiwe Mavimbela, to launch a full forensic audit after a recent oversight inspection which has revealed that two major sporting facilities within the Amajuba District are in complete disarray.

The visit – by the province’s Sport and Recreation portfolio committee – found that the former Iscor Sports Centre, now owned by the District Municipality as well as the Newcastle Local Municipality, has become a stagnant eyesore. The entire area is in a dilapidated state and it is clear that no form of maintenance has been done for many years. (view here, here and here)

Meanwhile, the Osizweni hub cricket field – given to the community when South Africa hosted the Cricket World Cup a few years ago – is not fit for use. The field was supposed to have been part of the further development of Amajuba District yet today there is a combi court, a form of sports court for more than one sporting code including netball, tennis, volleyball and basketball, eliminating any form of cricket from being played.

The DA is deeply concerned by these findings. This is a district where 73% of the population are under the age of 35 years. Yet, due to a complete failure by government, they cannot make use of the facilities on their doorstep. To add to this, none of the officials, either within the Sports and Recreation Department or the Municipality seem to know what happened and claim that while there is ‘some sort’ of investigation taking place, but do not have any answers.

The DA regards these responses as indicative of the lack of accountability within the District. Despite the area facing numerous challenges there is still no District Manager after six long years. This is merely aggravating the issue.

The DA believes that the discovery of these ruined sports facilities is just the tip of the iceberg in Amajuba. We expect answers from MEC Mavimbela and have submitted a written parliamentary question (view here) which we expect her to reply to within the 14 days as stipulated within the Legislature rules.

Sport plays a critical role to play in our society, uniting communities and providing a way out of poverty and hopelessness. If ever there was an example of this, it is South Africa’s recent Rugby World Cup win. The DA will insist on consequences for those who have failed the residents of the Amajuba District. They must be held accountable.