2010 stadiums worry Mbalula
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Many of the stadiums built or upgraded for the 2010 FIFA World Cup are in danger of becoming white elephants, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday.
"Some of those stadiums are not only underutilised but also face the long term danger of becoming white elephants," he said in Pretoria.
"Communities are saying they don’t have facilities and then we go and find facilities that are not being used or have been vandalised."
Mbalula was addressing reporters after speaking at a municipal conference on sport and recreation.
He said in some instances facilities did exist but were too costly for communities to access.
"Stadiums in Dobsonville were upgraded as training facilities in 2010, but communities and clubs cannot afford to use them," said the minister.
"We’ve been paying lip service to these things but instead of complaining, we can sit down and resolve these issues with local government and have an integrated approach."
Mbalula said he wanted schools to have access to facilities but the costs were prohibitive.
"Once in a while, they must be accessible to schools and communities so we need to work with local government," he said.
"I’m quite aware that nothing is free of charge, but the fees that are being charged to utilise these facilities are quite exorbitant.
"Do not misunderstand me, Premier Soccer League teams must rent facilities. They have money and they have sponsors but even they pay exorbitant fees.
"They must pay but those prices must be negotiated with the municipalities and there must be reasonable rates."