Moving the goalposts

Omar Davids, Wetton

My son and I, before Covid-19, regularly used Chukker Road Sports Complex to kick ball into the goalposts. Then, during level one, we were told by security that we cannot kick a ball and use the goalposts there because they are privately owned.

Goalposts do not belong to the local government. Is Chukker Road Sports Complex partly privatised to sports clubs and Joe Public cannot use the equipment there?

Where must Joe Public go and enjoy goalposts in the Western Cape? All the soccer fields in the Western Cape are gated and public access control is exercised. I appreciate that gated sports fields are looked after and security is provided. That gives Joe Public a safe environment to used the sports facilities, but do not deny Joe Public the use of equipment at Chukker Road Sports Complex or any other public facility for that matter.

I am not there to vandalise the property, I am there to exercise my right to enjoy myself in a public facility.

Must I take my own goalposts to Chukker Road Sports Complex to enjoy a Ronaldo moment?

Sports clubs are dominating public sports fields, and Joe Public must play in the sand pit somewhere, kicking at make-believe goalposts. Joe Public must just pay tax and not enjoy the equipment on the public field or in some cases the field itself.

My appeal to local government is to make available some goalposts at Chukker Road Sports Complex for the public to enjoy.

I have contacted the person in charge of the goalposts and the area manager of the field. They said the goalposts are privately owned and are off limits to the tax-paying public.

So it will be up to local government to make available sports equipment like goalposts, netball poles, rugby goalposts etc at gated security sports fields for Joe Public to enjoy.

The City does not work for me.

• Dr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, responds:

The City’s recreation and parks department actively promotes the use of sport facilities by the public. Unfortunately, vandalism and theft have become a major issue and concern for the City and resident clubs to the point where it has become difficult to maintain facilities and equipment to the required standards.

The sport equipment, such as the goalposts at the Chukker Road Sports Complex, are the property of the individual clubs that regularly use the facility. Usage of the goalposts has been granted before, and unfortunately they have been damaged. It is therefore the prerogative of the clubs whether they allow the public to use their goalposts.

Unfortunately, this sports complex does not have any sport equipment available for public use. The department, however, recognises the need as expressed by the member of the public and will engage clubs and officials with the view to find an acceptable way to accommodate ad hoc users.

Should you require any further information regarding permission to utilise sport club equipment at the Chukker Road Sports Complex, please contact Faeza Salie at 021 444 0406 or Faeza.Salie@capetown.gov.za

The municipal facility managing committee has put extra measures in place to ensure the safety of the patrons using the facility by allowing access at certain times. The facility is open to the public from 7am to 11am and 4pm until 7pm. Maintenance takes place between 11am and 4pm.