A multi-million rand sports facility has been officially handed over to the people of Mbizana in the Eastern Cape. Sports, Arts and Culture Minister, Zizi Kodwa, has urged all municipalities to prioritise sports development in rural areas.
The facility includes a Soccer Stadium, Volleyball, Netball and Tennis courts. The stadium is named after political youth leader Mphuthumi Mafumbatha. He played a pivotal role in instilling political education in young people in rural areas.
It is great to see the community in Mbizana making use of this upgraded facility. I am also happy to see the commitment here to develop women and youth through sport. I look forward to seeing further upgrades to the Mphuthumi Mafumbatha Stadium. pic.twitter.com/scgcgkKPHE
— Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture (@zizikodwa) August 11, 2023
The Mphuthumi Mafumbatha sports facility comprises a grandstand, ablution facilities, change rooms, artificial turf and indoor sports facilities. The facility caused a public uproar because it cost R61 million.
However, the municipality says people are now positive as they realise the value of the facility.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela municipality mayor, Daniswa Mafumbatha says, “You know that we have got about four clubs that are playing in the ABC Motsepe League and also we have got about 14 netball clubs that are coming from here in the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela local municipality, we do have the tennis court and most of the clubs if you talking about rugby, rugby is coming from Ward 2.”
Many believe more sports resources are needed in every village to unleash the potential and talents of young people.
Netball representative, Nomakhosazana Mavana says, “We would love to see our kids from the rural areas, being well developed, playing on a professional level. We saw on Telkom league there are players that are playing there from Alfred Nzo. So, we would like to see more players playing there.”
EC SAFA Chairperson Andile Ngconjana adds, “We are very happy, we are too excited about this facility because it will change the way our players are performing. They will be equal to the task at any level.”
Sports, Arts and Culture ministry is excited about rural sports development.
Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa says “I am overjoyed, I am overjoyed because when I came into office I said one of the focus is rural sport infrastructure. There must not be a feeling that rural women feel isolated from participating in sport, and then if you look into netball world cup in cape town, there is a young lady there, she is from Cala. There is no sport facility in Cala, and one of the things we are considering is to take netball in rural areas to inspire young girls and women, what I see here is what I want to see in all municipalities.”
The municipality maintains that the quality of the stadium is equivalent to the questionable investment of R61 million.
Mafumbatha adds, “They did not come to the municipality so that they will be given papers and also we take them to the stadium so that they can see what is happening, we understand during the time of politics, people can talk about everything. they want to talk but we have been clear by the auditor general.”
Mbizana also has a newly built youth centre and a taxi rank.
The municipality believes these developments will add more value to those who invest in the town.
Original Story by www.sabcnews.com