GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - The derelict state of the local municipality’s Kollie Koeberg Stadium in Graaff-Reinet is a great cause for concern among local sporting bodies and schools.
When Spandau Secondary School recently hosted a visiting school from Cradock, coach Mervin Mackelina expressed his embarrassment at the shameful state of the vandalised changing rooms and general filth.
Doors are hanging off hinges, benches are in pieces, windows smashed and litter is everywhere.
The municipality is fully aware of the problems, which have been raised many times over the last few years at community and school meetings. The appointment of the caretaker, who was in the position for a few years, was opposed by many sporting officials at the time.
The facilities were in a bad way at the start of his tenure, and in the opinion of many users of the stadium, the caretaker became part of the problem and contributed to the continued deterioration.
Since the beginning of this year, the caretaker has been in jail, and the caretaker's house at the complex has been uninhabited and badly vandalised. It seems that truant children from neighbouring schools use the area as a hideout when using drugs and engaging in other illegal activities.
Hendrik Davids, chairperson of the Beyers Naude Sports Council, proposed a while ago that the sports council be given a budget to take over the maintenance of the complex. The municipality responded that there is no budget available.
"It's clear they don’t want assistance, and instead continue the poor management of the public facilities," said Davids.
Many older residents remember the days when they could be proud of this community facility. In 1995, the late Nelson Mandela held a rally at the stadium when he visited Graaff-Reinet, and the legendary Johnny Clegg appeared at a concert in the stadium in its heyday.
But now, unless there is some major intervention, it will continue to be an embarrassment.
'We bring you the latest Graaff-Reinet, Karoo news'