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Gauteng to build sports centres

Written by Nosihle Shelembe

Sport, arts and culture

Gauteng athletes and sports enthusiasts will soon enjoy playing and watching games from modern facilities thanks to Operation Mabaleng.

MEC Molebatsi Bopape says Operation Mabaleng will see the building of R10 million state-of-the-art multi-purpose sporting centres across Gauteng over the next five years.Westbury, in the south of Johannesburg, will be the first to benefit from a flagship project to build 10 multimillion state-of-the art multipurpose sports centres across the province over the next five years.

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Molebatsi Bopape unveiled the project called Operation Mabaleng (playing fields).

“Mabaleng will change how sport is played by locals and how communities engage in recreational activities. Even at night, people will have a chance to participate in physical activities, which should then begin to address the thinking that nights are only for drinking and partying,” said MEC Bopape.

She said access to sport was a human right essential to human development and helps in the transformation of society.

The MEC added that Westbury has a facility that hosts local soccer games. The facility needed revamping and modernisation.

There are three different models for the project. In some areas, existing facilities will be remodelled, while in other areas they will be developed from the ground.

The basic features of the model are of a soccer pitch (and five-a-side mini pitches), mini rugby, cricket, netball, basketball, a gymnasium, public viewing and indoor games area.

Community interests and priorities will be taken into consideration for each sport centre. Other codes will include athletics and cycling.

The MEC’s spokesperson Gugu Ndima said the completed facilities would be handed over to municipalities to manage.

“However, both the department and the municipalities will facilitate and coordinate programmes offered on site. Construction work at the pilot site in Westbury is scheduled to begin soon,” Ndima said.