Ricochet News

Joy as Ngqushwa Local Municipality issues tender for Glenmore stadium

By Afikile Lugunya - Sep 12, 2018
Joy as Ngqushwa Local Municipality issues tender for Glenmore stadium

There is finally hope that the community of Glenmore, about 20km outside Peddie towards Grahamstown, will finally get their stadium after the Ngqushwa Local Municipality issued a tender inviting contractors to refurbish the dilapidated Glenmore sports field.

The stadium was meant to have been refurbished after the Ngqushwa Local Municipality reportedly spent nearly R3 million on a refurbishment project.

Apparently, a contractor was appointed for the refurbishment project in 2016 yet the facility has been closed ever since and local residents claim they have not been able to use the stadium ever since the refurbishments were done.

According to a report by non-governmental organisation, Afesis-Corplan, at the heart of the Glenmore stadium debacle lies the fact that the community with a history of sporting tournament hosting and an active youth is without a sporting facility as a result of poor workmanship by the contractor that was meant to refurbish the stadium.

Afesis-Corplan says that the tender documents for the sports field show that it was to have a new gate house, new male and female VIP ablution facilities, new change rooms, new netball court, new basketball court, new grandstands, new athletics track, refurbished pitch for soccer and rugby, irrigation systems and water fountain.

However when Afesis-corplan visited the field this year, they found that poor workmanship had resulted in a building with structural defects and the sports fields had not been properly grassed.

The defects included, among others, an open hole in the ceiling of the changing room; roof leakages; visible cracks in the wall; windows that have been vandalised; uneven floor surfaces; inconsistent tiling; and spectators’ stands that were unstable and not safe for use. Furthermore the guard house next to the main gate had no window.

In May, Ngqushwa Local Municipality Executive Mayor, Mnikelo Siwisa, acknowledged receiving a community petition over the stadium, which was received on the 25th of April, and assured the community that upgrades to the field will be finished and communicated to residents.

Mayor Siwisa also promised to look into what happened to the R3 million the municipality spent on the stadium.

However, in June Glenmore residents decided to go on another protest claiming that the Ngqushwa Local Municipality Municipal Manager had apparently failed to respond to a memorandum of demands handed over to the municipality during another protest on the 25 of April.

They also accused the municipality of hiring bouncers to stop them from entering the municipal premises.

This week, the Ngqushwa Local Municipality published a tender for the refurbishment of the Glenmore Stadium.

"We are pleased that three years of engagements, petitions, protests, technical reports and meetings organized by the community of Glenmore and its civil society partner finally yielded a positive outcome as evidenced by tender advertisement to refurbish the Glenmore Sports Field,” said Afesis-Corplan in a statement.  

"We hope that the municipality will follow due processes in appointing a credible, well-capacitated entity that would incorporate the will and views of the people of Glenmore in refurbishing that sports field.”

The NGO said that makes them even more joyful is that people of Glenmore will participate in the refurbishment process while they are also aware of their rights and responsibilities as beneficiaries and custodians of the sports field.

"The journey the people of Glenmore travelled in fighting for the refurbishment of the sports field bears testament to the fact that when communities are united towards a common goal, they can hold local government to account for the quality of services it delivers,” Afesis-Corplan said.

"This they can do irrespective of their location (whether rural or urban) or socio-economic status. As a civil society partner of the Glenmore community in the struggle for the refurbishment of the sports field, Afesis-corplan commends the leadership of Ngqushwa Municipality for finally putting the people first."