Cape Town - A football club based in the Cape Town suburb of Bothasig is fuming after the City of Cape Town declined its applications to make use of a sporting facility owned by the municipality.
Bothasig Rangers made two applications to use a portion of the sports facility as the pitch they were using is ill suited to the purposes of training and they could not guarantee the safety of their players.
“We applied to the Abe Sher Sports Ground in Bothasig to make use of one field to train on. Bothasig AFC uses that facility which consists of four fields. We only wanted two use one to train on during the week. We applied for that field cause the club is in Bothasig but it's only R100 to play for the juniors, it's also central for kids from Richwood and Summer greens, Du Noon for single parents and who can't afford the fees of R500 plus," Bothasig Rangers chairperson Dorian Sylvester said.
They had made the application because the field they were using, an empty lot next to Bothsaig Library, was not securely fenced in and was ill-suited to operating a football club from.
"There is no ablution facility at the park. There is also no fence around so the younger kids tend to run into the street to collect the soccer ball. It's also unsafe because some vagrants harass the kids when adult supervision is not there," Sylvester said.
The club consists of around 110 under-18 members and between 23 and 25 players older than 18.
"The City and the soccer club Bothasig AFC all know each other and have a long relationship. We are disappointed because we are trying to take kids off the street and offer them a better option. Yes we don't have lots of money but we are willing to assist financially," he said.
The club quizzed the City about the denial of their applications, and was told the current water crisis in the Western Cape was to blame.
The City gave the Cape Argus the same response.
"The club’s request was turned down because there was no playing capacity on the fields in question to accommodate another club," mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services JP Smith said.
"The current drought crisis has also had an adverse effect on the condition of most turfgrass facilities in the city, further exacerbating the situation. The City has liaised with clubs, federations as well as the South African Football Association (SAFA) Cape Town, to curtail their seasons because of the effects of the drought.
"It is for this reason only that the request has been denied."
Smith also denied claims by the club that it was being unfairly discriminated against.