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Lentegeur social clubs, organisations fight exclusion from the community hall

Angry residents from Lentegeur protest outside the Lobelia Community Hall after receiving a notice from the City of Cape Town banning them from using the hall as of June 6. Picture: Supplied

Angry residents from Lentegeur protest outside the Lobelia Community Hall after receiving a notice from the City of Cape Town banning them from using the hall as of June 6. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Cape Town - Lentegeur community organisations and social clubs who have been barred from using the Lobelia community hall in Mitchells Plain have challenged this decision, which they say has inconvenienced them.

The residents who recently have demonstrated in front of the hall said it was not acceptable that only a crèche can operate from the premises.

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This after the clubs have received an email from the City stating that they are not allowed to utilise the facility after other clubs have used it for more than 10 years.

Numerous groups including the Seniors Club, Community Gym, Diabetic club, and the Arts and Craft club, are among those that have been barred from the hall.

Lentegeur Seniors’ Community Club chairperson Youmna Mohammed said this has come as a shock to them.

“Inside the hall is a crèche , which has been operating for years, while we also used the hall in harmony. It was sad as it is when we were told that we cannot use the community facility for two years during the hard lockdown as we shared a lot of good memories. However, we have discovered that the reason we were kicked out of the hall is that the crèche has now 60 kids and not the 30 we knew,” she said.

Mohammed said they were also not happy now that it has been indicated that the clubs would have to pay for utilising the hall.

Opportunity To Serve Ministries project manager Yolanda Hull said they were taken aback when their applications to utilise the hall were rejected. The NGO utilised the hall to offer primary health-care services and provision of chronic medication.

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“We have been making use of a church in the community, however, the space is small. This is a huge inconvenience for the seniors because the small space is taken by the clinic for medication dispensing. Because of this, the seniors now have to queue outside the church under different weather conditions. It’s important that we are allowed to use the community hall again as it is more convenient for the community to receive health services taken in a proper environment,” she said.

Ward councillor Solomon Philander said all the hall usage was 50% capacity.

“During the different levels of Covid-19 people stopped using the facility leaving the ECD as the sole user. As the levels decreased the demand to use the hall increased. Extra usage was put on a hold due to the amount being exceeded. This caused an uproar as the users did not understand why they can't use the hall but the ECD continued,” he said.

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Philander said he met the users to explain the process and decided that the hall would only be used once all users comply with completing the concession application.

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Cape Argus

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