The playing surfaces of the City of Cape Town’s sports fields have recovered significantly and will be ready to welcome athletes back once regulations allow.
This is according to Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Dr Zahid Badroodien.
“During the lockdown, the City was prohibited from delivering non-essential services which resulted in most sports fields receiving minimal or no maintenance,” said Badroodien in a media statement.
The fields were closed and most of the winter sporting codes were postponed. This inactivity on the fields, coupled with winter rains and cooler temperatures the last few weeks, have significantly improved the condition of playing surfaces. “It has proven that limiting the usage of fields to allow the grass some much needed recovery time, results in a better quality playing surface,” said Badroodien.
He said the City’s Recreation and Parks Department is also taking advantage of the opportunity to reinstate lawns where possible during July and August, while sporting codes are currently restricted from using facilities.
Rehabilitation efforts have been focused on facilities that have alternative water supply systems such as boreholes and treated effluent.
“The department has received various queries from the sporting fraternity in terms of accessing and using the City’s sports facilities.
“While a recent relaxation of regulations has made it possible for professional athletes to return, a decision on granting access and usage of the City’s sports facilities is subject to the dictates listed in the Regulations and Directions issued under the Disaster Management Act,” Badroodien said.
He added that all sports bodies must first apply to the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture in writing for approval and may only resume training and matches once they have approval in writing.
“The City’s fields will greatly benefit from an additional few weeks of inactivity before they will be ready for use. Ongoing challenges experienced in maintaining sports fields include theft, vandalism and illegal use.
“These actions set the recovery of fields back and could even mean a delay in reopening once regulations allow. I encourage our sporting fraternity to be patient and our residents to report any suspicious activity at facilities.”