THE poor condition of the Jan Smuts Stadium is a big concern raising big concern among those involved in the local sporting fraternities, especially Border Athletics in East London.
Recently, a Buffalo City schools athletics meeting took place at the stadium, where thousands of school pupils had to make use of the poorly- maintained mainlined facilities.
The GO! reported (“Concern of state of Jan Smuts” February 1) that Border Athletics had been writing to the Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) for the past six years to inspect the facilities.
Chairmanperson of track and field in border athletics, Dumisani Nokenke, said they wrote a letter informingto BCM indicating all the wrong things that needed to be given attention to ,as BCM of what needed to be repaired at the stadium, as the municipality is responsible for the stadium. is the one that is responsible for the facilities.
“We have been writing letters to the municipality for the past six years, and still no response .
“And then last year, the water pipes stopped functioning, and the toilets also do not work.”
President of Border Athletics, Daan Louw, indicated that in 2014 they wrote a letter to Athletics South Africa about the state of the stadium, after which Jan Smuts Stadium, a where they sent delegation was sent to do an inspection visit of the facility. and identify any faults.
“A full inspection report was compiled and forwarded to BCM for their attention and action; we have been in regular contact with BCM over the past four years. and After the I was attacked in our offices at the stadium in October 2017, the Border Athletics Executive Board relocated our offices for the safety of the staff and athletes,” Louw said.
Louw said each year there had been a number of big athletics championships that had to be cancelled and moved to other venues outside of BCM because of the condition of the facility.
These include the South African University Championships, and this year alone, they had lost both the Eastern Cape primary and high school championships. Primary Schools and Championships and the Eastern Cape High School Championships.
“There is no other suitable stadium in this area that has a tartan track or conforms to the stadium standards required by Athletics South Africa to host championships.
“ In fact, Athletics South Africa has removed the Jan Smuts Stadium from their list of approved stadiums,”in South Africa,” Louw said. he said.
BCM spokesman Bathandwa Diamond said they were aware of the situation at the stadium’s condition,Jan Smuts Stadium and as a result, they were in the process of appointing a Professional Service Provider (PSP) for all sports facilities, including the Jan Smuts Stadium. The scope of work would include the design, safety measures and upgrading of lights.