Ithemba Labantu sports field project gets under way
More than five years since the idea was first proposed, the Ithemba Labantu community centre has begun work on developing a new sports facility that will bring benefit to the community of Philippi.
Set in a rehabilitated seasonal flood water retention pond that is dry for most of the year, the ingenious plan for the site is to create a youth Sports Park, to be known as the Philipp Lahm Sports Ground, connected to the NGO’s Youth Centre.
The project will be a ground-breaking example of innovative use of this kind of under-utilised public land. Retention ponds are located in many areas of the Cape Flats. The project will include new measures to manage the water that will still need to be drained from the surrounding urban area during periods of high rainfall.
For the past month, diggers have been hard at work clearing away the filth that has collected on the site over many years of neglect.
PEDI CEO Thomas Swana has welcomed the start of work on the project.
“PEDI is delighted to have been able to facilitate discussion with the City of Cape Town when the planning phase of the project seemed to be held up.” he said. “We are very pleased indeed that the City has recognised the value that the creative use of this land can bring to the local community. This facility will make a huge difference to the area.”
Ithemba Labantu completed the building of a Youth Centre as part of the NGO’s community centre in 2016. The Youth Centre comprises a double storey building with classrooms and a computer room as well as a play area for children and it is planned that this centre will be connected to the Sports Ground.
The Ithemba Labantu Lutheran Community Centre has been operating in the area for decades, serving the people of Philippi through the generosity of a range of sponsors.