Limpopo’s R54m high-tech complex: Youth get a sporting chance

Thulamela's R54 million sports complex aims to combat crime, engage communities in Limpopo and foster a competitive spirit through sports.

While many Limpopo municipalities return the unspent money from their budgets to the National Treasury at the end of each financial year, the Thulamela local municipality in the Vhembe region has none to give back.

Praised by the Office of the Auditor-General for 100% spend of its allocated municipal infrastructure grant last year, it has used the last of the budget allocated to a breathtaking state-of-the-art sports complex, that cost just over R54 million.

Senior manager for technical services at the municipality Aluwani Gangashe said the facilities at the Makonde Sports Complex comprised a main pavilion, soccer pitch, combi courts, splash pool, Olympic pool, guard house, refuse area, septic tank area, electrification area, elevated tank, pump house, a parking lot and multiple roads leading to and from the complex.

This multi-year project, she said, commenced on 22 November 2017 and was now nearing completion. It will be officially handed over to the 490 000-odd Thulamela residents in two months’ time.

“During the construction phase, we managed to create not less that 50 jobs for local men and women, and on completion, it will create even more jobs for street vendors and those with glamorous Venda artefacts.

“Our primary aim is to make sure we take youth off the streets,” she said.

Gangashe said contact crimes, such as assault, sexual offences, murder and substance abuse, were escalating in the region.

“We have built this facility with the sole aim of fighting crime, boredom and creating an energetic society that stands to compete in sports with local, national and international communities.

“In no time, we will not only have Miss South Africa coming from this region, but will also have sports icons coming from the Venda kingdom,” said Gangashe.

Thohoyandou police station is ranked in the top 30 nationwide for reported rape cases.

It is also in the top 30 for community-reported serious crimes, sexual assault and contact crimes reported.

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Limpopo National Treasury Vhembe youth

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