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Volunteers restore school’s hijacked sports facility

The residents cleaned and restored the sports field because it was no longer safe and had turned into a hideout for criminals and drug addicts.

Unemployed residents of ward 23 got their hands dirty on Friday, cleaning and restoring a sports facility that was turning into an illegal dumpsite.

Residents had noticed the sports facility next to Balebogeng Primary School in Mamelodi East was no longer safe and was turning into a hideout for criminals and drug addicts because of littering.

One of the volunteers, Bethuel Kgatle, said they were cleaning the sports field because it was no longer safe and had turned into a hideout for criminals and drug addicts.

He said more than 40 volunteers from the community near the school took their garden tools to clean, cut overgrown grass, and restore the sports ground.

“The sports facility was taken over by criminals who terrorised the community by robbing them of their belongings,” said Kgatle.

Volunteers hard at work restoring the sports field next to Balebogeng Primary School in Mamelodi East.

The drug addicts and criminals had also turned the community sports facility into their home.

Kgatle added that the facility was used by the school for soccer games and to host athletics meetings.

He said they removed all the dirt, brought the ground back to its old state, and even painted track lanes for the upcoming school athletics event.

The volunteers also vowed to take care of the sports facility and pleaded with the community not to litter at the sports grounds.

They also pleaded with the government to intervene and help in restoring sports facilities, because there is a lot of talent in Mamelodi.

“The sports facilities are meant to keep our children busy, safe, and away from crime, drug abuse, and teenage pregnancy.”

Kgatle further said there will be no more bad odour coming from the dumped litter, and nearby residents will be able to open their windows for fresh air again.

“We are doing this for the love of our community and safety of our children,” he added.

Volunteesr from Ward 23 hard at work restoring the sports field.

The volunteers also removed the mattresses and blankets that belonged to drug addicts and criminals from the sports facility.

Another volunteer, Michael Sehlabelo, pleaded with the government to help with equipment to keep the facility running at all times and t orestore other facilities around Mamelodi before they get vandalised by criminals.

“I’m so happy to see concerned residents take their time to restore the school sports facility, and I believe crime will stop and the community will be able to do sports again,” he said.

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