22 Jan 2015 15:00pm
SAPA PR--OPERATION MABALENG TO BENEFIT COMMUNITIES OF GAUTENG  Issued by: Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Attention: NEWS EDITORS OPERATION MABALENG TO BENEFIT COMMUNITIES OF GAUTENG  Westbury in the south of Johannesburg will be the first to benefit from the exciting and new flagship project launched by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation to build 10 multimillion state of the art multipurpose sporting centers across Gauteng over the next 5 years. The significant “game changer” project called Operation Mabaleng (playing fields) was unveiled earlier today by MEC for sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Ms Molebatsi Bopape with various MMCs for sport from different Gauteng municipalities supporting the initiative. Also in attendance to endorse it was the Gauteng Sports Council’s President Barry Hendricks. The area (Westbury) has an existing facility which hosts local soccer games including the annual Steven Pienaar games which is however in dire need of revamping and mordenisation. Other areas that stand to have facilities modelled as part of the Mabaleng project include Tembisa, Alexandra, Mamelodi, Bekkersdaal , Eldorado Park, Diepkloof MEC Bopape had previously said when pronouncing on the project in 2014 “We acknowledge that there are shortages of sporting facilities for our people.  Operation Mabaleng will address these shortcomings. The project will reach out to as many inactive and deprived townships; informal settlements and rural areas through sport activities such as Football, Netball, Cricket and other sporting codes”. Targeted by the project are mainly young people in and out-of school who find themselves with not much to engage themselves in due to lack of sporting and recreational facilities. “Mabaleng will change how sport is played by locals and how communities engage in recreational activities that even at night people will have a chance to participate in physical activities which should then begin to address the thinking that nights are only for drinking and partying”, added MEC Bopape. “Access to and participation in sport is a human right essential to human development and helps in the transformation of the society” said MEC Moleba is she alluded to the importance of the project.    Three different models exist of the project where in some areas, existing facilities will be remodelled whilst in other areas will be developed from the ground. The basic features of the model are soccer pitch (and 5-a-side mini pitches); mini rugby; cricket; netball, basketball; gymnasium; mini cricket; public viewing and indoor games area. Community interests and priorities will be taken into consideration for each community. Other codes will include athletics and cycling. Once completed the facilities will be handed over to municipalities to run and manage, however both the department and the municipalities will facilitate and coordinate programmes offered on site. Construction work at the pilot site in Westbury is scheduled to begin soon. For media inquiries contact Gugu Ndima – (Spokesperson for the MEC) on: Tel: 011 355 2711; Cell: 076 413 8071; or, Nomazwe Ntlokwana – (Departmental Spokesperson) on Tel: 011 355 2578; Cell: 083 507 8068; Issued by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Ends /DK