“A lot more” people were expected to move onto the soccer field.
RESIDENTS have objected to land being invaded at the Kwanobantu soccer field, on the corner of Dula and Paballo streets in Galeshewe, for residential purposes.
The ground is used by semi-professional football players who compete at provincial and national level.
Residents said that two shacks were erected on the field by EFF members last week.
“We are not happy about it because the children practise there on a regular basis. We are refusing to allow them to use our toilets or give them water because they are not welcome here. The invasion of the land is disastrous because there is less and less ground left for soccer players,” said the residents.
EFF provincial spokesperson Obakeng Lechuti yesterday indicated that “a lot more” people were expected to move onto the soccer field.
“This is not land grabbing and we did not initiate occupation of the land. Many community members and youths from all walks of life, especially in the townships, are in desperate need of land. They are living in overcrowded conditions at the back of their parents’ and grandparents’ homes. They have nowhere else to go,” said Lechuti.
He added that two of its members had chosen the soccer field to be their new home, as the location was near to where they were staying.
“A third shack should be up in the next few days. Some are afraid of moving in at this stage after one of the shacks was burnt down. Our people managed to put out the fire and the shack has been rebuilt. The owner will be moving in soon.”
Lechuti stated that the EFF supported community members who wished to utilise vacant land.
“Empty plots of land are being used as dumping sites. No communication has been received from the police or the municipality that they are opposed to the shacks.
“We believe that sporting and recreational facilities should rather be built at the old Redirile School that has been left vacant and vandalised. It is a more secure venue. The Kwanobantu soccer field is not ideal because it is situated so close to the houses. Soccer balls often break residents’ glass windows and players cannot practise freely.”
Sol Plaatje Municipality did not respond to media enquiries.