Community members had organised the sports day for children from the area in celebration of Youth Day
A GALESHEWE tavern owner has been accused of attempting to halt a Youth Day event on the weekend after demanding R1 000 “rent” from community members who organised a sports day on a piece of veld normally used as a rubbish dump.
On Sunday, community members reacted with outrage after they claimed that the owner of Bobo’s Tavern, in Galeshewe, had ordered them to pay R1 000 or “leave the area”, where a makeshift soccer pitch and netball court had been erected for Youth Day celebrations.
The community members indicated that they had organised the sports day for children from the area, in celebration of Youth Day, at an open piece of veld behind the Mayibuye Uprising Precinct.
The area, normally used as a rubbish dump, was cleared by the Sol Plaatje Municipality and soccer posts and netball baskets were supplied by the provincial Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.
Upon arrival at the event, groups of children were seen partaking in matches, while community members had put up tents and umbrellas and were playing music from a car sound system.
However, the organisers said that the owner of Bobo’s Tavern had instructed them to pay R1 000 for rent for the day as “the land belonged to him”.
“We are trying to keep these children off the streets and give them the opportunity to partake in healthy activities, like playing sports. We find it unbelievable that the tavern owner would have the audacity to demand rent for an event that is aimed at uplifting youth, when the area is only being used as a rubbish dump. Does he rather want the children to be drinking at his tavern or be out doing drugs?” they asked.
The community members vowed to keep the sports day going and to ignore the “ridiculous” demands of the tavern owner.
At Bobo’s Tavern, the owner was found sitting inside but he refused to comment on the situation, stating that he “did not have time to speak to the DFA”.