News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday September 19th 2019

Du Noon left out of World Cup circle

Peter Luhanga

Nombuyiselo Ngali is exited about the World cup but at the same time she is frustrated at being the difficulty of watching any of the matches. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCNNombuyiselo Ngali is exited about the World cup but at the same time she is frustrated at being the difficulty of watching any of the matches.

Although flags are draped over shacks and children practice blowing vuvuzelas, Ngali, and thousands of other residents living in the township of Du Noon, have no electricity to power tv sets or money to travel to far-flung public viewing areas.

And although the City of Cape Town has spent R30 million in providing four public viewing areas – known as fan jols – they are all situated in the southern and eastern parts of the city.

“Many people here are unemployed. They don’t have money to buy match tickets or go to the (official Fifa Fan Fest on the) Grand Parade,” Ngali said. “World Cup won’t be very good to us.”

Meanwhile a non-profit organization for the promotion of soccer in Du Noon, Game Time Soccer Promotions, attempts to set up public viewing areas in community halls in Du Noon and the Joe Slovo informal settlements, were stymied by a delayed response from the city.

Game Time Soccer Promotions chairman Mbuso Madonko said in December last year he applied to the city for permission to screen World Cup matches at city community halls in Du Noon Joe Slovo.

Madonko said the organisation had secured funding to set up the public viewing areas and, after “countless follow ups” had his application approved on May 4.

But the long delay resulted in the sponsors withdrawing their funding and his project had to be cancelled.

“The soccer fans were going to watch the matches free of charge. We have a lot people living in shacks and don’t have electricity, neither do they own a TV set. We have been denied an opportunity to cerebrate the once-in-alifetime event together with Cape Town, South Africa, Africa and the entire world.”

He said he had even made arrangements with the Du Noon Taxi Association to ferry people from the Frankdale informal settlement to the screenings in Joe Slovo.

“It is painful not to have a place to watch the matches near us,” said Du Noon resident Tsele Nkogane. Nkogane said he and two of his friends would try to pool money to hire a private car so that they could go to the Grand Parade to watch some of the matches.
He said they could not rely on public transport late at night when the matches were screened and taxis would not be running to enable them to get home from the Fan Fest in the city centre.

He said the alternative, as often happened during Premier Soccer Leagues (PSL) matches, fans gathered at a near by restaurant to watch the games, or watched the game through a window.

Chairperson of the Blaauwberg sub-council under which Du Noon and Joe Slovo fell, Heather Brenner, said it was regrettable that the City was unable to provide a free match viewing areas in the Blaauwberg region.

However, Brenner said the Blaauwberg subcouncil area was “not alone in this and other areas of the City are similarly compromised”.

“Blaauwberg cannot be seen in isolation from the rest of the City of Cape Town nor are the City’s resources a bottomless pit into which hands can be dipped at random to the detriment of funding a reasonable spread of other services,” said Brenner.

Regarding the delay in approving Game Time Soccer Promotion’s applications to screen games in the area, she said it was “regrettable that the particular application was approved too late for the applicant to take advantage of sponsorships he had obtained”.

But she said the Blaauwberg subcouncil region would be one of the first parts of the city to benefit from the IRT (Integrated Rapid Transit) system, a World Cup heritage project.

“You can’t win then all,” she said.

Tags: Du Noon, fan jols, fifa, Public Viewing Areas, World Cup

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