News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday July 16th 2019

Scores of Du Noon kids choose rollerblading over tik

Despite having to buy ill-fitting second-hand rollerblades, children in Du Noon township are choosing to spend their afternoons careering through the township streets rather than smoking tik, as they say many of their peers do. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN


Rollerblading is becoming a popular sport amongst youths in impoverished Du Noon Township near Milnerton in Cape Town.

Wearing ill-fitting second-hand roller blades, with no protective gear, scores of youths skate along the townships busy streets, dodging taxis and careening between shacks.

Juwaydin Kiewiets, 12, said most of his peers were hooked on tik but rollerblading has kept him and his friends away from the addictive drug.

“It’s keeping us away from tik. We have fun everyday (skating),” said Kiewiets, who stopped to talk while skating down Dumani Street with five friends.

He said their parents gave them money to buy second hand roller blades at pawn shops in Table View and made do with whatever size rollerblades they could find. While he wore a size 6 shoe, he could only find size 12 rollerblades.

“These (roller blades) are big for us. We are lacking good skating shoes. We are using old skating shoes. We would like to get sponsors,” said Raphael Sekelani, 12, who has been rollerblading for three years.

Sekelani, who is in Grade 6 at Vissershok Primary School, said it was not safe to skate in the Streets of Du Noon but they had no choice as there was no skating facilities in the township.

Keegan Paulo, 12, said their rollerblading crew consisted of about 20 youths who gathered everyday after school to speed through the streets on their rollerblades

Paulo said at weekends they walked to Table View and skated in ca parks and on pavements there.

“It’s very nice (rollerblading). We like it,” he said.

Paulo’s mother Ronnel said her son’s love of rollerblading was “not a problem”.

She said she knew Keegan’s rollerblading group and knew what they were doing when they were not at home.

She said her husband’s friend gave her son the roller blades as she could not afford to buy them for him herself.

In August last year the City stated it had begun upgrading the Du Noon sports fields, which included construction of a cricket pitch, netball and basketball courts a “brand new club house” and a multi-purpose container.

“Stormwater drainage will be installed, and the parking area currently available will be upgraded, to the cost of R2 million,” stated the City.

Today ward councillor Lubabalo Makeleni said the City had created a section for skating on the Du Noon Sports field, but it was not yet open.

Makeleni said he had noticed that rollerblading was becoming popular amongst the youths in the township.

It used to be considered a sport only white kids enjoyed, he said, but township youths had taken it on.

However, Mayco member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said rollerblading on public was forbidden by the City’s bylaws. —Peter Luhanga

Juwaydin Kiewiets, 12, (on left) and his 'crew' rollerblade through the streets of Du Noon while many of their peers smoke tik. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

Juwaydin Kiewiets, 12, (on left) and his 'crew' rollerblade through the streets of Du Noon while many of their peers smoke tik. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

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2 Responses to “Scores of Du Noon kids choose rollerblading over tik”

  1. Freeman says:

    JP Smith must realize that this is not apartheid anymore and in 1996 a constitution has been enacted that bind state, judges, policy makers, police and THE LAW. It is a direct infringement on my right to freedom of movement, control and security of my body. The freedom of movement definitely extends to public land and tar and the bylaws are themselves as well as JP and the coppers enforcing them, criminal. JP is a moron. That is my opinion. This has been pointed out to him in public forum before.

    JP read the constitution you moron and get your f-ing mitts off my rights. The lack of care for the constitution by those responsible for policy is frightening, in fact the state does not even have a right to schedule TIK either since ’96 and only has an obligation to reduce its harm to society which would be though quality control and cutting the gangsters out of the supply chain. Wake up JP you fool.

  2. Freeman says:

    METH is a political scorched earth policy against the coloured vote and WC stability. I told members of the ginwala commission this, years ago, privately and no-one took me seriously. This is, and has been long ago, negoiated with the chinese for exchange for perlemoen and copper etc. Wake up WC DA too late at your own peril…your future depends on these township kids not getting into ice.

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