Hanover Park sports field gets R2m upgrade

Ward councillor Antonio van der Rheede says the second phase of improvements to the Downberg Sports Field is under way.

The City is spending R2million on improvements to a Hanover Park sports field.

Work on the upgrade to the Downberg Sports Field, or the Nantes field as it is more commonly known in the area, started in June this year, said City spokeswoman Vennessa Scholtz.

According to the ward councillor, Antonio van der Rheede, the work is being done in phases with R750 000 already spent on irrigation for half of the field. The rest of the irrigation was due to be finished by Saturday October 6 at a cost of R500 000.

In December grass would be replanted, and after that, the cricket net would be repaired, said Ms Scholtz.

Planting grown trees around the perimeter and building seating at the facility are also in the pipeline, according to Mr Van der Rheede.

“This is in line with our master plan that was adopted by the ward committee, community and sub-council. We want our facility to be on par with any other facility in the City, and we are going to get there. It will look and feel different. The community will benefit from the upgrade because it will be a quality facility, he said.

Ms Scholtz said that the City’s recreation and parks department was finalising suitable seating for the park.

“This project will commence in the new financial year, 2024/2025. The costs thereof are yet to be determined,” she said.

Craven Engel, CEO of Ceasefire Cure Violence, a non-profit organisation in Hanover Park, said the improvements could help to draw young people into sport instead of the crime and gangsterism so prevalent in the area.

“Any facility would help steer youth in the right direction. Sports facilities are needed on the Cape Flats. Sport changes the behaviour of the players and is just one of the components we need for our youth. Soccer is a sport much played on the Cape Flats. A lot of children in Hanover Park do quite well at sport; they are very interested, but the issue of resources becomes a setback, and then the youth fall through the cracks because the resources are not readily available.”

Hanover Park teenager Shiyanah Witworth, 18, said children in the area enjoyed playing soccer, especially on a Sunday, but more might be encouraged to take part if they had a proper field.

“Hanover Park needs more sports facilities and more sports, which could stop children from joining gangs and rather play sport,” she said.