The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has concluded an agreement with Noorder Paarl High School for the use of the Sandrift Sports Facility property adjacent to the school.
The school principal and community members had approached the department earlier this year, asking about the use of the property as the school was in need of sporting facilities and the property was not being used.
De Lille noted that, as the custodian of state-owned properties, the department has a mandate to provide land or buildings for use by government departments and through sale, donation or letting out, the department may also enter into agreements with community-based organisations to use properties not being utilised by government for community purposes.
“The Noorder Paarl High School, which is a no fee school with more than 1 000 pupils, has been in dire need of proper sporting facilities for many years. The school contacted the department to enquire about the use of the field and following the finalisation of various due processes within the department, we are delighted that we were able to sign a User Agreement with the school on Friday, 5 August 2022.
“This agreement with the Noorder Paarl High School is in line with my commitment that we must use public land for public good and I am pleased that we were able to conclude this agreement with the school to enable them to have a space for sporting activities,” de Lille said.
She said the school principal and the governing body welcomed this agreement, saying it would greatly assist their work of conducting sports activities with decent facilities.
The Minister said many schools and community organisations do good work in communities and “access to sporting facilities is an important part in the development of young people and the community at large”.
She emphasised that access to facilities and land is one of the key forms of assistance government can give to enable communities to have a sense of belonging and see communities reach their full potential.
“Very often under-resourced communities struggle to hone and develop young sporting talent due to lack of facilities and it is incumbent on us to work with communities to provide available spaces so that communities can efficiently carry out community upliftment and development work.
“Many of our country’s great sporting talents hail from Paarl, like the late Chester Williams had to travel outside Paarl to practice sports, and we must do a lot more to help communities such as providing access to land and services so that they can fulfil their aspirations without any hindrances,” the Minister said.
She said the department’s responsibilities include monitoring the agreement to ensure that operational efficiency of the building is maintained and user complies with terms and conditions of the agreement.
The department has also committed to do renovations to bring the facilities up to standard.
The sporting field has been made available to the Noorder Paarl High School to be used for activities associated with various sporting codes, in compliance with the relevant legislation and the agreement.
“It is my hope that this agreement will allow the school to enhance development of sporting talents and give young people a safe space to participate in sport. Sport is an important part of social development and sport fields often provide children with a safe haven where they can escape the ills in our communities by having a space where they can develop their talents,” de Lille said.
Source: South African Government News Agency