A LEASE agreement between the proposed multi-million Rand Soccer Academy and High Performance Centre and eThekwini municipality has been reached.
According to ward 27 councillor Martin Meyer, in August 2017 Gugu Marawa, chief operations director for Hoy Park Sports Academy, reported that work at the Newmarket Stables site was set to start that month.
Newmarket Stables vacated residing horses from the premises on 31 July, allowing work to commence.
Meyer claimed that since the development had grown stagnant he had become wary that a lease was never signed.
Ultimately, “the Bid Adjudication Committee had sent the lease back stating there were problems with it,” he alleges although he was not aware what these problems were.
Meyer continued, “this has rung huge alarm bells for me. The money provided by the Province for the development of the academy has expired. I noticed the City sneaked in a byline in the budget to state it would be paying R3 million towards the project, which will be ratepayer’s money. It is definitely going to go ahead, but there is no timeframe at the moment.”
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Meyer said he had reported to the City Manager that the velodrome, which will be included in the proposed academy, was being used by Hoy Park to house young soccer players despite no rights to do so without a lease.
In June, Mike Bradley from Cycling South Africa spoke to Berea Mail, critiquing, “young soccer players were being accommodated on site but as no lease had been signed between Hoy Park and the municipality, this shouldn’t have been allowed. The velodrome is not designed for residential living and the septic tank had been blocked as a result. The municipality needs to do something as we can’t carry on like this.”
Adding that vandalism, as well as copper piping being stolen, at the velodrome was a concern.
“The cycle track has fallen into disrepair, Berea Rovers is defunct, which is a pity as it was the oldest sports club in the city. There seems to be no plans at the moment to build new stables elsewhere for the Metro Police horses. It seems no one knows what is going on,” indicated Meyer.
However, Meyer said the City Manager had told him he would investigate.