The community hall takes a beating

The state of the Phumlani Village Hall is deteriorating without security and cleaning staff.

Phumlani Village residents have called on the City of Cape Town to step in and help stop vandalism at the community centre.

The hall has become almost dilapidated. Taps and pipes have been ripped out, the fencing broken and the toilets do not work.

Vera April, 60, who runs a daycare with 28 children from the containers on the premises of the facility, said the children had to use the broken toilets and make do with the neglected facility.

“We desperately need security at the hall. We have no choice and have to use the toilet at the hall but sometimes the water doesn’t run and the children have to go to the toilet in filth.

“I try to keep it as clean as I can, but someone needs to be appointed to keep the place clean as well as a security guard. Otherwise the hall will fall to pieces,” said Ms April, who is also the secretary for the hall’s committee.

Community worker Keith Blake said the state of the hall was disappointing.

“The hall where community meetings and functions are supposed to be hosted is in disrepair. The City cannot just upgrade a facility and not employ security because as is the case at the Phumlani Village hall, it is being destroyed.

“The community also needs to take ownership and look after the facilities in their neighbourhoods because the City did upgrade it but it was not looked after by the residents,” said Mr Blake.

But resident Soli Ntombela said it was the City’s responsibility to fix and keep the facility in good state.

“Other halls have security guards and cleaners. We also need staff here at this facility but the City does not want to appoint anyone. Instead we are left to look after it. There is only so much we can do to stop vandalism,” said Mr Ntombela.

Responding to Mr Blake’s concerns, Sub-council 18 manager, Fred Monk, said the facility had been upgraded during the 2017/18 financial year at a cost of about R450 000.

He said the facility had been in a good condition and that community leaders had taken ownership and committed to help the City to look after the facility.

“Surely the creche and the community should take ownership to keep the facility clean? The City is investing a lot in communities through programmes, assisting in various aspects, EPWP projects, upgrades, cleaning of areas but nothing is forthcoming from the communities. Educating and informing the community to appreciate and respect and not vandalising facilities would be welcomed. Let’s stop playing the blame game,” he said.