The City of Cape Town has put a halt to an eviction order at Athlone Stadium after its tenants took to the streets to protest on Monday.
A meeting was held this week with the representatives of one of the tenants, at the request of Mayor Dan Plato.
The Cape Music Institute (CMI), whom Plato met with, is one of many organisations located at the stadium, along with The South African Football Association (SAFA).
The music school’s director Camillo Lombard told the media on Monday that a two-month eviction order was issued, without any warning late last year.
“They just told us that we are none compliant and that if a fire should break out, we wouldn’t know about it. But there was a fire system put in place at the stadium and we embarked on the fire drill late last year,” explained Lombard.
“We asked the City what we could do to make the situation better. To give the tenants two months’ notice to leave, after bringing life into this stadium for six years, is just unacceptable. We should all stand in solidarity.”
During a meeting with the school on Tuesday, Plato explained the challenges facing the community stadium and the importance of ensuring that the facility is compliant with the provisions of the Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act (SASREA) No.2 of 2010, while balancing the needs of the community who utilise the stadium for events, sport, and social use.
In a statement, the City said all the users of the stadium have been asked to assist them (City) and to give their cooperation while they (City) carry out internal alterations to ensure compliance.
This will allow the existing occupants to remain in situ, and the necessary internal alterations will not affect the structural integrity of the stadium.
The City’s James Vos, in a statement, explained that a decision had been taken to appoint a specialist business analyst in order to assist with determining the future optimal functionality of the facility.
He said that this will help to ensure the stadium’s best use going forward and to address the existing and future space management within the stadium.
The City added, that, after a fruitful discussion, the representatives of the music school expressed their thanks at being afforded more time to source alternative premises for the school as they have outgrown the space they currently occupy within the stadium.
CMI management took to social media to thank the public for their support after meeting with Plato.
“We met with the mayor and his advisors. We will not be evicted from the Athlone Stadium, but find an amicable way forward to reach a level of compliance.”
The City announced that it will no longer be evicting tenants from the stadium while the facility is revamped, and add that they (City) regret the inconvenience to the current users and remains committed to ensuring quality and compliant facilities for its residents. (Deen Times)