root - March 14, 2023

Soccer and netball clubs surprised with new equipment

A top-achieving soccer team from Doornbach, site 5 informal settlement gets some help from the sports, arts and culture department

Dunoon netball also benefits from departmental sponsorship thanks to local ward councilor

Peter Luhanga

Lack of resources did not deter an informal settlement football club from taking part in tournaments, despite not having a proper field to train on. 

The Mhlontlo Football Club from Doornbach site 5 informal settlement won the Eastern Tournament last year, having reached the quarter finals in 2018.

Ahead of this year’s tournament, they were thrilled to receive a full kit, training bibs, and balls from the Department of Sports, Art, and Culture at the request of Ward 104 councilor Meisie Makuwa. Also thrilled to receive kit and training bibs from the department on Saturday 11 March, was the Dunoon Netball Club.

Site 5 resident Tobias ‘two’ Mpumputhwane founded the Mhlontlo Football Club in 2017 and has since then been struggling to get access to a proper football pitch rather than having to train at the back of the informal settlement near the banks of the Diep River, with the field becoming flooded during winter. 

Mpumputhwane said although they have lacked equipment, this did not stop the team from training four days a week and using their tenacity to win the Easter Trophy last year.

He said soccer kept youngsters from smoking dagga and tik. The training kept them focused and gave them something to do over the weekends when they played matches and attended tournaments. “The club helps the youth to keep busy to stay away from all social ills,” he said.

Ward councilor Meisie Makuwa said she was compelled to seek help from the Sports Arts and Culture Department after noting that Site 5 residents felt isolated from her ward, “Doornbach, site 5 feel like they don’t belong to ward 104,” said Makuwa.

Makuwa says her efforts to donate to a Site 5 Soccer Club is a means to foster community collaboration between Dunoon and its neighbouring informal settlement.

Sivuyile Watani from the office of the deputy minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, delivered the donation on behalf of his boss Nocawe Mafu.

Watani confirmed that Mafu provided the sponsorship after receiving the request from Makuwa.

“It [Doornbach] is generally a disadvantaged community and they need the support,” said Watani.

Mpumputhwane said his soccer club will continue training hard in order to participate in soccer competitions accredited by the South African Football Association (SAFA).

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