City rings changes for ‘under-resourced’ hall

The City of Cape Town is assuming management of the Kalkfontein Community Hall and moving its management to the Recreation and Parks directorate.

The Kalkfontein Community Hall is under new management, with the City once again managing it after the Kalkfontein Community Development Forum stopped leasing it.

Sub-council 21 resolved at a meeting on July 21 to hand over the management of the hall to the City’s Recreation and Parks Department.

But community leaders are concerned this move may limit access for all residents.

Recreation and Parks assumes management from the City’s Property Management Department and there is no lease agreement between the two departments.

Asked what the financial implications of the move were, Mayco member for community services and health Dr Zahid Badroodien said recreation and parks would now will set aside funds annually for maintenance and repairs, as well as daily operational costs to keep the facility open for community programmes and event bookings.

“The Recreation and Parks Department is currently making the necessary financial and operational arrangements needed to be able to manage and sustain the facility effectively,” Dr Badroodien said.

The amenity was built by the Western Cape government and handed over to the City, which subsequently leased it to the Kalkfontein Community Development Forum (KCDF) in 2015.

Transport and Public Works spokesperson Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka had not responded to queries by the time this story was spublished.

Asked about the challenges they faced during their leasing of the hall, the KCDF chairperson Johannes Pula said even though their organisation paid to use it, too many third parties had fought over the use of the hall.

Kalkfontein Community Development Forum chairperson Johannes Pula says they stopped leasing the hall because too many third parties used it.

He said the hall had been previously used to shelter the homeless, for funerals, weddings, parties, shows and public holiday events.

He said since they stopped using it, the hall had become a white elephant.

Kuils River Civic Association chairperson Isaac Jenecke said the hall had been previously used to accommodate a seniors club, but has not been used regularly lately due to Covid-19 protocols.

He said this move could alienate the rest of the community as the hall would now be used for sport and recreation.

Previously, Mr Jenecke said, everyone had access to the hall and even the SA Social Security Agency had used it to disburse grants. Public community meetings were also mostly held in the hall.

He lamented that the hall was under-resourced and had gone for long periods without maintenance.