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Unplugged by BBK

People are the losers in the Sisa Dukashe Stadium saga

05 November 2017 - 00:00 By BARENG-BATHO KORTJAAS

Mdantsane, one of the biggest townships in South Africa, is known as the mecca of boxing in the country.
The township produced pugilists of high quality.
The late Nkosana "Happyboy" Mgxoji, saluted by boxing aficionados as one of the best boxers from these shores never to win a world title, is one of the products of Mdantsane.
Vuyani "The Beast" Bungu, who scaled dizzy heights of the sport with International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organisation world titles, is another.
And South Africa's first IBF champion, Welcome Ncita, hails from this neck of the woods. These are just a trio of a long line of boxing royalty who gave the locals much joy and happiness. They used to enthral boxing supporters at the local Sisa Dukashe Stadium.Lately, a football team, Chippa United, have been giving the locals something to shout about at that cathedral of sport.
In their droves, the people have descended on the venue to be treated to a first-class football fare.
All of Cape Town City, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have played Chippa in front of crazy capacity crowds.
The atmosphere inside the stadium when the Chilli Boys supporters are on song rivals the carnival mood the Yellow Nation of Sundowns create at the Lucas "Masterpieces" Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Tshwane.
Even Bloemfontein Celtic supporters, who used to be the undisputed kings of creating a heaven of song in a stadium, have fallen down the pecking order. They no longer go to the stadium as they used to and the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium sometimes resembles a ghost town.The Chilli Boys have taken that position of filling the air with song, dance and creating a complete vibe, thanks to the faithful fans who fill up Sisa Dukashe Stadium.
Now, all of a sudden, Chippa United are being kicked out of the facility.
At play is politics. At play is triumphalism by a faction that defeated another faction during the ruling ANC's recent and chaotic provincial conference.
So what if Chippa United's chairman is friendly with people in the warring factions? Why then must the people on the ground suffer because of some political rivalry and thuggery?
The target was executive mayor Xola Phakathi, so that whatever was presented on the day was meant to be rejected.
Why?
Because Phakathi was seen as somebody who supported provincial Premier Phumulo Masualle.
Now whatever is being presented in council that includes Chippa United must be rejected by the councillors.
People are complaining about an empty stadium. But United's presence in the area allowed people to see players like Siphiwe Tshabalala, Khama Billiat, Teko Modise, to name but three, when their teams were in the township.Anyone who saw Black Leopards take on Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC at the Thohoyandou Stadium last month saw the beauty of the beautiful game in motion.
Of course United do get paid money, just over a million rand, for playing at Sisa Dukashe Stadium. There is this music event called Buyelekhaya. One is informed that it gets R4-million just for a gig in December, attracting about 15000 people. United, on the other hand, draw full houses at the 17000 capacity stadium for many matches. Do the maths.
Thankfully there is an intervention taking place behind the scenes.
The South African Football Association and that Buffalo City Municipality are engaging the municipal authorities to find a solution that will keep the club close to the people.
If the municipality is complaining that the club is not catering for development of local youngsters, let them spell it out and let the club sort it out. All parties should seek a win-win solution because right now, the people are the losers in the Sisa Dukashe Stadium sorry saga.
Twitter: @bbkunplugged99..

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