The neglected Makwarela Stadium, outside of Sibasa in rural Limpopo, has become a children’s playground during the day and at night is used by couples who see it as a safe place to have sex.
Nothing being done
Local residents in the area are angry as they say the used condoms that are left all over the stadium pose a health risk to children.
The stadium, which is intended to be used mostly by local football teams, has been neglected for years and is now completely rundown. The perimeter fence has fallen down, the grass has grown long and it is easily accessible to anyone.
Local parents say they have been complaining to the Thulamela Municipality about what is currently going on at the stadium, but nothing has been done to address the situation.
“Our children are at risk of contracting diseases through the scattered used condoms which are being found all over the stadium. Even if we try to stop the children from going to the stadium they will still go because it’s the only playground which we have in our community,” said Grace Munisi, an angry mother who lives near the stadium.
She added: “I fail to understand how grown up people have sex in public and then just throw away their used condoms there. It’s clear that they do not care about the safety and health of our children because they knew very well that kids play at that stadium after school.”
Despite the dangers that used condoms pose to children, the fact that more young South Africans are using condoms is a good sign, as reported in this Health24 article.
‘People ruining the place’
Munisi said children were naturally curious and were likely to go and touch the condoms to see what they were.
According to local residents, most of the adults who make use of the stadium do not live in Makwarela. They find the stadium as a safe place because its situated in the middle of the Makwarela community and is therefore protected.
“A stadium is supposed to be a place where our kids can go play and feel safe. But this is not the case with Makwarela Stadium. People are ruining the place and we have asked the municipality to intervene and fix the fence countless times, but nothing is being done. And on top, our children continue to be exposed to used condoms,” said another concerned parent, Azwinndini Magoro.
Nndamato Tshiila, spokesperson for the Thulamela Municipality, said officials were aware of the broken fencing at the stadium and were planning to renovate the stadium soon.
Officials will investigate
“We have budgeted funds to renovate the stadium. At the moment we are only waiting for the contractors to begin with the process of renovations,” he said.
Asked about the used condoms at the stadium, Tshiila said: “We only know about condoms at the stadium that are being used by the soccer players to tie up their socks. But we will investigate and if what the people are saying is true we will take it from there.”