11 July 2018
The MMC of Community Development in the City of Johannesburg, councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba, gave a speech at the logistics press conference for the inaugural Shell Helix Ultra Cup, set to take place at the FNB Stadium on 21 July 2018, between football giants Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
A very warm greeting on this very cold day.
I thank the sponsors of the Shell Helix Ultra Cup for giving me the opportunity to say a few words about what Community Development does for the residents of Johannesburg, and what this cup means for the people of Johannesburg.
Sports and Recreation is one of the functions of Community Development in the City of Joburg. Our focus though, somewhat differently to that of the sponsors of today’s event is on developmental sport.
Developmental sport is about tapping into the potential of youth growing up in the dusty streets of the previously forgotten corners of our beautiful City. It is about recognising that talent, nurturing it, and exposing it to a conducive environment for it to thrive and excel. This is what Community Development is about.
The City affords the residents facilities and programmes in which that talent can be honed, but the need is simply too much, and the resources are quite stretched.
One of the pillars of Community Development is around granting access. Granting access in this instance is about affording all the opportunity to express themselves through sport, and to be recognised for their talent. It also means being able to practice their craft in the best possible facilities with the requisite equipmemt and most ideal conditions.
What does that have to do with the cup that will be played on these grounds on the 21st of July 2018?
FNB Stadium is one of the facilities of the City that was built to bring the world to South Africa and Johannesburg for the love of soccer. There was a lot of talk then about these stadia being white elephants, but FNB Stadium under the management of Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA), has proved even the worst critics wrong. The stadium, through the management of SMSA keeps bringing diverse entertainment to the people of Johannesburg – this to me is Community Development. Thank you SMSA, you do us proud.
Secondly, this cup is about the clash of 2 cities – the City of Tshwane versus the City of Joburg. I say this tongue in cheek because I know some residents of Joburg would rather support Tshwane on this one – you all know why right?
On a more serious note Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns are 2 of the biggest rivals in the PSL. What better way to entertain the residents of Joburg than in their stadium watching the sport that they love?
I would have failed in my duties as a Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development if I did not mention that the City needs strategic partnerships such as the one that birthed this cup to birth developmental cups that can be played in the other smaller facilities of the City that are even more accessible even to the most vulnerable of our City. That ladies and gentleman is Community Development. That is the pro-poor development that the City is driving.
To the 2 teams that will be battling it out on the 21st I only have this to say “Qhude manikiniki zindala zombini”. To my non-Nguni speakers, get close to a Nguni speaking person and ask what this means.
In Conclusion, may the best team win.