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World-class netball facility in store for city

SCRAP FOR POSSESSION: Thembakazi Mtshotana of Eastern Cape, right, passes the ball to a teammate while competes for the ball with Sally Niewalk of Northern Cape, left, moves across to intercept during a netball match at the match yesterday at the SA Schools’ Championships for the intellectually impaired in Pretoria on Saturday. The game ended in a 4-4 draw

A netball facility of international standards will soon be developed in East London after the Buffalo City Metro council approved a 20-year lease agreement to the Eastern Cape Netball Association for the development to go through.

The agreement was approved in a council meeting last month for a 50110m² portion of land on Stirling’s Epsom Road for recreational purposes.

The portion will be leased for a monthly rental of R4000 excluding VAT, increasing at 12.5% per annum for the 20-year period.

In a report tabled before council, head of spatial planning and development Nonceba Mbali-Majeng said the association had obtained sponsorship for the proposed development, but this would require a lease term of no less than 20 years.

“A request was subsequently received from the Eastern Cape Netball Association by the property management department on August 26 2016 to amend the existing council [proposal] dated August 28 2013, by extending from a five-year lease term to a 20-year lease term.

“The main objective is to secure the relevant funding that they require to develop a world-class netball facility in East London in order to be able to bid to host the 2022 World Cup Netball event,” Mbali-Majeng said.

The plans for the development include an indoor netball centre with two courts, a club house, outside netball courts, ablution facilities and change rooms, and pavilions with a seating capacity of 5000.

Triple-storey accommodation centres for players, providing 80 beds, are also part of the plan, with a store room and public parking.

Mbali-Majeng said there was currently no such facility that focused on netball in BCM, or anywhere else in the country.

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