Sports Fields for Africa on the Muman Multi Sports Space system

Sports, Arts and Culture

15 February 2010
Chairperson: Mr B Komphela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Sports Fields for Africa presented the Muman Multi Sports Space System to the Committee. The Muman Multi Sports Space (MSS) offers the possibility for practising various sports in one installation. Members were offered a visual presentation of the system and how various components can be interchanged for different sports. The MSS has a steel structure enclosed with HPL (high pressure laminate) panels. The surface of the structure is covered by synthetic turf and it also has an anti-vandalism net. Football, netball, tennis, volleyball and action hockey are some of the sports that can be played in the system. The standard dimensions of the MSS ranged from 20m x 10.85m to 40m x 20m. The 20m x 10.85m system costs R750 000 and the 40m x 20m system costs R1.5m. Prices excluded vat. The beauty of the system is that it can be set up almost anywhere, indoors and outdoors.

The Committee seemed impressed with the system and the impact it could make in rural communities. Members were glad to hear that presentations had been made to North West Province, Gauteng, Free State, KZN, Limpopo, EC and Mpumalanga. Presentations were still to be made in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape. The system had been installed in the Free State and KZN. The positive response by members bode well for Sports Fields for Africa. All that was needed was uptake of the system in the provinces.

Meeting report

Election of Acting Chairperson

In accordance with the Rules of Parliament, an Acting Chairperson was appointed in the absence of the Chairperson, Mr B Komphela (ANC). Mr L Suka (ANC) was elected as Acting Chairperson.

Sports Fields for Africa presentation on the Muman Multi Sports Space System

Ms Fatima Haffejee, Director, and Mr Taahir Dockrat, Senior Manager, presented the Muman Multi Sports Space to the Committee. Members were introduced to the company, owned by Ms Haffejee. Sports Fields for Africa was established in 2009 under the auspices of Sedgars, which has over twenty years experience in the field of sports. The Muman Multi Sports Space (MSS) offers the possibility for practising various sports in one installation. The MSS is one of the products offered by the company. Athletic tracks, basketball courts, volleyball courts, stadia seating and sports equipment are some of the other products available. Members were given a visual presentation of the system and how the various components can be interchanged for different sports. The MSS has a steel structure enclosed with HPL panels. The surface of the structure is covered by synthetic turf and it also has an anti-vandalism net. Hotels, parks, schools, universities, residential areas and city locations with limited recreation facilities are some of the places where the system can be installed. Football, netball, tennis, volleyball and action hockey are some of the sports that the system could be used for. The standard dimensions of the MSS range from 20m x 10.85m to 40m x 20m. The size can easily be adapted to fit a particular location. Internationally, the system has been used by the Royal Spanish Football Federation and the Andorran Football Federation. The 20m x 10.85m system costs R750 000 and the 40m x 20m system is R1.5m. The prices exclude vat.

Sports Fields for Africa also has a social responsibility programme. It had donated soccer kits and equipment to the value of R100 000 to Minister Stofile for the June 16 games in Middledrift, Eastern Cape. The organisation also supports a preschool and primary school in central Vereeniging as well as soup kitchens in Johannesburg and Cape Town (see document).

 

 

 

Discussion

Ms T Sunduza (ANC) asked whether it was correct that the one system accommodated various sports.

 

Mr Dockrat responded that it was in fact so.

 

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) asked about the practicality of the system and whether people could play barefoot on the surface. Could shoes with studs be worn?

He also asked whether there was protection for players around the poles and fencing which supported the structure.

 

Mr Dockrat said that players could play on the surface barefoot. Soccer boots with studs were, however, not recommended but normal trainers could be worn.

The poles of the structure are manufactured in Spain and had a TUV safety rating, which was the European equivalent of SA’s SABS (South African Bureau Of Standards). The various components of the structure come with their own guarantees. He did believe that the product could be manufactured in SA.

 

Mr T Lee (DA) said he needed no convincing that the system was in fact needed. The issue was more about affordability and quality. He asked whether the system could be installed indoors. Sports Fields for Africa was commended for its social responsibility programme but reference was made to the Sports Trust which was seen as a vehicle to assist the underprivileged. He urged the presenters to contact the Sports Trust.

 

Mr Dockrat responded that the system could be installed and used indoors and outdoors. He agreed to contact the Sports Trust.

 

Mr B Dlamini (IFP) said that the system looked promising. He asked about maintenance and what the cost might be.

 

Mr Dockrat responded that the system did not require maintenance unless it had been intentionally vandalised. The system was meant to last for a long time.

 

Ms Haffejee added that the system was made up of various components. If one component is damaged then only that component need be replaced.

 

Ms B Tseke (ANC) asked whether presentation had been made to the provinces and what their reactions had been.

 

Mr Dockrat replied that presentation had been made to North West Province, Gauteng, Free State, KZN, Limpopo, EC and Mpumalanga. Presentations were still to be made in the Western Cape and the Northern Cape.

 

Mr J Van der Linde (ANC) approved of the system. The disadvantage in rural areas is that sports such as hockey are played on grass fields. When players made it to trials they were expected to play on astro turf. He asked if the system could be bigger than the dimensions that were given. What would be the cost of the system if the cement base that was needed was already in place?  Would the cost be halved?

 

Mr Dockrat responded that the bigger the size, the greater the cost. Sizes larger that 40m x 20m were not recommended as the cost would increase. For the purposes of hockey, an alternative to installing the system would be to replace grass with astro turf which Sports Fields for Africa also did.

If a concrete base was already in place the cost would decrease. Local labour was used to lay the concrete base but the work is overseen by Sports Fields for Africa.The entire system takes one week to set up.

 

Ms Sunduza asked where the system had been installed and what effect varying weather conditions had on it?

 

Mr Dockrat said that the system had been installed in the Free State and KZN. Discounted rates had been charged.

The system could withstand varying weather patterns. The steel parts were coated and could withstand rain.

 

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) said that many areas in SA were windy. He wondered how sand would affect the system?

 

Mr Dockrat said that sand could be brushed off.

 

Ms Sunduza suggested that a presentation be made to the new Ministry of Rural Development as well as to other portfolio committees.

 

Mr Lee asked whether there were other companies producing the same product.

 

Mr Dockrat said that no other company sold the system.

 

Mr Suka asked if Sedgars was a SA company. He commended Sports Fields for Africa on their social responsibility and inquired as to the location of the soup kitchens in Cape Town. He wanted more information bursaries that had been awarded as well as what is being done with regard to cricket development.

 

Mr Dockrat explained that Sports Fields for Africa is a new company and had obtained a loan from Sedgars. It was a SA company with Spanish partners, Mundo and Muman.

Bursaries had been awarded to 50 learners mostly in the Johannesburg and Vereeniging area. On cricket development, Sedgars supplied Cricket SA. The SA cricketer, Hashim Amla, is amongst those sponsored by the company. In the Western Cape, cricket selector, Rushdie Majiet, is also given equipment for development. Mr Majiet additionally runs a soup kitchen in Mitchells Plain.

 

The Chairperson Mr Komphela apologised for his late arrival at the meeting. He felt the presentation to be an important one since the system was important for children and communities. The system and what it aimed to achieve went hand in hand with the work of the Department of Rural Development. He did, however, have a problem with the Co-operative Governance Department and lacked confidence in this department as it had no capacity. The relevant department was Rural Development. Another key department was Sports and Recreation. He said that as Minmec MECs were present it would be good if the system could be presented to them. The system could be installed almost anywhere even in the Karoo. The Committee would refer Sports Fields for Africa to the Department, thereafter the Minister could refer the company to the Minmecs. The system was needed especially in the Eastern Cape as the province was very rural. Having the system in the Free State and the KZN was a good start.

 

The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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