Joggers and walkers at the municipal-owned Chatsworth Stadium have been using these facilities free of charge over the years, unlike other Durbanites who have had to purchase permits for this. However, it does not
look like this will go on for much longer. According to reports, the city has given them until February before they will be obligated to purchase these permits in order to use the facilities.
Community members who met during the course of last week, at the Nelson Mandela Youth Centre, discussed a way forward following the appearance of a poster, at the stadium. The requirement for the public to have a R180 permit to use municipal stadiums is standard practice across the eThekwini Municipality, however it has not been implemented in Chatsworth.
Speaking to The Chatsworth Tabloid, chairperson of the Naidu-Makhaye Sports Confederation, Devan Pillay said that, he attended Friday’s community meeting along with ANC MPL, Maggie Govender, herself a walker, Clive Pillay, programme co-ordinator at the centre and confederation executive member, Ronnie Govender.
Pillay said, “We believe that this is a “knee jerk” reaction by our community. The policy has been there for many years, but was not implemented. The municipality is just streamlining policies at all stadiums. However, we do agree that the sudden requirement of “paying” is of concern to hundreds of walkers and joggers who are adopting a healthier lifestyle.”
Community members said clubs had always paid for permits and that the issue now related to people using the stadium as individuals. Bradon Pillay (20) said, “I run to keep fit, I used to run with my dad when I was younger and just got into the grove to keep fit. The sudden request for permits caught me by surprise as we have never had to pay to use the facilities”.
Another jogger at the stadium who wants to remain anonymous said she has been running
for 25 years, she said the stadium gives her a chance to keep fit and healthy and it is also a
safe environment for her. Shaylin Naidoo (25) said, “I have been using the stadium facilities for around five years now, I jog to keep fit and active after a long day at work, the permit request was a shock for most of us considering we have never heard any talks about this previously. The stadium is a safe place for joggers and walkers to stay fit and active, this permit may drive some of us away”.