Residents of Glebelands Community Residential Unit (CRU) in Umlazi, south of Durban, have applauded the successful hosting of a sports tournament as part efforts to bring peace and unity to the CRU.
Hundreds of residents braved the cold weather to support teams from the different blocks who competed against each other in football and netball on Saturday, 23-07-16. The football finals were played this morning, Sunday 24/07 with Madala Stezi beating Kwadukemini 2-1.
The hosting of the sports event is part of KwaZulu-Natal Government led efforts to bring peace to the CRU after months of tension and killings. A peace rally, which consisted of arts and culture performances, was held at the local stadium and attracted thousands of residents.
Captain of Madala Stezi team, Mbulelo Ndonyela said the tournament assisted in bringing unity to the area.
“If we can have more sports events here we can achieve lasting peace. This tournament helped us to know each other and to communicate,” said Ndonyela. “We need to play more in order to encourage young people to get involved in sport. We can even discover more players who can be identified by talent scouts. At the moment we do not have any regular sporting activity at the CRU.”
His counterpart, Sinalo Lushaba of Kwadukemini, was impressed with the level of talent at the CRU.
“This tournament has helped us to discover a lot of talent and there is potential for players to be discovered by clubs if we can continue to play more games. We would like to thank the community for coming to support us despite the bad weather conditions,” said Lushaba.
MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, applauded the community for supporting the peace initiative using the medium of sport.
“Sport has proven in many instances to be an important ingredient in bringing peace, stability and social cohesion among communities. This fact was perfectly captured by the founding father of the democratic South Africa, late President Mandela when he reminded us that: ‘Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.’
“As we are hosting this peace event during the Mandela month we are confident that his spirit of reconciliation will prevail among the people at Glebelands. We fully support this initiative led by the Honourable Premier, to bring peace and unity to this area. The Department of Sport and Recreation, as well as Arts and Culture will continue to work with other structures to ensure that there are sustainable programmes that promote social cohesion and stability,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.
The Department of Sport and Recreation supplied the playing kits for netball and football teams participating in the tournament.