Repaired Joe Slovo hall set to reopen

Joe Slovo sport and recreation centre is set to open soon after being closed in June last year.

Nine months ago, Joe Slovo was the scene of violent protests after City law enforcement moved against land invaders at the old Singenjongo school site, tearing down 20 illegal structures built there.

Soon afterwards, the Marconi Beam Primary School principal’s office went up in flames (“School’s office torched,” Tabletalk, June 21, 2017). A week later, a MyCiTi bus and the hall were set alight (“Joe Slovo up in flames,” Tabletalk, June 28, 2017).

Area north Mayco member Suzette Little said the repaired hall would reopen in a few weeks.

“It took R2.75 million to fix up the hall after the damage and no new equipment or features were installed. The repairs are limited to the damaged infrastructure,” she said.

Noxolo Mayeki, from the Joe Slovo Crisis Committee, has welcomed the news of the hall reopening. “As a committee, we have spoken about this, and we really want it to open really soon because this hall helps the community a lot.

“We don’t condone any form of violence or destruction of property. If people have an issue with housing, go to the municipality. If you have an issue with schools, go to the department (of education).

“People must leave the mentality of trying to burn things when they are unhappy because at the end of the day, the whole community suffers,” said Ms Mayeki.

Joe Slovo resident Sipho Mtirara said he was happy the hall was reopening.

“We have been struggling to have normal community events because of the fire last year. Our kids play in the streets where it is dangerous because someone decided it was a good idea to burn the hall.

“Sometimes people need to think about their actions before doing something that will make everyone suffer,” said Mr Mtirara.

The City has urged residents to take ownership of the hall and report any suspicious behaviour or vandalism to the City’s Public Emergency Communications Centre at 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.