Football academy to fight zoning closure
HIS intentions were noble: creating a facility which children, including those who live on the street, and aspirant football players, could use any time of the year.
Now Craig Hepburn, cofounder of the African Brothers Football Academy, has to defend himself against criminal charges because the operation of the facility is in contravention of City of Cape Town zoning regulations.
The academy has an 11-aside field, 5- a- side astroturf pitches, change rooms and access to coaching on the sports grounds of Gardens Commercial High School.
In addition to noise-related complaints from some neighbours, the facility also became the subject of litigation in the Western Cape High Court when the city applied for an interdict to prohibit it operating there.
The academy got a small reprieve last year when the city agreed to give it time to apply for rezoning.
In addition, during this process the academy also restricted after-hours use of the pitches – two of them until 7pm and the third until 9pm – a move which Hepburn said significantly reduced the amount of income from social and leisure games.
Another initiative the acad- emy looked at to reduce the noise levels was the use of soundproof boards.
But the reprieve was shortlived because, earlier this year, Hepburn received a notice to cease operating and to appear in court for the contravention of zoning regulations.
The city says that the facility can’t be used for business purposes, as a place of instruction, or as a place of assembly.
Hepburn appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday in connection with the charges, and the case was postponed to August 29 for further investigation.
The academy has a petition on its website for supporters to help keep the facility open.
OCEAN VISTA: There seem to be a lot more ships in Simon’s Bay in the old picture, taken around 1900, than there are these days – explained in part, perhaps, by the Boer War being in progress then. In the foreground in both pictures are the old terraces, once part of the Constantia Homestead of 1749, a farm that provided fresh produce for Dutch East India ships. More recently, vegetables were grown on the terraces to serve the Royal Naval Hospital’s staff and patients. There has been talk recently of developing the terraces. The old picture comes courtesy of the Simon’s Town Historical Society, and the recent one was taken by Weekend Argus photographer Leon Lestrade. Send in pictures of old Cape Town, with any date and background information you have, to Box 56, Cape Town, 8000; to 122 St George’s Mall, Cape Town, 8001; or to email@example.com. Please mark them clearly for the Weekend Argus Picture Editor – Then and Now. If you would like your picture back, please include your address.