Residents were extorted to pay R200 monthly subscription to use the public Kagiso Memorial gym facility

Community facilities are meant to benefit its residents and there is no rule which says that the residents must pay a certain fee to access such facilities. However, this is not the case for Kagiso township residents as they continue to be forced to pay R200 monthly subscription fee to access Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre’s gym facility.

The residents have been paying a monthly subscription fee of R200 and an R150 joining fee since 2017 to utilise the gym equipment that belongs to the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR).

This money is paid to the Good Example Fitness Solution, which is operated by Mokhomotsi Phasha and Christina Maeto, who are utilising this community facility.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR) MEC, Morakana Mosupyoe, in a written reply to the DA’s question tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

The DA tabled this question following numerous complaints from the concerned residents of Kagiso and following the DA’s oversight inspection at the Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre.

According to MEC Mosupyoe, there is no lease agreement and no contract in place between the department and Good Example Fitness Solution. However, the department had an agreement with them to utilise the venue to protect it from being vandalised. They are not paying rent to the department and the department is aware of the monies they are charging the community to access the facility.

This is unacceptable because they are utilising the department’s equipment and venue, yet they charge community members access to the facility.

This is a clear opportunistic move by the Good Example Fitness Solution to rip off poor members of the community who must be benefiting from this facility free of charge.

This is a government facility, the youth, and residents of Kagiso should not be paying to access it. There are security guards hired to safeguard this facility from being vandalised and the presence of the Good Example Fitness Solution is a way for them to enrich themselves at the expense of the residents.

The DA demands that MEC Mosupyoe must speed up the process of ensuring that this facility is fully operational and that residents access it free of charge. She must also review the agreement between the department and the Good Example Fitness Solution.

Furthermore, the DA will be writing to the Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lesufi, to seek his urgent intervention to ensure that residents are allowed access to the Kagiso Memorial and Recreation Centre’s gym without paying these unnecessary fees.