State of the art equestrian centre to be built near Thokoza Park

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Enos Mafokate, a prominent black South African showjumper, is gradually realising his dream of establishing a state of the art Soweto Equestrian Centre.

This was after a generous offer by the City of Johannesburg made a 28-hectare site available for the project to be built in Moroka.

"It will be situated near Thokoza Park. There is an open field there that has been identified by the City of Johannesburg for us to build our centre," said Mafokate.

"The Gauteng provincial government's support for the establishment of an equestrian centre will help make things move faster.

"The support has eased and helped us a lot on the issue of raising funds. It has always been my dream to build a centre.

"I'm delighted now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, the council informed us that they will erect a fence around the identified land sometime in July.

"We hope to start with the construction process of the first township horse-riding school in September. The whole project will cost R20 million.

"Phase one of the project will cost about R3,7 million. It will see a secure site with the erection of a stable block for 20 horses, paddocks, field shelters and a workshop.

"In addition, there will be an office, site staff accommodation and a schooling area. The centre will also be provided with a horse transporter and basic jumping and teaching equipment," explained Mafokate.

On completion, added Mafokate, the centre will also be able to offer a welfare training and support centre for the working cart horses.

"There is a tremendous interest among black people. For now our target is schools where we've established a league.

"In fact, there will be a schools' league competition in Benoni on May 12 and 13," said Mafokate, whose grandson Kabelo Arthur Mafokate is also a rider and won a junior title in Port Elizabeth in February.

Mafokate, father of the Jomo Sono of music, Arthur Mafokate, has appealed to the corporate world to assist them with funds.

Donations can be sent to Enos Mafokate, The Soweto Equestrian Foundation, PO Box 425, Orlando, 1803.