Buffalo City boxing clubs have been given a lifeline by the Motsepe Foundation, who donated equipment to the value of R1-million. There are 57 Boxing Clubs in Mdantsane area with a number of boxers that train on daily basis.
Chairman and founder of the Motsepe Foundation Patrice Motsepe, made the donation following a commitment by the Motsepe Foundation in July 2015.
Mr Motsepe visited the mother of the former International Boxing Federation Champion Zolani Tete, to whom the Motsepe Foundation donated a prosthetic leg. He noted the enthusiasm and commitment of the boxers in the area, also learnt about their struggle to keep their gyms alive due to lack of resources and equipment. This promise was realised on 26 April 2016, to the jubilation of the community, promoters, trainers and the Boxing clubs as a whole.
The Eastern Cape is known as South Africa’s boxing nursery and is on the International map as well, and has produced more boxing champions than all the other provinces, including world champions like Welcome Ncita, Vuyane “The Beast” Bungu, Tete and Hawk Makepula. The Executive Mayor of Buffalo City, His Worship Alfred Mtsi was moved by the donation to Mdatsane and expressed his personal appreciation to the Motsepe Foundation in his welcome remarks.
Mr Motsepe said that the Foundation is proud to be associated with the development of boxing in the country and specifically in the Eastern Cape. “The humble contribution by the Motsepe Foundation will go a long way to resuscitate this code of sport in Mdantsane, this must be supported by all” he told the community.
He also said that the Motsepe Foundation had recently announced a partnership with the Department of Basic Education to the tune of R117, 5 -million to promote soccer, netball, music and culture at schools. He said that in football, a school from the Eastern Cape that had won a R600 000 prize in the Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, had used the prize money to build boreholes for the community, which did not have reliable access to water. He further urged schools in Buffalo City to participate in the schools competition sponsored by the Motsepe Foundation and reap more benefits.
“I am not sure whether it is a good idea to promote boxing at schools, maybe it’s something to explore further with government” he quipped, as the audience urged him to do so.
“There is something in the air in the Eastern Cape which shows resilience. We will work together with the leadership to promote boxing, and we are proud of boxers like Bungu,” he said to loud cheers.
“These boxers will always be on our minds – they showed that they are tough, persistent, and even when fighting against odds they seemed to say to themselves that they are not only fighting for themselves, but for Buffalo City and the whole country,” he added.
Africans, he said, are known for their humility, caring and giving spirit. He pointed out that working with traditional leadership, communities had been given agricultural equipment. There are more projects to benefit from the support of the Foundation to assist communities to be self-sustained.
“The equipment we are donating today is a humble gift to the community through the boxing clubs. No club can sell it.”
The MEC for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Hon Pemmy Majodina appreciated the sponsorship and promised that the Department will ensure and monitor the utilisation of the equipment. She further committed her Department to support the schools’ programmes as requested by Mr Motsepe
Phakamile Jacobs and Thabang Moses, Boxing South Africa CFO said that 57 boxing clubs would benefit from the Motsepe Foundation donation and will be supported to be as functional as possible.
“We now want to consolidate and win the titles we have not already won because East London is and will remain the boxing mecca of South Africa,” he said.
Makazole Tete, Zolani Tete’s brother, said that Mr Motsepe was a real people’s person and named him “Umuntu wabantu”. He further expressed the appreciation they have as a family to Mr Motsepe for assistance and support to their mother, Mrs Tete
“It’s always good when people make promises, but it often is hard to deliver on those promises. Mr Motsepe came here in 2015 and promised us help, and he is here today to deliver on that promise,” Makazole, who is also a boxer, said.