BY: Source Content.

The Cape Flats community of Philippi will inaugurate a revamped soccer pitch on the 26th of March, to coincide with a planned state visit by the King and Queen of the Belgians. The original playing field, which had been neglected for years, has been revitalised with the support of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Belgian Consul General in Cape Town, and will form part of the Philippi Village hub.

Philippi has 32 football clubs associated with the South African Football Association, but – until now – had only a few functioning football fields. “When we learned about the situation, we decided we needed to do something,” says Mathias Bogaert, Consul General at the Consulate General of Belgium in Cape Town.

Fundraising commenced at the beginning of 2023, drawing on the support of the Belgian business community in South Africa. While the grass pitch has yet to be completed, the soccer field has been levelled and new goalposts are being added. Work on the grassing of the pitch will continue after the state visit. In addition to financing the rehabilitation of the pitch, the efforts have also secured soccer kits and equipment. The consulate and chamber have worked with Philippi Village previously, assisting in projects ranging from vocational training to street art, digital inclusion and covid-19 prevention.

“We are thrilled to provide the community with this sports facility, and know that children and adults alike will make full use of it,” says Ntsikelelo Qinga, community liaison at Philippi Village. “Soccer is one of the great connectors, with the power to engage, inspire and uplift.” Philippi Village is an integrated, mixed-use development hub in the Cape Flats. It houses a number of entrepreneurs and small business owners, with office, retail and event space, as well as facilities for educational, sporting and cultural activities.

Pelé inspiration for painting

Both as a hat tip to the brands that have helped breathe new life into the soccer pitch, and to add a splash of colour to the surroundings, South African / Belgian social enterprise Baz-Art, a creative studio, was enlisted to create artwork alongside the pitch. In collaboration with renowned urban artist Wayne Bks, Baz-Art has transformed the Village’s container sports hub into a bright backdrop for the world’s most beautiful game.

“From the streets to the fields around the world, soccer has become an integral part of daily life for many people,” says Alexandre Tilmans, director of Baz-Art. “The painting captures the simple joy and pleasure that comes with playing soccer, as well as the way that it can bring people together regardless of age, gender, or background.”

Tilmans adds that the story of Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, who overcame poverty and adversity to become one of the greatest footballers of all time, provided some of the inspiration for the painting. “The artwork serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of this game,” he says.

“It is our hope that the soccer field will serve as a space within the community of Philippi where our children can play safely, and enjoy the benefits of a fully-equipped sports facility in their neighbourhood,” says Qinga. “And who knows, maybe it will be the birthplace of the next soccer legend.”

For more information, and to support this great initiative visit: and: Instagram: belgianchambercpt / bazart_official / philippivillagesa


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