Gauteng MEC for Sports and Recreation Faith Mazibuko is adamant that financial rules were not flouted to secure the newly-built combi court in Evaton in the Vaal.
Mazibuko officially handed over a state-of-the-art combi court, which caters for various sports codes, to residents on Friday.
She said the multiple sports court was built late in 2018 and was officially completed on January 6 this year. It houses volleyball, soccer, tennis, netball, basketball and aerobics courts.
"I want to clarify that this combi court was not recently built as many claimed following the audio [clip] that went viral," she said.
In the clip, which was leaked earlier this month, Mazibuko can be heard shouting at her subordinates and demanding combi courts so that they can be used for the ANC's election campaign.
"I am not campaigning for my party. This is part of my department's initiative to change lives of young and old people in our townships. This combi court is the last one among the 12 that we built across the province.
"The reason why this combi court was officially handed over today was that we were waiting for an occupation certificate from the Emfuleni Local Municipality," she said.
Elderly women were among the attendees at the handover on Friday and they were dressed in ANC regalia.
"This is a government programme. I don't know why they are wearing ANC regalia and I can't tell them what to wear. To me, I see them as members of the community that have been eagerly waiting for this combi court to share them with their children," said Mazibuko.
Mazibuko added that her department budgeted R20m in 2017 to build 12 combi courts. She added that the one in Evaton was also included in her budget.
"We have also set aside R10m for an extra five combi courts. We are waiting for municipalities to identify land where they will be built. We always encourage municipalities to identify land closer to community halls where they can be properly secured.
"This facility is not for young people only. I encourage elderly people to utilise it for aerobics as part of our active-ageing programme. There are security guards who will be guarding this facility 24 hours to ensure that criminals don't vandalise or steal parts of the facility like they did in Kokosi in Fochville."
Mazibuko said the facility was handed over in 2017 and she was shocked last week, when she found it in disarray. Poles and the entire plastic floor were missing.
"We are tired of playing on gravel fields. Our opponents usually refuse to play against us because we don't have such a field. Now we have our own field where we are going to train and play competitive games.
"I want to thank the MEC for showing us love," she said.
Tumo Mosala said he had been travelling to other areas to practise basketball weekly.
"This combi court is on my doorstep. We are going to ensure that this facility is safe and no one is going to vandalise it. It has assisted us a lot and we are going to enjoy playing here every weekend," said Mosala.
Letia Leshodi added that the field will reduce the number of young people roaming the streets.
She said the combi court was the only facility in the area and will help in the fight against drug addiction.
"Our children have no hobbies, they spend their time on the streets and I believe they will be encouraged to participate in sports when they see their peers playing.
"MEC Mazibuko has brought something that will change lives here," said Leshodi.