Pirates Club, one of the three oldest sports clubs in the country, is facing an uncertain future over a legal dispute with the City of Johannesburg.

A News24 report notes that according to Lloyd Hanson, Pirates' chairperson, the club was in possession of a letter by the city's property management company confirming its lease had been cancelled and the property would be put out to tender.

‘I don't think the city really wants to close us down, but that's the situation at the moment,’ Hanson said.

The dispute revolves around a portion of Pirates' sports grounds, located in Greenside, being used by Wastepreneurs, a local community project supporting waste pickers in the area. The land is next to the local refuse dump and is used by the waste pickers to sort waste before it is carted off for recycling.

Pirates' lease of the property, which it has occupied since 1953, is now legally cancelled.

Leah Knott, the city's mayoral committee member for economic development, confirmed the cancellation of the lease had kicked in automatically last week because Pirates neglected to clarify the situation about Wastepreneurs.

The city wants the project to vacate the land.

‘Pirates is putting its lease at risk by not clearing up the matter,’ she said.

The city has now, however, decided to grant Pirates an extension of 60 days to sort out the issue. She said that the club’s lease stipulated it was not allowed to sub-let land.

Full News24 report