A hive of activity is under way in nine South African cities selected as official hosts for the 2010 FIFA World Cup games and progress in the construction of the five new stadiums is on track to be completed in time to meet the deadlines set by FIFA, reports the world organising body.
Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Danny Jordaan, ranked as the seventh most powerful man in soccer by British magazine, World Soccer, earlier this year, says that progress in the construction of South Africa’s 2020 stadium venues is on track, although, it could not be compared with previous host countries of the Western world, such as Germany, which hosted the last tournament in 2006.
“In some cases, it is impossible to compare the two countries because of our unique circumstances. The fact is we are a developing country, while they are already developed. For example, we are building a world-class transport system for the World Cup, while Germany already had everything in place,” said Jordaan in a press statement earlier this year.
Jordaan said, however, that South Africa, was in many respects ahead of where Germany had been at the same stage of preparation for the 2006 global showpiece.
The LOC reports that construction at the Ellis Park stadium, Loftus Versveld stadium and the Royal Bafokeng stadium is expected to be completed by August this year.
The Peter Mokaba stadium is set for completion in February next year, while the Mbombela stadium, in Nelspruit, and Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, in Port Elizabeth, by March 2009, and Green Point stadium by June 2009. Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban is expected to be completed by July next year, while Soccer City and the Free State stadium are set for completion by August next year.
Jordaan said the progress over the last few months at the 2010 World Cup venues in South Africa has begun to convince critics around the world who initially did not believe that South Africa could meet all the deadlines.
“Where once there were doubts, now there is unwavering confidence and reassurance that the deadlines will be met,” said Jordaan.
The host cities and ten stadium venues earmarked to host official World Cup matches are currently being either upgraded or newly built, and are either privately owned or on long-lease arrangements.
The ten 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums and nine host cities selected by FIFA and the LOC include Ellis Park stadium and Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium, Cape Town’s Green Point stadium, Manguang’s Vodacom Park-Free State stadium, Tshwane’s Loftus Versveld venue, Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, Nelspruit’s Mbombela stadium, Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba stadium and Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng stadium.
Loftus Versfeld and Royal Bafokeng are privately-owned venues, while Ellis Park and Vodacom Park are on long-lease arrangements, with Soccer City stadium, which was previously owned and managed by the South African Football Association, being returned to the State, and managed by the City of Johannesburg.
Earlier this year, preparations at the 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities were scrutinised in a detailed inspection tour, which was conducted by a FIFA dele-gation team, consisting of a range of industry experts.
The detailed plans regarding stadium provision, transport, accommodation, urban renewal and security at six of the nine host cities were meticulously inspected by the FIFA delegation, which was satisfied with the progress made at the respective stadium venues.
Five of the 2010 World Cup venues, namely Soccer City stadium, Green Point stadium, Peter Mokaba stadium, Mbom-bela stadium and Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, in the Eastern Cape, are brand-new stadiums built from the ground-up for the 2010 event.
The host cities prepared business cases that were jointly evalu- ated by FIFA’s Organising Committee, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the National Treasury, and Sport and Recreation South Africa, in conjunction with the respective host cities.
On the basis of this evalu-ation, the National Treasury allocated a total of R8,4-billion for the building and upgrading of stadiums. Of this, R7,62-billion has been allocated to stadium construction and upgrading, R580-million will be used for the supply of utilities and services to the stadiums and R200-million has been apportioned for overlay items, (temporary items used for a specific event that can be taken down after an event), at each stadium.
The R8,4-billion set aside for stadiums has been allocated over a four-year period with R600-million allocated for the 2006 and 2007 financial year, and about R1,2-billion for 2007 and 2008, R3,6-billion for 2008 and 2009, and, finally, R2, 4-billion for the 2009 and 2010 financial year.
2010 Stadium Venues
Soccer City – Johannesburg
Soccer City is the flagship stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and is set to host the opening and final matches of the tournament.
The stadium is regarded as the home of football in South Africa, after football officials got together in the mid-80s to build the first international football stadium in the country.
The construction of the stadium was funded from the football fraternity’s coffers.
The outer part of the newly revamped Soccer City stadium is designed to resemble an African pot, which makes for an unusual and unique design.
The stadium will have a total seating capacity of 94 700 after the upgrade, which is a significant upgrade from its previous capacity of 80 000.
The R1,5-billion stadium upgrade contract was won by multidisciplinary construction company Grinaker-LTA and is scheduled for completion in 2009.
Moses Mabhida Stadium – Durban
The multipurpose Durban stadium, built from scratch, is named after a former general secretary of the South African Communist Party.
The Moses Mabhida stadium will have a gross seating capacity of 70 000, and the design of the stadium will be characterised by two large archways, which arc 100 m above the stadium roof.
The new three-tiered stadium will be part of Durban’s King Park sporting precinct. The multi- purpose sporting precinct will also include a variety of different sporting disciplines, including athletics, rugby, golf and swimming.
As part of the city’s plans for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Kings Park soccer stadium was de- molished in late 2006 to make way for the new stadium complex.
Green Point Stadium – Cape Town
The new Green Point stadium currently under construction in Cape Town is an all-weather, multipurpose stadium, situated in the suburb of Green Point.
It is a stone’s throw away from the ocean and the mountains of Cape Town, which will serve as a backdrop to the 2010 World Cup matches.
Ellis Park – Johannesburg
Ellis Park will undergo a minor upgrade, to be ready in time for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The Ellis Park stadium upgrade will have a minimal increase in its seating capacity from 60 000 to 65 000.
The stadium’s presidential suite area is receiving a facelift, while new developments include a new hospitality room and new change rooms.
Ellis Park stadium is being renovated at a total cost of R500-million, and will host five group games, one second-round game and one quarterfinal match.
Manguang Stadium – Free State
The Free State stadium, which had a seating capacity of 38 000, is undergoing major renovation ahead of 2010.
A second tier is being added to the main grandstand on the western side of the stadium, which is set to increase the capacity to 48 000.
The stadium has also been earmarked as one of five of the 2010 World Cup stadium venues that will also host the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – Port Elizabeth
The stadium has suffered numerous construction delays and a series of strikes by construction workers, which have prompted FIFA to move the construction deadlines for its completion from December 2008, to March 2009.
The new R1,1-billion Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, which is to have a seating capacity of 50 000, will be the first dedicated football stadium in the city, and is set to host seven matches, including one of the World Cup semifinals.
The Port Elizabeth stadium is the only new stadium to be included as a venue for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Mbombela Stadium – Nelspruit
The Mbombela stadium is to be a new 46 000-seater stadium constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The R920-million Mbombela stadium takes its name from the name of the local municipality, and literally means ‘many people together in a small space’.
It will leave a legacy of the game for the people of Mpuma-langa, which does not have a football stadium of international standards.
Construction of the stadium, which is located close to the Kruger National Park game reserve, is to be completed by mid-2009.
Peter Mokaba Stadium – Polokwane
The stadium is one of five new 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums being built for the 2010 soccer showpiece at a cost of R1,1-billion.
Initial plans to upgrade the old Peter Mokaba Stadium were abandoned in favour of a newly built stadium.
The new Peter Mokaba stadium is situated in the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex, situated about 5 km from the city centre, and will have a gross seating capacity of 45 000.
The stadium will be a welcome addition to Limpopo province, which boasts the largest number of registered football players in South Africa.
The sporting complex was named after the late Peter Mokaba, who was a political acti- vist during the apartheid era.
Royal Bafokeng Stadium – Rustenburg
The Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace will undergo minor renovations that include newly installed electronic scoreboards, floodlights and a new public address system.
The stadium, named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area, will have a seating capacity of 42 000 upon completion of the upgrade.
Loftus Versveld – Tshwane
The Loftus Versfeld stadium will undergo minimal upgrades with designated media areas to be constructed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Loftus Versfeld required mini-mal upgrades in order to qualify as a venue for first- and second-round matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, although the floodlights, sound system, and scoreboards are all being improved.