Moses Mabhida stadium project, South Africa

12th February 2010 By: Tamsyn Graumann

Name and Location
Moses Mabhida stadium project, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Project Description
The Moses Mabhida stadium will have the capacity to hold 69 000 spectators during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 56 000 spectators in legacy mode thereafter.

Further, 150 suites and business clubs, containing a total of 6 500 seats will cover a range of different hospitality options.

The grand central arch, 106-m high, will become a world-first tourist attraction, thanks to a high-tech funicular designed to take visitors up to its highest point, with a 360º view of the city. The 350-m long free-span steel arch weighs 2 850 t. The arch is not only a design feature, but also performs an important structural function, holding up tensile roof by means of a space-age web of steel cables.

The roof, consisting of a Teflon-coated glass-fibre membrane – 46 000 m2 in total – is attached to the arch by 95-mm diameter steel cables. Around the perimeter of the stadium structure is an 880-m long steel compression ring that maintains the structure of the roof.

Four state-of-the-art change-rooms, with 23 seats each, will provide facilities for both the main teams, as well as those playing in the curtain-raiser. Thirteen lifts will provide easy accessibility to the stands and a 96-m2 video screen will ensure that all spectators have a close up view of the game.

The stadium's precinct projects, which include the development of People's park, incorporating two training fields, a 1-km track and children's playground; a R250-million beach promenade upgrade and a new train station adjacent to the stadium, are under way.

When the project went to tender, the original estimate for the stadium was about R1,8-billion. It was later valued at R2,2-billion, with the funicular project estimated to cost about R35-million – to be funded from the city's 2010 tourism budget. The total bill for the project was R3,1-billion.

The stadium is now completed.

Strategic Projects Unit and 2010 Programme: eThekwini municipality.

Key Contracts and Suppliers
Ibhola Lethu Consortium (professional team); BKS, Singatha Afrika Management Services and LDM Consulting (project managers); GMP International Architects, Theunissen Jankowitz Durban, NSM Designs, Osmonde Lange, Ambro-Afrique Consultants and Mthulisi Msimang (architects); WBHO, Group Five and Pandev joint venture (main contractor); BKS, Sclaich Bergermann & Partners, Goba and PD Naidoo & Associates (structural engineers); Lafarge Aggregates & Readymix (supply of aggregates and concrete); TJ Ambro-Afrique Consultants; Iyer Rothaug Collaborative (urban design); Lechmiah Daya Mandindi Hoyana, Vaughan Charles Associates, Malata & Associates, Davis Langdon, Felix Msomi (quantity surveyors); Iliso Consulting Engineers, SLB Consulting (civil and traffic engineers); Ibuya Consulting Engineers, Palace Consulting Engineers, Igoda Consulting Engineers (electrical and electronic engineers); LSG International, Emzansi Consulting Engineers, Mahesh Khoosal & Associates (mechanical and fire engineers).

Latest Developments
January 2010

The stadium has become a land mark of Durban, with over R1-million being generated from the sky car, adventure walk and stadium tours alone.

The stadium was also the first newly completed stadium to host Bafana Bafana.

December 2009
The construction of the stadium is complete. It has a total area façade of 15 000 m2 and used 245 141 t of concrete and 9 978 t of reinforcing steel – more than the quantities used on the Eiffel Tower.

The arch provides a track for a funicular skycar, as well as a 550-step walk up the south-eastern side and a bungee jump over the pitch. It will play a key part in providing a sustainable revenue stream. Some 7 500 m2 have also been set aside for 24 retail outlets and restaurants and a 2 000-m2 gym will be developed on the mezzanine floor.

The stadium successfully hosted 5 soccer matches during November and December 2009.

October 2009
The stadium is about 95% complete and has undergone a successful inspection. It was issued a practical-completion certificate on October 31, 2009.

The pitch has been laid and 56 000 permanent seats have been installed. The stadium capacity for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be taken to 69 000, with 13 000 modular seats being installed early next year.

A number of football matches and concerts have been planned for the next few months.

August 2009
The construction of the stadium is well on schedule to be completed by October 2009. With the bowl complete the focus has now shifted to finishes, fit-out and the laying of the pitch.

April 2009
Most of the major work has been finished in the bowl.

All concrete work in the bowl structure is complete except for the placing of precast seats in the stadium window and embankment seating, the remainder of the placing of the precast steps, the surface beds at the pump room area and areas where temporary structure for the arch erection was placed.

The following is a list of all major work completed: pile caps and ground beams; retaining wall B and C (only return walls remaining); all internal columns and lift shafts; all slabs; main precast column erection; all raking beams; all arch bases; parking garages; podiums A, B, C, F, G and H; retail: podiums I, J, K and L structure; level 6 cantilever seating; compression ring; placing of precast seats (excluding the window and embankment seating); the arch and podium ground works, foundations and columns.

March 2009
The funicular for the Moses Mabhida stadium will arrive from Italy at the end of March. The funicular will be able to carry 25 people up to a viewing platform situated at the highest point of the 2 900-t arch. The more adventurous visitor will be able to walk the 550 steps up the arch to the viewing deck, while secured in a safety harness.

February 2009
The project is now about 72% completed and, by the end of December, a total of about 225 520 t of concrete and 9 150 t of reinforcing steel had been used on the project.

To date about 6,5-million man hours have been recorded on site.

October 2008
Reports indicate that the stadium construction is progressing well and that the stadium will be completed by the October 2009 FIFA deadline.

The different teams involved in construction had a busy September, making significant advancements in numerous areas. The stadium's many supporting structures are now largely completed, including the piling and ground beams, the retaining walls, the supporting columns and the floor slabs on each level.

As work continues on the stadium bowl, the placing of the precast seating is more than 92% completed. The amphitheatre is also taking shape and has progressed to 70% completion. The stadium arch is now 65% in place, with the compression ring that runs around the perimeter of the roof at 65% completion.

In October, the work continued on all these elements, with an added focus on the external works. This involves the underground storm water lines, which are now 95% completed, the parking garage structure and the podium on Level 3, the area surrounding the stadium from where spectators enter and exit.

The podium is being implemented in different areas as, owing to its size, the slabs cannot be poured simultaneously.

Podium A has progressed to 60% completion, Podium B has progressed to 65%, Podium C has progressed to 30%, and Podium H is now 40% completed. Podium I, in the retail area, has progressed to 30% completion.

The team has also made good progress on the finishes, including plaster, ceilings, shop fronts, doors, vanity tops. On level 1, these are at about 50%, level 3 is at 45% and level 4 is at 20%.

Level 5 is at 10%. The number of man hours on site has been recorded at 5,4-million hours.

September 2008
During July and August, a significant amount of work was completed on the more aesthetic elements of the Moses Mabhida stadium – those that give the stadium its shape and show what the finished stadium will look like.

Meanwhile, work continues on the structural components of the project. The concrete slab for level six is now completed, and 40% of the steel above this level is in place. Foundations for the podium area are at 50% completion and the podium columns are at 45% completion. Inside the stadium itself, the construction teams are working on the brickwork, painting and technical installations, such as piping and electrical components.

Work on the stadium's roof is progressing, with more than 40% of the compression ring installed. The compression ring is an 880-m long steel ring that maintains the structure of the roof around the perimeter of the stadium. The arch assembly is moving apace, with the last remaining arch element docking in Durban imminently. Of the 56 total arch elements, there now remain 20 that need to be assembled.

September and October promise to be extremely busy on site, with upcoming activities and milestones, including the completion of the precast seats; the completion of the roof's steel columns, compression ring and arch; and the start of the preparations for roof cable installation inside the stadium.

June 2008
The construction of the stadium venue is progressing well despite a worker strike that resulted in a 13-day delay last year.

The stadium roof, consisting of Teflon-coated glass fibre membranes will be attached to the arch by 95-mm-diameter steel cables. An 880-m-long steel compression ring, that maintains the structure of the roof, will be put in place around the perimeter of the stadium structure. The arch is expected to be completed by late 2008.

In total, 56 separate 10-m-long segments will be joined together to make up the 350-m arch, which will be 30 storeys high and weighs about 2 600 t.

Further, work continues on all structural elements of the stadium's bowl, created by a total of 1 780 precast concrete seating panels, with 1 750 columns and 216 raking beams providing the main support.

All piling and ground beams are completed. The footings for retaining wall B and wall C, and all the columns from level 1 to level 5 are completed. Lift shafts up to level 5 have been completed. The level 3 and level 4 slabs are completed. The capping slabs and slanted bearing structure of the south-west and south-east arch and north-arch bases are also completed.

Other milestones reached at the stadium construction site include the pouring of the first podium concrete columns around the stadium, and the preparation of the bottom part of the concrete seating.

The first steel columns above level 6 have been installed, with the foundations for both the southern and northern legs of the stadium's grand central arch already completed, while the first of its 56 giant steel segments has been assembled on site and hoisted into place. The first of the rung elements, which connect the two southern legs of the arch, will be put in place this month.

The number of man hours on site has been recorded at 3,8-million hours.

May 2008
The Moses Mabhida stadium is now about 41% completed and should be ready before world football governing body FIFA's October 31, 2009, deadline.

The construction site is currently a hive of activity, with about 28 cranes, 105 construction vehicles and about 2 500 workers on site, with progress occurring at a rapid pace.

The concrete slabs for levels 4 and 5 are progressing well and 25% of the concrete slab for level 6 has been poured.

Level 6 is the stadium's highest level and will house the demountable seating that extends the stadium from a 56 000 capacity in ‘legacy mode' to a 70 000 capacity for the World Cup.

Work on the 106-m-high stadium arch has begun, with foundations for the arches completed and the first four large steel segments of the arch in place on either side, out of a total of 56 segments.

The number of man hours on site has been recorded at 3,4-million hours.

April 2008
Construction of the 350-m long, 30-storey steel arch at the stadium is set to begin soon, with the shipment of the first eight sections of the stadium's grand central arch having arrived in mid-March from Hamburg, Germany.

Work on the concrete ‘bowl', which forms the base structure of the stadium, is advancing and will be completed during the second half of 2008.

January 2008
Lafarge South Africa's Aggregates & Readymix business division has secured construction materials contracts valued at almost R250-million for the supply of aggregates and concrete for five of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums. For the Moses Mabhida stadium, Lafarge will supply 80 000 m3 of concrete for the construction of the stadium.

Almost two-million man hours have been recorded on site.

November 2007
Unions and managers of the company contracted to build the Moses Mabhida stadium meet to try and avert a strike that would halt construction at the site.

October 2007
DSE, a business unit of the JSE-listed Aveng Group, will be fabricating 3 600 t of structural steel for the new stadium.

Currently, the detailed design drawings, including all the interfaces and sections, are being decided. DSE will transport completed fabricated sections from its Vereeniging facility to Durban, while the arch sections will be shipped from Europe to Durban.

The bulk of the structural steel will be sourced locally. DSE has already booked mill runs with ArcelorMittal South Africa through Macsteel. It is likely that between 300 t and 500 t of special material will have to be imported. DSE is awaiting delivery confirmation on this.

The number of man hours on site has been recorded at 1,3-million hours.

On Budget and on Time?
Despite some delays owing to inclement weather and strike action, the stadium was completed, according to FIFA's requirements by October 31, 2009.

The shy car and adventure walk opened to the public on November 30, 2009.

Contact Details for Project Information
eThekwini Municipality, strategic projects and 2010 programme head Julie-May Ellingson, tel +27 31 336 2536, fax +27 31 336 2511 or email