All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa
The Mpumalanga government will not hesitate to intervene in the labour dispute between the Mbombela Stadium constructors and National Union of Mineworkers.
Desmond Golding, the Mpumalanga 2010 World Cup deputy director-general, told Sowetan yesterday they will act if the dispute continues with no end in sight.
Workers at the stadium downed tools last Friday, resulting in the Confederation of African Football chief Issa Hayatou cancelling an unscheduled tour to the stadium.
Hayatou, who is the Fifa 2010 World Cup Organising Committee chairman, was in the country for the ongoing Metropolitan Cosafa Under-20 Cup in Mpumalanga.
The downing of tools previously also occurred at other World Cup venues like Green Point Stadium in Cape Town and Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium where workers were also demanding better salaries.
The 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee this week said they were keeping a close eye on the developments in Nelspruit and other venues with similar problems.
A task team, which also includes LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan, has been appointed to monitor the construction of stadiums for the World Cup to avoid further delays.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Mpumalanga World Cup 2010 office said eight of 14 issues originally tabled had been resolved during negotiations.
They included that a R2000 pro-rata year-end bonus be paid to workers provided there are no further disruptions, that the R8 currently deducted from workers' salaries for a funeral policy be refunded and that health and safety representatives be appointed to work on site.
"Several matters still remain unresolved, [including] the hourly rate paid to workers, transport allowance for workers and a living out allowance of R1 000 per month," said the 2010 World Cup office in a statement.
"For now it is still an employer and employee situation. On Monday the two parties gave us an indication that they should be able to reach a settlement soon," said Golding.
"We are interacting with the two parties to emphasise the need to reach an agreement. Our initial target of completing the stadium was June 30.
"After revising it, we were informed that we will now be able to complete it by March 30. We are not worried at this stage because we are still ahead of schedule."
Provincial MEC for sports Jabu Mahlangu and Mbombela mayor Justice Nsibande are also hopeful that the labour dispute will soon be resolved.