The Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace owners have breathed a sigh of relief that the process of upgrading the facility for the 2010 Fifa World Cup has finally started.
This was after there was a minor delay, largely because of an escalation in fees from an initial R147 million to R160 million for the renovation process.
The process was initially scheduled to start in August.
"The main contractor is now on site," said an ecstatic George Khunou, managing director of Royal Bafokeng Holdings.
"For us everything is under control. You will remember that we will be doing minor changes to the stadium to meet Fifa requirements.
"The main thing for us will be to get 6 000 new seats to accommodate more people. The constructors have already started with the earthworks.
"The demolition of the existing roof has been completed to accommodate the new floor that will carry the 6 000 seats and sky boxes.
"We will also have additional change-rooms and a new media centre so that journalists and technicians can do their job without problems," said Khunou.
Installing an electronic score- board and upgrading the floodlights and public address system will form part of the upgrade.
As for the 2010 World Cup, Royal Bafokeng will host four first round matches and one second round game with an increased capacity of 45 000 people. Khunou said they had already started creating more parking space for the thousands of people expected to watch the games.
"We have decided that children from the existing Matale Middle School will relocate to another institution near the Phokeng Plaza as from next year.
"The process of upgrading the institution where they are going has started to accommodate the ones from Matale, where we are also busy with renovations.
"The current structure of Matale will also serve as a media centre."