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By unknown | Mar 19, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The construction of the Nelson Mandela Bay Sports Centre in Port Elizabeth has been revised in a last ditch effort to satisfy Fifa's demands for the 2009 Confederations Cup.

The new agreement with the constructor - Grinaker-LTA/Interbeton/IBHAYI JV - came after Fifa gave the municipality until the end of April to accelerate the construction or miss out on the hosting of the event.

In terms of the agreement, all major items will be completed by the end of this year with certain minor projects early in 2009.

The municipality's top brass were in Johannesburg late yesterday to brief the Local Organising Committee on their progress.

Roland Williams, the municipality's communications director, said the eight-nation Confederations Cup will also be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Sports Complex.

"There is no doubt about it, we are going to meet the Fifa and Local Organising Committee deadline for the Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

" It is a massive project and we are well aware of the tight schedule in terms of delivering the facility for the two competitions."

Williams said they were convinced that all the concrete work on site would be completed by the end of December this year.

Others to be completed at that time include the installation of a roof, stadium pitch, permanent seats, players' facilities, all the offices and 22 Fifa suites.

One of the other Fifa concerns was that the permanent marked seats must be in place six months in advance for them to start selling tickets.

In terms of the revised plan, some of the projects to be completed between January and March include the road infrastructure surrounding the stadium.

Others are the installation of information technology programmes such as CCTV, big replay screen and sound system.

"We will also be doing other things like landscaping, installing turnstiles and fencing early in the new year."

"The constructors are working on site six days a week from 7am to 5pm, on Saturdays they are there from 7am to 1pm.

"Not much has changed but we have just reprioritised the work schedule to meet all the deadlines.".

Unlike six months ago when Sowetan visited the site where constructors were still laying a foundation, there is now some tangible structures in place.

The LOC board will decide the fate of Nelson Mandela Bay Sports Complex in relation to the Confederations Cup on April 29 and 30.


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