Businessman Butityi Konki and rugby icon Naas Botha's vision to honour local sporting heroes in a South African Sports Hall of Fame (Sashof) was realised with the sod turning of the R1,5 billion project in Kysna.
Construction will start immediately and the state-of-the-art Sashof headquarters should be completed before the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Konki yesterday told Sowetan that the Hall of Fame will consist of a hotel with 120 rooms, resort, one- and two-bedroom apartments, a multipurpose sports field, shops, a wellness center, restaurants and a conference centre - accommodating 5 000 guests.
He said a Hall of Fame management company was established to put together a BEE-compliant corporate structure.
Two bodies were created: Sashof, and the Hall of Fame Trust, a nonprofit trust company chaired by Ntambi Ravele.
"They will be looking after the finances of the trust and the broad economic development of this Hall of Fame. We have no doubt that they will be up to the task," Konki said.
"We say to the families of the heroes and heroines in sport, who left us years ago and recently, that the honour we can give to them is to engrave their names into this Hall of Fame, as a thank you to them for the role that they played, at times under serious sacrifice."
He said the reward that Sashof can give to them is that everybody who will visit the Hall of Fame will see the lasting moments of those heroes.
It is also in honour of those people who played a role in unity and nation building.