THE construction of Durban's 2010 World Cup training venues is on track to meet deadlines for this year and 2010.
This was evident yesterday when the Durban's 2010 project team took the media on a tour of the two official training venues, Princess Magogo and Sugar Ray Xulu stadiums.
Construction at these training venues is expected to be completed by March. The development of the training venues is in line with Fifa requirement that the host cities should provide up-to-standard venues. The continuing upgrades will turn the stadiums into multifunctional venues able to cater for athletics and rugby in addition to football and a host of non-sporting events.
At Princess Magogo Stadium the pitch is currently being laid. Once completed it will be laser levelled and then the process of planting the grass will start.
The grandstands are almost finished with VIP suites, media booths and private rooms.
At Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium the construction team is busy with the grandstands and will soon start laying the pitch.
Local counsellor Skhumbuzo Ndaba said he is very happy with the revamping of the stadium.
The project has created 60 job opportunities for the people in the area and also for a number of sub-contractors.
The revamped Princess Magogo Stadium will have a seating capacity of 4600.
The head of Durban's Strategic 2010 Project Unit, Julie-May Ellingson, said she is confident that the stadiums will meet the deadline. She said the challenge with the Durban training venues was a huge backlog in previously disadvantaged areas where the city had opted to build multi-purpose venues.
"In this way the city seeks to ensure that investment in the 2010 venues will leave a lasting legacy by providing local communities with multi-purpose sports and recreation centres," she said. Initially Durban had three stadiums that were identified as training venues, including the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.
King Zwelithini Stadium was subsequently ruled out because teams were booked into hotels too far away for players to attend practice sessions at the stadium. Ellingson said that this did not mean that upgrading King Zwelithini Stadium would not continue as planned.