Lawyers meet to settle World Cup dispute

Legal and technical experts from the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town met yesterday to discuss a way forward on the city's proposed 2010 World Cup stadium.

Legal and technical experts from the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town met yesterday to discuss a way forward on the city's proposed 2010 World Cup stadium.

The meeting came as verbal sniping continued over the province's claim that a bungle by the city in the approvals process had threatened the already tight timetable for construction of the R2,9 billion stadium.

Mayor Helen Zille said the experts were looking for a way to "resolve the development approvals" required for the construction and would continue their work on Friday.

"Procedural difficulties around the rezoning for the Green Point stadium can be overcome and I am confident a way forward will be found between the City of Cape Town and the provincial government," Zille said.

She said the controversy was a "political storm in a teacup".

"Several months ago, I met the Premier [Ebrahim Rasool] and we agreed on a step-by-step process on the statutory approvals required for Green Point Common and the construction of the new stadium," she said.

"The city met every one of its obligations by the required deadline."

She said there was nothing to stop provincial planning MEC Tasneem Essop from making a decision on the city's rezoning application.

It appeared that the province's motive was to try to force the city to agree to the establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV). which would give it joint control of the 2010 project.

Zille said the city had "no problem" with working with the province.

But it could not agree to a separate SPV because the national treasury, world soccer's controlling body, Fifa, and the local organising committee for the 2010 World Cup had entered into contracts with cities, and not with provinces, for 2010. - Sapa

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