Plans afoot to fund stadium

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Durban city stakeholders and South Africa's 2010 World Cup VIPs will explore alternative options to cover the shortfall facing the city's King Senzangakhona Stadium.

The government allocated an initial R1,8billion for the stadium, the cost of which is now believed to have escalated to about R2,4 billion.

City officials and 2010 heads held a meeting behind closed doors last week to determine the way forward.

Durban city manager Michael Sutcliffe said: "On Thursday it was agreed that the national treasury has limited funds.

"The question was then to either reduce costs for the building of the stadium or pursue alternative funding," he said.

"We agreed that a technical team be set up at the weekend. We have until January 30 to finalise our options," Sutcliffe said.

Members of the 2010 Soccer World Cup committee, including cabinet ministers, Sutcliffe, KwaZulu-Natal Premier S'busiso Ndebele, Durban's mayor Obed Mlaba and officials of the city's 2010 strategic project unit, met to look at the city's overall progress of the 2010 World Cup preparations.

Beside the stadium woes, the city is on track with its preparations for the 2009 deadline and officials were given a preview into the city's transport system.

The city plans to use 10 buses operating 10 minutes apart to transport fans during the World Cup tournament.

"The idea is to get people off the roads and on to the buses," Sutcliffe said.

"It is based on capacity and the more the demand the more buses we will provide. The buses will be unveiled in six weeks time."