Mbombela Stadium gets nod from Makwetla

SLOG: Construction site of the state of the art Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. © Sowetan.
SLOG: Construction site of the state of the art Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. © Sowetan.

Ramatsiyi Moholoa and Richard Nkosi

Ramatsiyi Moholoa and Richard Nkosi

The construction of the state of the art Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit will start in June, said Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla this week.

A total of R15m has been put aside by the government for the 2007/08 financial year for the first phase of the 45 000-seater stadium. The venue is expected to be completed in May 2009.

Mbombela was the second city after Nelson Mandela in the Eastern Cape to turn the sod for the building of the new stadiums for the 2010 World Cup.

"We are satisfied with the progress in fast-tracking the work on all the stadium related infrastructure, such as ring roads connecting the stadium to the main road infrastructure network," said Makwetla.

"In order to advance the province's social development agenda, R10m has been allocated to implement five community sport and recreation programmes in each district municipality in 2007/08.

"Linked to the establishment of the Disaster Management Centre is the implementation of the Health Emergency Medical Services model that focuses on achieving shorter response times, better communication systems, vehicle replacement, introduction of aero-medical services and a basic training course for ambulance assistants.

"This will significantly enhance our readiness to provide quality emergency health services that meet 2010 World Cup standards.

"We will purchase 83 ambulances for R22 million in preparations for 2010 and beyond. It is essential that we achieve broad-based participation and access to the 2010 World Cup experience so that it fosters social cohesion.

"We will be establishing fan parks that will bring the games to where people are, and provide for all entertainment and experience during the period of the World Cup. These parks will serve to bring the people of Mpumalanga together to be part of the global community watching and enjoying the World Cup experience."

Makwetla said Mpumalanga will create what he described as a "one stop" 2010 office, which will house all the government components related to 2010.

"In the year ahead, the 2010 office will focus on consolidating and facilitating optimal use of the province's relationship with North Rhine Westphalia, a province which had three venues during the Fifa 2006 World Cup."