R154m puts Limpopo on 2010 map

Selby Makgotho

Selby Makgotho

After a financial commitment by the Limpopo provincial government and the Polokwane municipality, the province is on track to build a 40000-seater stadium to host some of the 2010 World Cup matches.

The Polokwane provincial government will pay R76,9million and the municipality will equal that to enable it to go ahead with the construction of the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex.

Polokwane's executive mayor Thabo Makunyane said the project had been allocated R716million from the national treasury.

The municipality had budgeted R800million, but the lowest bidder had wanted R1,1billion. With some negotiating the cost for building the stadium will be about R870million, he said.

Makunyane said had the shortfall of R154million not been made up by the council and provincial government, Limpopo would have been disqualified from hosting World Cup soccer matches.

"We are delighted. We can now move on to appoint a contractor to ensure work begins in earnest," he said.

Asked if the city would meet the deadline, Makunyane said: "Oh yes, we are on track to deliver a world-class soccer facility by the end of 2009."

He dismissed rumours that the Local Organising Committee had decided to disqualify the city as hosts.

"We can only be disqualified if there is no stadium. We have a stadium and now we have to ensure we deliver on the mandate given to us by Fifa," he said.