Construction of Green Point starts

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Helen Zille, Cape Town executive mayor, is pleased that the process of building the new Green Point Stadium finally got under way this week.

This was after concrete was finally poured by the constructors to lay a foundation for the new state-of-the-art 68 000 seater stadium, which will cost R2,9 billion.

"This marks the beginning of the building process. The stadium is, however, only a small part of the work we have to do," said an ecstatic Zille yesterday.

This came after a number of mysterious organisations, claiming to be representing Green Point residents, took the city to court in an attempt to block the construction of the stadium.

The most recent case involves the Cape Town Environmental Protection Association (Cepa), who were opposed to the demolition of the old stadium.

The demolition of the old stadium was completed last weekend, which made it impossible for the Cape Town High Court to entertain Cepa's case to stop the process.

But the no-nonsense Zille pointed out they will oppose any plans to sabotage the construction of the stadium by any person.

A former political journalist, Zille said the World Cup will have huge spin-offs for the Capetonians.

"The national and provincial government are putting in a huge amount of investment of about R10 billion in transport and other infrastructure to prepare for 2010.

"But the city [of Cape Town] will not receive those funds if we do not host a 2010 [World Cup] semifinal.

"It is therefore tragic that some people in Cape Town wish to derail our 2010 preparations at this stage with legal action.

"The Fifa 2010 World Cup has also put Cape Town and the rest of South Africa in the spotlight, giving us the chance to shake off the Afro-pessimism that still discourages investors both in and outside our boarders."

Zille is confident that the construction of the stadium will be completed in 2009 as per the deadline set by the Local Organising Committee.

Sydney Mufamadi, the minister of local and provincial government, two weeks ago expressed disappointment at a handful of people who want to sabotage the World Cup in Cape Town.