Pupils move for media

TRAVELLING: Royal Bafokeng's George Khunou. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 24/05/07. © Gallo Images.
TRAVELLING: Royal Bafokeng's George Khunou. Pic. Lefty Shivambu. 24/05/07. © Gallo Images.

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Royal Bafokeng Sports Holdings will be using a school near the Royal Bafokeng Stadium as a media hub for the 2010 World Cup.

Ezzy Seabelo, the stadium's manager, said pupils and staff from Matale Middle School will be accommodated at another school in Phokeng.

Seabelo said there were empty classrooms at the Tumagole Primary School in the area, which will be used by pupils from Matale.

"The learners are aware that they will not be using the same premises when they reopen for the third quarter of the year in September.

"The school will be upgraded to meet the requirements of Fifa for a media hub.

There are thousands of print and broadcast journalists expected to cover the World Cup," said Seabelo.

"We will also be using part of the land to cater for additional parking and other facilities required for the tournament.

"After the World Cup, the premises will become offices of Royal Bafokeng Sports Holdings."

Seabelo, a prominent karate administrator, said they will also erect a new road to make it easier for people to access the stadium from all corners.

"There is a need of about R200 million for that purpose. There are other major developments that will take place around the stadium."

Seabelo said the tender process for the upgrading of the stadium, which will cost R147,4 million, closes tomorrow.

"In fact, we have some of the engineers on site who are busy doing various tests on the soil. The digging process is already under way," he said.

"Once the preferred bidder has been chosen, the plan is to start with the upgrading process in September.

"The plan is to have the upgrading completed by September 2008.

"We hope it will be ready by September [next year] because we will be hosting the Nelson Mandela Challenge where Bafana Bafana play against other top countries.

"We have won the rights to host the Challenge for the next three years, but this year we will be going to Loftus Stadium because of the renovations at Royal Bafokeng."

Meanwhile, chief executive of Royal Bafokeng Sports Holdings George Khunou and North West department of sports and recreation head Irene Mpolweni are in Gaborone to discuss 2010 World Cup partnerships with representatives of the Botswana government.

Mpolweni is also the convenor of the North West World Cup technical working committee.

Kennedy Mosiapoa, North West 2010 World Cup coordinator, said the delegation was in Gaborone to prepare for a visit by their political heads later this year.

"The delegation, led by our head of department, is having discussions with a committee tasked by the Botswana government to prepare for the World Cup.

"As part of South Africa's commitment to make it an African World Cup, we are taking advantage of Botswana's proximity," said Mosiapoa.

"It will also be great to see Botswana hosting some of the participating countries.

We also want to agree on the areas where North West and Botswana can collaborate.

"There are also things like public viewing areas, issues of tourism, hotels and soccer development in southern Africa as a legacy project."

l ramatsiyi@sowetan.co.za