Upgrading speeded up

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The upgrading of Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, for the 2010 Fifa World Cup has been reviewed to enable constructors to complete the project in November.

It was initially scheduled to be completed in December, but the Bafokeng want to use it for the Nelson Mandela Challenge in December.

"You will recall that we are sponsors of this tournament for the next three years," said Ezzy Seabelo, a development manager of Royal Bafokeng Sports.

"Unlike other 2010 Fifa World Cup venues, we are doing minor upgrading on the venue in line with the requirements of Fifa.

"We are happy with the progress to date, the support that we have been getting from the North West government and the Rustenburg Municipality has been wonderful.

"One of the things that we are doing as part of the upgrading process is to increase the seating capacity from 39000 to 45000 in preparation for both the 2009 Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

"There will also be a state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard. We will also have electronic advertising boards around the stadium. The toilets, dressing rooms, VIP and media lounges are also currently upgraded. We are also going to increase parking space and improve roads leading to the stadium.

"It will be a fully fledged sports precinct that will also be used for international competitions, there will also be a swimming pool, netball, tennis, basketball and tennis courts.

"The stadium will also be the home of Platinum Stars, who will soon be relocating to Phokeng, and Platinum Leopards Rugby Club."

Bafokeng, owners of the stadium, will demolish the nearby Matale Middle School to create more parking space and build a media centre for the World Cup.

Students at Matale will be relocated to Tumagole High School in the same area when they close for the winter holidays in June. "The media tribune where Matale is situated will be used as the headquarters of Royal Bafokeng Sports," added Seabelo.