aces could be on move

Matome Lebea

Matome Lebea

The inflated cost of using Puma Stadium in Witbank is forcing the ambitious National First Division (NFD) side, Mpumalanga Black Aces, to consider leaving the area.

Club spokesman Thabo "T-Bose" Moroape said Amazayoni could move to Secunda or Middleburg.

Aces were paying R800 last season per match, but to their surprise this year they were told to pay R21700 per match by Mpumalanga Pumas Rugby Union, who lease the stadium from Emalahleni local municipality.

"We feel that the rugby union is out of order, they are not in line with the new dispensation of the country and we have noted that the problem of the stadium started after they elected Hein Mentz as the union's president," argued Moroape.

Aces used the stadium last season, but they were barred from the grounds on Tuesday afternoon, when they were set to start pre-season training.

"We had a verbal agreement with Aces that they will pay all the expenses, for next season they will have to pay R8 000 for the removal and refitting of rugby and soccer poles and other expenses separately," said Arry Myburg, Pumas' acting chief executive.

"We are running the stadium on an amount of R85500 a month.

"I can confirm that last season they were paying R800, because they had only a few spectators, ranging between 300 and 500, but towards the end of the season their spectators increased to more than 10 000, which means that more equipment and labour will be required.

"[Our] offices are open for the Aces management to establish a good working relationship."

Should the current problem continue unresolved, Aces will have to work around the clock to find a suitable venue before the league kicks off next month.