Municipality insists Charles Mopeli Stadium photos are misleading: people are welcome to come here

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
The Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality confirmed that work is underway at the Charles Mopeli Stadium.
The Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality confirmed that work is underway at the Charles Mopeli Stadium.
Image: Maluti-A-Phofung

Years of neglect have sunk the Charles Mopeli Stadium in Qwa-Qwa into a serious state of disrepair and images of the once glorious venue stunned sports fans when they saw the crumbling infrastructure and knee-length weeds growing where the pitch once was.

But Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality insisted that they are working hard to restore the 50 000-seater and R11m will be spent to refurbish it during Phase One of the process. They suggested that the person who took the photographs that have been circulated on social media deliberately set out to create a misleading picture of what is really happening at the venue.

The municipality supplied images it said proves that work is underway at the stadium.

Municipal manager Futhuli Mothamaha told TimesLIVE that a contractor has been appointed and work has started on the offices, the VIP and parking areas, the media centre, ablution block and change rooms.

“The person who took the pictures focused on the areas which are part of Phase Two, Three and Four, and work has not yet started there,” Mothamaha.

“The entire country and the media must know that we are doing something about our sports facilities. People are welcome to come here and we will take them to all our facilities to show them that work is happening.”

The manager for sport at the municipality, Teboho Tsotetsi, said Charles Mopeli is a construction site and the project is funded by the provincial government.

Charles Mopeli Stadium construction site and the project is funded by the provincial government.
Charles Mopeli Stadium construction site and the project is funded by the provincial government.
Image: Maluti-A-Phofung local municipality

“We have Phase One wherein internal structures like the offices, boardroom, VIP area, car park, media centre, change rooms are being revamped at a cost of R11m. What is the use of us going to mow the grass now while we are still busy with revamping offices and the car park,” said Tsotetsi.

“The person who took the photos didn’t even bother to take the pictures of the car park where work is currently happening.

"We expect Phase One to be completed at the end of July or in the beginning August, and we expect the entire project to take up to four to five years to complete. But that will not stop us from using the facility.

“At this stage I can’t disclose the costs for the second phase, but it is going to focus on fixing the athletics track, the pitch, the drainage and irrigation system and the lights.

"The third phase will be the sorting out the pavilion on the other side of the field, and the fourth phase will include the indoor sports complex and the multipurpose hall.”

Tsotetsi said they will revamp the other venues in Phuthaditjhaba and Bluegumbosch Stadiums.

Construction worker busy at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Qwa-Qwa.
Construction worker busy at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Qwa-Qwa.
Image: supplied

“With regards to Phuthaditjhaba Stadium, we had a meeting with the provincial department of sport and public works recently.

"They wanted to come and assist us with Phase Two of Charles Mopeli, but we asked them to direct that funding to Phuthaditjhaba because we are still busy with Phase One at Charles Mopeli.

“We have asked to work on things like change rooms, ablution block and the car park at the Phuthaditjhaba Stadium and we are waiting to hear if they agree to our proposal.

"We are also going to do work on Bluegumbosch Stadium in Qwa-Qwa, which is a multipurpose facility. There is a lot of work that is happening but sometimes people will focus on the negative,” said Tsotetsi.

The outrage from stunned sports fans is understandable as Odi Stadium in Mabopane, Witbank Stadium in Witbank, LebowaKgomo Stadium in Limpopo, HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi, Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria and Mmabatho Stadium in Mahikeng.