R10bn stadium shocker

2010-03-07 08:21

INITIAL estimates were that it would cost South Africa ­R8.62 billion to build four new stadiums and upgrade six existing ones for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

However, City Press discovered this week that the cost has more than doubled to a whopping R17.9 billion.

The venue that has cost the tax- payers the most is Cape Town’s Green Point which has notched up costs of R4.5 billion compared to the budget of R1.96 billion, and R3.4 billion has been spent on the Moses ­Mabhida Stadium in Durban from the R1.83 billion initial budget.

While the journalists – local and international – embarked on a tour that started in Johannesburg, moved on to Tshwane,
Rustenburg, Polokwane, Nelspruit, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and ended up with the 100 days celebrations in Durban was a huge PR exercise and garnered invaluable publicity for Fifa, the LOC and host cities, it came at a minimal cost.

City Press was reliably informed that the entire jaunt cost about R2 million, the cost will be split 50-50 between the LOC and host cities.

The LOC was responsible for all travel costs while the host cities paid for the gifts offered to journalists and accommodation.

According to our informant, the two parties will share the costs for dinners and cocktail parties held for the delegation.

The final picture that emerged from the tour, was that stadiums were now complete and all – save for the Mbombela stadium – were ready for match-play.

Some newly built grounds such as Cape Town, Moses Mabhida, Port Elizabeth and Peter Mokaba have already hosted a few test events.

In fashion terms, they call it a show-stopper and indeed the iconic, state-of-the-art Moses Mabhida Stadium stole the thunder as scribes rated it as top of the pack followed by Cape Town Stadium and Soccer City. As it has come to be expected, Bafana Bafana failed to dazzle when they were held to a 1-all draw by lowly ranked Namibia in a match played as part of the 100 days celebrations as well as official opening of the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The Green Point Stadium pitch took first prize while everybody noticed with consternation that not a cent was spared on the final touches and decor inside the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said: “The 100 days road-show was a great success. It not only gave us time to interact with media but even more important to get a personal view on the status of preparations. I saw 10 impressive stadiums some of them not only world-class, but for sure the most beautiful in the world. In meetings with the premiers and mayors we were able to discuss any open issues and I want to thank all the host cities for their commitment and support.”

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