A defining moment for Durban

2009-11-24 21:04
Durban - The completion of the Moses Mabhida stadium was a defining moment for Durban, head of the strategic projects unit and 2010 programme Julie-May Ellingson said on Tuesday.

"This proves that world-class engineering [can] be achieved," she told a briefing.

She said no unbudgeted money was spent on the construction, which cost just over R3bn, R1bn less than Cape Town's Green Point stadium.

"There is no doubt that each and every person who has worked on this project can stand proud and know they have made their mark in history," said Ellingson.

The 70 000-seater stadium took 32 months to build.

"There were challenges, but I believe the whole team outdid themselves. The stadium looks better than the design," she said.

Bungee swing across pitch

Those challenges included the escalation in foreign exchange, rainy weather and strikes.

The project created 26 000 jobs and reduced the unemployment rate in the city by 2.12%, said Ellingson.

The stadium features a sky car able to carry 25 people at a time to its highest point; an adventure walk up 550 steps to the southern side of the arch; and a bungee swing across the pitch.

Ellingson said the committee wanted to ensure that the community of Durban enjoyed these features.

"EThekwini residents will receive discount vouchers with their rates bill," she said.

The stadium is fitted with blue, green, white and orange chairs and displays works of art inside the walls.

A picture of fallen hero, Moses Mabhida, adorns an outside wall.

Ellingson said that at 106 metres, the stadium's arch was higher than the US's Statue of Liberty, which was 93m high.

Tim ter Haar, of the stadium designer Ibhola Lethu Consortium, said there would be 24 retail outlets in the stadium.

The stadium's first official match takes place on Sunday between AmaZulu FC and Maritzburg United.
 

- SAPA
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