Slow progress as goals move for city’s athletics track

2016-02-05 11:11
Resident engineer Gert Kotze stands at the site of the new athletics track next to Harry Gwala Stadium.

Resident engineer Gert Kotze stands at the site of the new athletics track next to Harry Gwala Stadium. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - In an effort to be included in Durban’s bid to host the 2022 Olympics, Pietermaritzburg is currently constructing an internationally recognised athletics track, but progress has been delayed by extra facilities that make the track more viable.

The construction of the track, found next to the Harry Gwala Stadium, forms part of the greater Alexandra Park revitalisation project.

The planning for the new Msunduzi Athletics Stadium started in 2005 and bulk earthworks was done in 2012 to prepare the platform. Although the earliest completion date was October 2015, including a synthetic track to enable Paralympic races, a number of other items that will increase the viability of the site as a top-class athletics competition venue has delayed completion.

The executive committee noted that March 2016 would be the new completion date. However, according to the report to council yesterday, this also seems unlikely.

“Progress on the increase scope and value does not look as good, and it will be almost impossible to achieve the projected completion date,” read the report. While 76% of the time has lapsed, progress is only at 54,5%.

In a report to the city’s executive committee yesterday, the municipality hopes to see the venue as an IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) training facility and the best athletics track in the country.

The community services portfolio said that the community will benefit from a fully developed athletics track and it would assist in encouraging sport among everyone.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Some of the features

1. Main pavilion

2. Precast embankment seats

3. Suites

4. Padded VVIP seats

5. A clubhouse

6. Football pitch

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  athletics

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