2010: Durban to fight for more matches

2008-10-14 00:00

The eThekwini Municipality is fighting to get more World Cup soccer matches for Durban.

The head of Durban’s strategic projects unit and 2010 programme, Julie-May Ellingson, said Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium will host only six matches, while other cities like Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape will host eight games.

Ellingson was speaking at a media conference on the stadium’s progress and other 2010 projects.

She said it is puzzling that smaller municipalities will host more games than Durban.

Durban is ahead of the game, and the stadium is 65% complete.

Besides the aesthetic aspects of the R1,6 billion stadium, major work is being done on the structural components.

Ellingson said the Warwick Junction upgrade, the new airport and the freeway management system are also on track.

“{Fifa chief] Sepp Blatter’s recent visit to South Africa didn’t bring him to Durban, as his last visit to the city gave him all the proof he needed that Durban continues to be ahead of the game.”

Ellingson said the stadium’s supporting structures are now almost complete. The placing of the pre-cast seating is more than 82% complete. The amphitheatre is also taking shape and is 60% complete.

“While we have experienced delays due to inclement weather, we are still well on schedule and very pleased with the stadium’s development. The project is now approximately 65% complete and by the beginning of September, a total of approximately 177 515 tons of concrete and 8 591 tons of reinforcement steel had been used.”

Asked about Fifa’s comments over the lack of “hype” from South Africans, Ellingson said people should not worry about Durban.

“There is a lot of pessimism around. Don’t read too much into that. We have a clear strategy to market the event,” she said.

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