2010 stadium will be finished before deadline

2008-05-13 00:00

DURBAN’S Moses Mabhida Stadium is way ahead of construction and will be complete almost two months before Fifa’s deadline.

This is according to eThekwini’s head of strategic projects, Julie-May Ellingson, who addressed Tourism Indaba delegates during a tour of the new stadium.

International delegates and the media were given an update of the stadium’s construction and projects associated with the World Cup.

Ellingson said the stadium is almost 60% complete and that there will be extra time to test it before it is handed over to Fifa.

“We want to commission the stadium and test it properly before we hand it over to Fifa. We are very proud of our progress,” she said.

Ellingson said the erection of the special grand arch, which was manufactured in Germany, is a major milestone for the construction team.

The 106-metre high arch will become a major landmark. Ellingson told delegates how the stadium will be used after the World Cup, with restaurants, a sports museum and a cable car to take people to the top of the arch for a bird’s eye view of the city.

“This stadium will be for the people of Durban and South Africa. The People’s Park will be open to everyone 365 days a year.”

She said a public transport plan is being discussed. Pedestrian links will enable fans to walk to the beach, while a sign system over freeways will alert motorists to congestion.

The beachfront will be turned into a “Fan Mile” so all can enjoy World Cup fever.

When asked about the quality of Durban’s seawater, she said effluent is related to the poor sanitation and that the municipality is looking into the problem. “We are a developing country and there are many problems we have to address. We are looking at the water issues.”

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