Will Durban be ready in time?

2010-04-24 00:00

CONTRACTORS are still excavating large sections of Durban’s best-known tourist attraction, the Golden Mile, for the new coat that Durban is donning for the Soccer World Cup tournament.

With fewer than 50 days to go before the world spectacular kicks off on 11 June in Johannesburg, city manager of the eThekweni Metro Council Dr Mike Sutcliffe gave the assurance on Tuesday that most of Durban’s building activities will be completed by as early as mid-May.

The 3,1 million, 70 000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium, where many South Africans hope to see the popular Brazilian football players in action, is complete and has already been inaugurated in style.

Relative to this gigantic project the city is now in the process of icing the cake, as it were, for the football feast.

In the streets around and to and from the stadium, several of which will be closed to traffic on match days and transformed into giant walkways for spectators, pavements have been dug up and are being relaid with more attractive paving stones.

The beautification of the city also involves repainting lamp posts and putting up new ones, pruning trees, mowing grass and repairing infrastructure.

All the work should be completed by mid-May, Sutcliffe said.

The construction of a broadcasting and media centre at the stadium is in full swing. By mid-May a start will have been made on the erection of temporary concession stalls.

On the beachfront, the upgrading of the promenade is expected to be complete by the end of this month. The promenade is being widened, made safer, and extended from uShaka Marine World to the Suncoast Casino so that visitors can walk the entire length of the Golden Mile right up to the stadium.

Work on the spectator area to be constructed on the beachfront, which will apparently also include a media centre, is expected to start at the beginning of May.

A transport information system for visitors is also expected to be introduced in May. The system is expected to tell people exactly how to go about reaching attractions or destinations such as training grounds.

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