Mthatha stadium dispute ‘will not affect World Cup’

Posted On Monday, 22 December 2008 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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An official of world football governing body Fifa says whether or not the Mthatha stadium is completed by 2010, it would make no difference to the World Cup.

Infrastructure IndustryAn official of world football governing body Fifa said whether or not the Mthatha stadium was completed by 2010, it would make no difference to the World Cup.

The Daily Dispatch reported that construction on a new Mthatha stadium, to be offered as a training base camp for foreign soccer teams, was stalled due to a legal dispute.

Luxolo Mantambo from the 2010 Fifa World Cup’s communications department said training venues were put forward by provinces, but could be changed at any point without causing problems.

He said the Mthatha training ground was a provincial project and referred further queries to the provincial sports department.

“The fact that a base camp might not be finished does not affect anything. I can’t comment on base camps because they could or could not be used,” said Mantambo.

Construction on Mthatha’s new stadium was expected to start in November to ensure it is completed by March 2010, but has been stalled following a legal tussle between King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) municipality and the Zimbane community. The community had a pending claim on a piece of land in excess of 3400 hectares within the municipality, including the site earmarked for the Mthatha multi- purpose stadium.

The community, which says it was driven from the land when Transkei was developed as an apartheid bantustan, was negotiating with the municipality in a bid to have a say in development on the affected land.

KSD municipality, however, applied for the Land Claims Court to allow it to carry on with the development. The move raised the ire of the community, which vowed to fight back.

Head of the provincial Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department Bubele Mfenyana said he was disappointed to read about the tug-of-war between the municipality and community, but said the World Cup would go on.

The stadium was not being built solely for the World Cup, but to attract high calibre sport events ensuring economic benefits for the town beyond 2010.

“There is a huge infrastructure project planned for the area including a stadium. The new Mthatha stadium will not be the only option.… The Rotary Stadium could be used if we don’t meet deadlines for the new one,” said Mfenyana.

 

Last modified on Friday, 01 November 2013 07:08

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