22 August 2008
The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (Mega) is looking for investors for the construction and development of a 5 000-seat international convention centre to be built in the provincial capital, Nelspruit.
“Mega is acting as a facilitator of the project as part of our mandate to attract new investment into the province,” Mega trade and investment head Anton Scheepers said in Nelspruit this week.
“We are still in the process of finding suitable investors to start the project.”
The project has already attracted the support of both the Mpumalanga provincial government and the Mbombela Local Municipality of which Nelspruit is a part.
Potential investors, who will also have the opportunity to co-develop a five-star hotel that will also be located in the complex, were taken on a site visit in July.
The centre, as well as the five-star hotel, is being planned so the town can take full advantage of hosting football matches during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Construction is currently ongoing at the Mbombela Stadium, which is approximately seven kilometres from the city centre and about 12 kilometres from the nearby Kruger-Mpumalanga airport. Its close proximity to various game parks will offer spectators the opportunity of seeing wildlife during the tournament’s rest days.
The 46 000-seater stadium, which will conform to international standards, is expected to be complete by October 2009. The stadium is expected to host five first round matches.
Mbombela municipal spokesperson Vusi Sibiya added that once complete, the centre would support in growing the province’s tourism industry.
“The facility will probably be built to international standards and will be able to host national and international meetings like the one in Durban,” he said. “Conferences and banquets, as well as concerts and selected indoor sporting events, will also be accommodated, not just for the World Cup, but beyond.”
SAinfo reporter and BuaNews
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