Nelspruit stadium ‘will meet deadline’

2 March 2009

Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, one of nine South African cities that will host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, is 75% complete and will be ready for handover to Fifa in September.

That’s the word from the mayor of Mbombela local municipality, Lassy Chiwayo, who was briefing an inspection team led by South African Deputy President Baleka Mbete at the venue on Saturday.

Mbete was accompanied on her visit by several cabinet ministers, as well as a 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) delegation led by LOC chief executive officer Danny Jordaan.

Construction at the venue has faced a number of problems, including labour disputes on site and a dispute over the ownership of the land on which the stadium is being built.

Despite these challenges, Mbete said she was confident that, with the support of all levels of government, the municipality would complete the stadium and other required infrastructure ahead of Fifa’s October 2009 deadline.

A technical team including representatives from the national and provincial government, the municipality and the LOC were due to meet on Monday to find solutions to the problems.

“The one thing we should all understand is that South Africa has the responsibility to deliver on the commitments made to Fifa and the world,” Mbete said.

“We were given the responsibility to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup and we made certain undertakings. If we do not fulfill those, we will embarrass not only the Mpumalanga province and South Africa, but the entire continent of Africa.