19 February 2010
The R1.3-billion, 45 000-seater Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane is ready to be handed over to Fifa, with Limpopo province declaring itself “fully prepared” for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Construction of the stadium, which started in March 2007, took 32 months to complete.
The state-of-the-art facility opened its doors to top-flight football in January when local teams Kaizer Chiefs, Supersport United and Wits competed in a four-team tournament that also included Danish side Bronby IF.
The new stadium has been built adjacent to the old stadium to form the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex. From its surroundings, the R1.3-billion development has created a landmark for the city and the entire province.
Greece, Argentina, Paraguay, New Zealand, France and Mexico will all play their World Cup first round matches at the new stadium.
Limpopo ‘ready and fully prepared’
Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale said during his state of the province address in Polokwane this week that the people of Limpopo could not contain their joy when the province was chosen to host matches during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, saying it was now fully prepared for the soccer spectacular.
Mathale said all security measures were properly resourced, capacitated and in a state of readiness. The medical and emergency services have been improved in line with the requirements of the tournament.
“The Polokwane/Mankweng Hospital Complex is ready and available to offer acceptable medical services during the soccer show and beyond. Our hospitality facilities have also been improved with some of the lodges and hotels already fully booked,” Mathale said.
The formal contractual handover was done in November last year, and the final handover to the Polokwane municipality was on 14 January, when the contractor moved out of the site.
Polokwane’s 2010 marketing and communications manager Mantlako Sebaka told BuaNews that as far as their agreement and timeline goes, they will officially hand over the stadium to Fifa on 24 May.