DURBAN’S landmark Moses Mabhida Stadium has forever changed the skyline and has become a proud monument and reminder of success of the 2010 soccer world cup and a hub of activities for visitors and locals alike. Now however, there is concern that a lack of maintenance may well jeopardise the stadium’s iconic status.
A close up look at the stadium shows evidence of neglect and wear and tear, and unless the city moves urgently to repair the damage, it is going to face a repair costing of tens of millions of Rands if left unattended.
Local ward councillor Martin Meyer this week raised his concerns over the lack of maintenance.
“The condition of the stadium is concerning.”
“Panels have fallen off the structure, the paint is peeling off the arch, the sky car is out of order and parts have to be ordered, so there is a hold-up and recently, soccer players complained about the quality of the pitch. We can’t allow this very expensive city asset to go down the drain,” he said.
Meyer said in 2015 there was talk of putting the stadium under the management of the International Convention Centre, which he said he supported.
However the process was delayed by the Community and Emergency Services Committee until after the elections.
“At a Council meeting in February this year, it was brought forward to allow the city manager to negotiate for the stadium to come under the City’s management along with other stadiums in eThekwini, however no decision has been made,” he said.
According to Meyer, the management of the stadium has been in limbo for two years, and the result of this is evident.
“As a direct result, there has been no maintenance of the stadium, there is no clear plan and we don’t even know what budget is available for the upkeep of the stadium, so nothing is happening.”
He said the stadium is beautiful and well-situated and should be a major tourist attraction.
“There was talk of this stadium being the best in the country as it could be used not only as a soccer stadium, but as a shopping centre, however, a lot of the commercial space is empty.”
“It is shocking that the sky car needs to undergo maintenance at a time when international delegates were in town for the World Economic Forum, maintenance should be planned,” said Meyer.
He said the stadium was already costing the City millions of Rands a month to run, and he felt if small maintenance jobs were not done when required, the City would end up spending tens of millions of Rands to fix it, money the City does not have.
“The stadium has become an icon of Durban, but like the City, it is looking shabby and falling apart,” he said.
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