A progress report on preparations for the 2010 World Soccer Cup has placed Durban well ahead of other South African host cities, according to a front-page article in the March 22 edition of Metro Ezasegagasini newspaper.
The article says the news comes as the first eight sections of the Moses Mabhida stadium’s grand central arch arrived in Durban.
The mid-term report form the World Cup Government Unit commended Durban for progress made on the stadium. “Despite labour unrest, the progress (in Durban) thus far is good,” the report says.
But Port Elizabeth and Cape Town were in danger of not meeting Fifa’s stringent deadlines, it warned. However, Durban mayor Obed Mlaba said he was confident that Cape Town and Port Elizabeth would make up for lost time. “After all the World Cup is not about any individual city it is an African affair.”
Rules laid down by the world football governing body state that five of the country’s six 2010 stadiums must be ready well before 2010 as they will host Confederations Cup matches in 2009.
Julie-May Ellingson, who heads eThekwini’s 2010 preparations, said the arrival of the first eight pieces of the arch meant Durban was progressing to the next step of its preparations.
“Work on the stadium is forging ahead and we are confident of meeting our 2009 deadline,” she said.
The 350m free-span steel arch, imported from Germany will be 30 storeys high and weigh 2 600 tons.