Unfinished 2010 World Cup stadium abandoned

By Celani Sikhakhane

To this day, a R10 million stadium in KwaZulu-Natal that was supposed to be built in time for the 2010 Fifa World Cup has still not been completed.

After another 13 years of delays, the Hluhluwe Municipality has finally given up on the construction of the stadium in the Mdletshe Tribal Authority.

The revelations were made during a community meeting held in Hluhluwe to discuss the Big 5 Hlabisa municipal budget on Thursday afternoon. 

Jabhisa Stadium was first constructed in 2008 but was vandalised by community members who stole the artificial grass, concrete walls, geysers, toilet seats and other materials to build their own houses.

Community leader Thami Thwala said they want the police to intervene.

“Everyone knows that the people who stole from that stadium are with us in this community.  They used the material to build their houses,” said Thwala. 

“We are calling on the police to assist and search all houses in the community so that the material can be recovered. We can’t afford to see our money going down the drain like this.”

The stadium was one of the sports facilities built in KZN rural areas to give communities access to the 2010 Fifa World Cup games.

They were promised that the facilities would be used by international players for training ahead of the games taking place across the country.

Big 5 Hlabisa Mayor Comfort Khumalo said that the stadium didn’t see any of the Fifa World Cup games because of the vandalism that had already started taking place at night.

“Since then we have been trying to reconstruct the stadium every financial year without any success because criminals come at night and steal the material. We then decided to remove the  stadium from our budgeted projects. We placed it under the maintenance budget because it was costing the municipality a lot of money,” he said.

He said during budget meetings, councillors suggested that the name Jabhisa might be a curse and the stadium should get a new name.

Loosely translated, the word Jabhisa means “disappoint” which is why some council members were concerned about it.

Community members want the stadium to be rebuilt as they hope that it will create more jobs in the area. Their call for police intervention was sparked by the municipality’s suggestion that the whole project should be halted and the funds reallocated to other community development projects. 

Pictured above: A community meeting held in Hluhluwe on Thursday afternoon.

Image source: Supplied 

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