17 January 2007

Zille: Make or break for 2010

17 January 2007

Cape Town - Cape Town's share of the considerable Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup benefits depend entirely on the new Green Point Stadium, mayor Helen Zille warned on Wednesday.

"Residents and specifically objectors to the stadium must be quite clear about the choices we face," she told a special council meeting.

"According to the Local Organising Committee and the contract we have as host city with Fifa, we either build the Green Point Stadium in time or we will lose the World Cup for Cape Town."

No-one should think for a minute that if building the new stadium was stopped, by legal or other means, Cape Town would still have a "plan B" semi-final elsewhere.

"Do not think that we will still get the money committed for the stadium for other projects.

Wouldn't get the funds otherwise

"Do not think that the billions of rands of 2010-linked investments would still come if we are not a host city.

"What I am saying is not a threat or intimidation. These are simply facts that we must consider.

"We have meticulously followed due process and statutory requirements in order not to prejudice or jeopardise the planning and preparation for the stadium.

"We respect people's legal rights in terms of the Constitution and the law, and the decision is up to them. But it would be a tragic pity if this investment opportunity for our city were lost."

Zille said she did not believe the residents who objected were willing to throw away this opportunity to have state-of-the-art sports facilities, a magnificent urban park and a well-managed green lung in the city.

"This is the best chance that we have of ensuring that outcome."

There could be no moral justification for this level of investment in an area such as Green Point, given the great development needs in other parts of the city, such as Khayelitsha, Mitchell's Plain, Gugulethu and Athlone and many others.

In the normal course of budgeting, Green Point would not get this kind of investment.

The Green Point stadium was getting this funding only because Fifa wanted it to be the World Cup venue and it was part of an approved business plan, Zille said.

Source: News24

05 January 2007

Green Point given green light

5 January 2007

Cape Town - Plans to build a new stadium in Cape Town to stage matches in the 2010 World Cup were given the green light on Friday when the provincial government dismissed a series of appeals against its construction.

Tasneem Essop, planning and economic development minister in the Western Cape provincial government, said that a rezoning application for the land where the 68 000-seater stadium should be built had also been approved.

"Far from having a substantial detrimental effect on the environment, overall the new stadium and urban park on the Green Point Common will have a beneficial impact on the local environment and will benefit the broader Cape Town community," she told reporters.

The appeal against the construction of the stadium at Green Point had been launched by the local residents' association which had cited environmental concerns.

Local organisers of the tournament had threatened that Cape Town would be stripped of its status as one of the nine host cities if a lengthy dispute about the planning process delayed construction.

The Green Point Common Association was not immediately available for reaction on Friday but it has previously threatened court action if its appeal were to be dismissed by the provincial government.

The proposed stadium is one of few which would be large enough to stage one of the two semi-finals - yet to be allocated to host cities.

The Cape Town city council noted Essop's decision and expressed its commitment in a statement to public consultations in the final stages of the authorisation process.

The council is to meet on January 17 to consider granting consent use authorisation for the newly rezoned Green Point Common, one of the final prerequisites for stadium construction to start.

Essop expressed confidence on Friday that enough time remained to complete the stadium by the end of 2009, as required by football world governing body Fifa.

Source: News24

26 December 2006

Essop to decide 2010 stadium rezoning

23 December 2006

Western Cape environment MEC Tasneem Essop would decide on the rezoning of the Green Point stadium in January next year, Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool said on Friday.

She would decide on the City of Cape Town's application for rezoning the stadium precinct from "public open space" to "community facilities" by the end of the first week in January, according to Rasool's statement.

This was agreed to on Friday following meetings between legal and technical experts from the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town.

Essop also needed to decide on appeals against the granting of authorisation, in terms of the Environment Conservation Act, for the stadium, urban park and associated infrastructure.

If Essop granted the rezoning, Cape Town's municipal council then had to determine the city's application for consent to build the stadium as well as an electrical substation.

If the council gave its approval for the construction, objectors could then appeal to Essop.

Rasool said the Western Cape government would ensure the city's "complex and interrelated" applications were dealt with as "lawfully and expeditiously as possible".

Cape Town mayor Helen Zille said she regretted that province had failed to meet a December 20 deadline to make the rezoning decisions.

"This [rezoning] decision is now extremely urgent, if we are to avoid undue delays in the preparations for 2010," she wrote in a statement.

The province previously claimed that a bungle by the city in the approvals process has threatened the already tight timetable for construction of the R2,9-billion project.

Zille has said there was nothing stopping Essop from making a decision on the city's rezoning application. It appeared that the province's motive was to try to force the city to agree to the establishment of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) in which it could have joint control of the 2010 project.

Zille said the city had no problem with working jointly with the province, but could not agree to a separate SPV because National Treasury, Fifa and the Local Organising Committee had entered into contracts with cities, not provinces, for 2010. - Sapa

Source: IOL