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500 day mark draws near

Tens of thousands of South Africans have over the last four and a half years been working tirelessly on transforming the dream of an African FIFA World Cup™ into reality.

As the country marks 500 days to the 2010 FIFA World Cup on Monday 26 January 2009, the painstaking and arduous work of the many men and women in South Africa's nine tournament host cities will be recognised as a number of activities take place around the country.

The main feature of the day's programme will be the national launch of the nine 2010 FIFA World Cup Host City posters at the Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre (MOSC) at 5pm. The poster launch marks a turning point in the 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign as the host cities start to market the event more aggressively to the public.

Following the poster launch the city of Mangaung will be hosting a banquet to mark the celebrations and with dignitaries from around South Africa attending it is sure to be a glamorous affair befitting the milestone just achieved.

The OC's ‘My 2010 School Adventure' campaign will be visiting both Heatherdale High school and Rutanang Primary school in Mangaung during the morning of the celebrations.

The ‘My 2010 School Adventure' campaign encouraged schools from the nine provinces of South Africa to adopt a FIFA Confederations Cup football team in the run up to the tournament, with the Free State province adopting the Italian football team.

The Italian embassy as well as South African football greats Mark Fish and Phil Masinga will join the campaign's tour of the school. Both Fish and Masinga played for Italian clubs during their career and the tour will provide a great opportunity for them to talk to the learners about their experiences in the country.

After the school tour the party moves to MOSC where a mini football tournament, involving learners from around the Free State province, will take place during the afternoon. Both Masinga and Fish will be there to show the learners a few football tricks.

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Typical Mo, dune sliding and some of the most beautiful desert landscapes in the world. Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are the only countries in Africa I have an absolute burning desire to go.

Mo is it lottery for tickets or first-come, first-serve?

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I def suggest doing the 5 day Orange River trip in Namibia. You basically pack 1 bucket of clothing and row in a boat down the river, stopping over at the end of the day. putting up tents and carrying down the river the next day. I loved it.

they are certainly beautiful countries, Namibia just seemed a bit odd to be featuring on top of your list.

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NMB Stadium on track for June 16 British Lions match


IT‘S about the height of an 11-storey building, its floor area is as large as that of the United States White House, and the reinforced steel used in its construction alone weighs nearly as much as 3000 small motorcars.

These comparisons provide some idea of the sheer enormity of Nelson Mandela Bay‘s 2010 stadium which is under construction and, 488 days from today, will be filled with thousands of soccer fans watching world- class soccer live from our city.

Project manager Gerrie Albertyn this week shed some light on the magnitude of the state-of-the-art structure, which is expected to be completed by May.

He said that before construction started 138000m³ of material had to be excavated and then 110000m³ of imported fill material incorporated.

The first stage of construction then began – and the volume of concrete used to build the structure was a staggering 31000m³. During this stage, 3000 tons of reinforced steel was also used. To put this in perspective: an average small car weighs in at about a ton, which means the steel – which excludes that used in the stadium‘s roof – is the equivalent weight of 3000 cars.

The 46m roof has its own mind- blowing statistics. Not only will 2000 tons of roof steel have been used when its construction is completed, but about 20000m² (roughly the size of three football fields) of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane and a further 20000m² of aluminium metal cladding will have added the final touches.

Currently 21 of the 36 roof girders have been put in place. The girders differ in weight, with the heaviest tipping the scales at a mammoth 71,2 tons. Each takes between two and three days to fully settle in place.

When the stadium, which will accommodate 48459 people, is completed, there will be 44000 plastic red and orange seats. The total length of the precast concrete sections to which the seats will be attached is 12,7km.

The total length of the foundation beams, or piles, is 21km, which, if lined up, is just 100m short of a standard half-marathon.

The stadium will be 34m high, which is equivalent to an 11-storey building, and its floor area is 55000m² which is exactly the same as that of the White House.

Within the stadium there will be 1015 rooms, 54 kiosks, 24 offices and 174 private suites.

To literally shed some light on the games, 264 floodlights will be installed, which will bring the lighting level to 2000 lux. To wrap your mind around this figure, consider that moonlight is about one lux, while a well-lit office block puts out between 400 and 500 lux.

On the information and communication technology front, the total length of ICT cables will be 450km, which is roughly the distance between George and Cape Town.

To keep a close eye on stadium visitors and ensure their safety, 220 CCTV cameras and 64 turnstiles will be installed. And, to make sure no spectator misses a moment of the action, 35 loudspeakers, two replay screens of 55m² each and two score- boards will be installed.

Final touches such as the floodlights, external roads, area lighting and fencing are expected to be completed during May.

To make sure that the players have a world-glass field to play on, the grass was grown off-site by a company called Topturf at St Albans on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Of the two hectares of grass planted between April and May last year, 1,2 hectares was used when the pitch was planted at the end of last year.

According to Albertyn, all the columns, slabs, precast seating, precast raking beams and the moat – which will ensure fans do not end up on the field – have been completed.

A total of 39106 of the 44000 seats and 11 per cent of the aluminium cladding and PTFE membrane have already been installed.

The stadium is expected to be fully operational by May, with the first trial game planned for that month. The first full capacity match – a rugby game between the British and Irish Lions and the Eastern Cape Coastal team – will be held on June 16.

World Cup local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan said this week he was satisfied with the progress and that the stadium would be ready come 2010.

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‘Big lift’ underway in Cape Town

Tuesday 10 February 2009




Just a few hours ago an important milestone for Cape Town's Green Point stadium was reached as construction workers began the process of putting the stadium roof in place. Employing technology never before used on the African continent, the team plan to use radial cables to lift the structure into place.

Referred to by the City as the ‘big lift' the process can be likened to the tightening of the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Seventy-two radial cables will connect the steel compression ring that is visible above the stadium to an inner tension ring around the pitch. As the cables are tightened slowly and almost simultaneously by 72 hydraulic jacks linked to the outer compression ring, the 600 ton inner ring will rise off the ground until it reaches its final position, 34.5m above the pitch.

Set to be one of the most scenic stadiums in South Africa, and with the world-renowned Table Mountain as its backdrop, Green Point stadium is well on its way to completion.

Director of Communications for the Cape Town 2010 team, Pieter Cronje, stressed that this important milestone means a lot to the people of Cape Town. "Seeing the stadium structure and the work going on there gives people a sense of reality and a sense of excitement about 2010," Cronje said.

The next phase of roof construction is the installation of the steel trusses, to be followed by the placement of 16mm thick glass panels and a fabric membrane underneath.

The glass roof will cover the stands but not the pitch, giving a sense of light and upliftment to the massive 68,000-seater stadium.

Work on the stadium is on schedule for completion by 14 December 2009, when it will be officially handed over by the contractors to the City of Cape Town.

Interesting facts and figures on the roof:

Steel compression ring:

800m long

72 hollow sections

Each section 2.2m wide and 1.2m high

Total weight 1,140 tons

Radial cables and tension ring:

85-98mm diameter

Total weight 370 tons

Total length 7,400m

Total roof weight:

Approximately 4,500 tons

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Green Point Stadium roof being ‘lifted up’

Click to view more images of the stadium construction progress

The new Green Point Stadium has reached another significant construction milestone, with work starting on lifting the cables of the stadium roof.

The 4 500 ton roof is a unique design feature of the city’s new multi-purpose stadium. It will hang inwards, and will be supported by an inner tension ring and an outer compression ring.

This is the first time such cutting-edge technology - which is imported mainly from the USA and Germany – is used in Africa.

Dave Hugo, the City’s 2010 Director: Technical, led a delegation into the stadium construction site on 10 February 2009 to demonstrate the 72 radial steel cables arranged symmetrically around the lower stands and pitch.

These cables, which are 85-98mm in diameter, will be slowly tightened by 72 hydraulic jacks on the columns supporting the outer compression ring. They will then slowly rise off the ground until they are in position, 34.5 metres above the pitch.

The process may be likened to the tightening of the spokes of a bicycle wheel.

“We have started the tensioning process,” Hugo said. “This is a great milestone for the stadium.”

The next phase of the complex roof construction process will involve the installation of steel trusses, then the placement of 16mm thick glass panels and a fabric membrane underneath.

The glass roof will cover the stands but not the pitch, and will not be visible from outside the stadium. It will also incorporate the pitch lighting around the inner tension ring to negate the need for unsightly floodlight stands. The roof design will also reduce noise pollution from the stadium during events.

These design features are in accordance with the environmental guidelines contained in the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Record of Decision on the environmental impact of the stadium on the surrounding area.

“It’s an iconic and special design,” said Hugo. “The architects have done a fantastic job with the design.”

Hugo also gave an update on the stadium’s progress. All the concrete work has been completed, and the areas where the temporary seating will be situated are clearly visible. After hosting eight 2010 FIFA World CupTM matches, the stadium will be reduced from 68 000 seats to 55 000 seats. The new operator – a consortium of Stade de France and the SAIL Group – will use this space for operational purposes.

Hugo said the grass for the pitch is being grown near Stellenbosch.

The facade of the stadium will be completed during September 2009, and the entire stadium is on track for completion on 14 December 2009, he added.










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Green Point roof structure completed

By Mikhaila Crowie

19 February 2009

Green Point stadium is another step closer to completion as the inner ring of the roof has been raised.

The process of raising the roof began last week Monday and was completed last night.

Mike Marsden, Executive Director responsible for the 2010 with the City of Cape Town, said the inner Tension Ring was installed by using hydraulic jacks that tightened the 72 cables connecting the inner and outer rings of the roof.

The City’s structural engineers monitored the process and expressed their satisfaction.

The next phase now is the positioning of steel trusses, the installation of the 9000 pieces that make up the glass roof and the attachment of a fabric membrane below the roof. The roof is schedule for completion in September.









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FIFA happy with SA

The FIFA medical team said on Saturday that it was satisfied with arrangements put in place by South Africa ahead of the Confederations Cup in June and the World Cup next year.

"My impression is positive. I am confident with what I have seen and heard," FIFA chief medical officer, Jiri Dvorak, told journalists at the end of a meeting with the South African FIFA local organising team.

"I am personally confident that we can hold the World Cup from the medical side... that the teams, the FIFA family, the FIFA delegation and also the spectators will be well taken care of," said Dvorak, who is also cahiram of FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre.

He said that the meeting discussed strategies to combat doping during the competitions.

These will include the education of players and collaboration with local officials and anti-drug agencies.

A doping laboratory for testing has been set up in the central city of Bloemfontein where results could be produced within 24 hours

The 48 000-capacity Mangaung Stadium in Bloemfontein is one of 10 venues for the World Cup.

"Ten players per team will be controlled (tested) unannounced" during the competitions, Dvorak said, adding that FIFA had not recorded any football doping cases since that of former Argentine football star, Diego Maradona, during the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

"I am absolutely impressed. It is absolutely brilliant what the local people have done," FIFA executive member and chairman of the FIFA medical committee, Dr Michel D'Hooghe, said in his assessment of the medical preparations.

The general medical officer of the FIFA local organising committee, Dr Victor Ramathesele, said that South Africa was "ready to deliver this World Cup".

"We are promising comprehensive medical facilities for all visitors to the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup. We want to use the the tournments as a catalyst, a stimulus for economic development."

Peter Fuhri, director of the World Cup 2010 unit in health department, said that South Africa will meet its commitments to FIFA and leave a legacy behind after the competitions.

About 700 ambulances have been purchased to date, while efforts are being made to improve emergency services, hospitals and the training of medical personnel.

"We will not be found wanting," Fuhri concluded.

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I'm really looking forward to this world cup.

For all the rubbish that's been spouted by a certain member of this forum about forumers like me not believing an emerging country could do as good a job as a developed country at hosting big events, my posting history shows I've always talked South Africa up. And your updates are proving me right.

Thanks for the photos Mo. This is going to be a very, very special World Cup indeed.

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Well the European newspapers including those in the UK, occasionally, without proof, state 2/3/4 venues are behind schedule.

A 1 week strike at a venue well ahead of the FIFA deadline becomes a world cup threatening event.

That said, one has to roll with the punches and focus on the reality of progress.

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Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

Completion: May 2009


View from level 5


Absailing from the roof


Working on the roof


The next girder to go up


Fearless workers on the girders


The next girder (I think it was nr 27) was just put in place


The view accross the stadium


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Well the European newspapers including those in the UK, occasionally, without proof, state 2/3/4 venues are behind schedule.

A 1 week strike at a venue well ahead of the FIFA deadline becomes a world cup threatening event.

That said, one has to roll with the punches and focus on the reality of progress.

Exactly. The UK press does the same with 2012; you know what I think of that! ;)

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