The transformation of the Ellis Park stadium and the surrounding precinct in the Johannesburg inner city would be ready well before the Confederations Cup kick off in June this year.

The stadium itself would be completed by the end of February. City of Johannesburg project manager for Ellis Park Rod Pearce told Engineering News Online that the stadium was undergoing the final inspection process and stakeholders were preparing for handover.

The stadium surrounds were also experiencing a major overhaul, and this work fell under the auspices of the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

JDA Ellis Park project manager Nyiko Gudlhuza explained that the work on the greater Ellis Park precinct was 90% completed.

The City-owned land space in between the Ellis Park stadium and the Johannesburg stadium was completely cleared, and the area was paved and furnished with new streetlights and trees, and new public toilets were constructed.

The area would be used by official sponsors during the soccer spectaculars, where they would set up commercial display marquees.

The area would also boast specially commissioned artworks, a fountain, benches, new hydraulic underground bins, and innovative ‘pop-up’ kiosks, which would host water, electricity and communications connections. These would be housed underground, and only lifted when necessary for special events.

Precinct construction was undertaken by the Rainbow/Glash construction joint venture.

The new Doornfontein transport square, which would service the stadium, and serve as a park-and-ride link to Ellis Park had also been upgraded.

The upgrade was completed and awaiting approval from the provincial legislator before opening.

Many buildings surrounding the transport square had also been acquired, and a mixed-use development by the Affordable Housing Company, Ndlovu House, was also under development.

The square contained interesting bovine artworks, following from the fact that before the area was upgraded, it used to be home to a number of informal butchers.

Also benefiting from an R8-million upgrade injection from the City of Johannesburg, was the Ellis Park public swimming pool. The Olympic-sized pool was once again open to the public, with upgraded changing areas and a new public announcement system and scoreboard, and was hosting swimming galas.

PUBLICATION: Engineering News
AUTHOR: Christy van der Merwe
DATED: 23rd February 2009