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22nd Aug 2022

Architect Africa Online

Africa's Leading Architecture Aggregator

Then & Now : Stadium makeover is a game-changer for Westbury communities – Not!

2018 City Media Statement

The R10 million upgrading of the Union Stadium by the Johannesburg Development Agency on behalf of the City of Johannesburg has drastically improve the Westbury Precinct through the knock-on impact of creating jobs, increasing footfall and attracting private sector investment. The upgrade entailed the design and construction of two new soccer pitches, netball courts, valley ball courts and football courts.

The project has taken took three financial years and construction started during the 2015/16 financial year.

This upgrade included the removal of illegal dumping around the new grounds and courts and to level around the new grounds and courts to make them safer for use by the community. The project employed 10 local labourers and two local SMME.

The stadium upgrade is expected to provide opportunities for social interaction and cater for different sporting codes such as soccer, hockey, crickets, volley ball and aerobics. These sporting codes will also contribute in empowering and motivating youth and sports fanatics to participate in sport and improve their life style and stay healthy.
The Union Stadium upgrade is part of the Westbury Precinct Development, which has been identified by the City of Johannesburg as one of the main precincts on the Empire Perth Corridor. Construction is expected to be completed in 2018

JDA CEO Christo Botes said the upgrade will restore self-esteem among the youth, sports fanatics and will bring people together.

“In particular, the youth will reach their fitness and their sports career goals. Sport and recreation is the hub of community life, especially in Joburg regions, where communities are expected to live, play and work in the area where they live such as Westbury and surrounding neighbourhoods,” said Botes ​


2021 DA Media Statement

R21.6 million spent on renovating Union Stadium yet Joburg children and sporting clubs still have no access

by Lebo More MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation (SACR)

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is disappointed to learn that children and sporting clubs in Ward 82 of the City of Johannesburg (COJ) still have no access to the newly renovated Union Stadium and are forced to use dusty playgrounds due to shoddy workmanship at the stadium.

The City of Johannesburg has spent over R21.6 million renovating the Union Stadium yet the stadium has huge cracks inside the building and is not safe for use by the public.

This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Maile, the Union Stadium is owned by the COJ and is managed by the Community Development, Sport and Recreation Department -Region B. COJ has spent R21 618 597.00 renovating the stadium yet it is still closed and not accessible to the public because it was condemned by OHASA in 2017 due to a huge crack inside the building. The entire building within the stadium including the changing rooms and toilets were closed as it was declared not safe for use by the general public.

This is one of many examples of shoddy workmanship which is unacceptable and a waste of rate-payers money.

If there was a proper management of this project, these identified cracks could have been fixed by the service provider who was awarded the tender to renovate the stadium. COJ now has to allocate additional budget to fix the stadium which is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

It has become a norm for government to start projects that benefit the community and then either fail to complete them or there is shoddy workmanship. In all these cases, the residents are always on the losing end of the stick.

Local sporting clubs are in dire need of proper sporting facilities such as this stadium so as to nurture and develop young sporting talent from the grassroots level.

Furthermore, it is worrying that the stadium was stripped bare by thieves and vandals, yet there are Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) security services on the site. It concerns the DA greatly when the City’s security services are failing to safeguard our most needed community assets.

The DA will write to the COJ to ascertain their intentions with regards to the stadium, demand time frames as to when will the cracks be fixed and when the stadium will be reopened.

Athletes and sports men and women need of such facilities to advance their talents to greater heights and to be able to compete with the rest of the world. We cannot allow our talented people to suffer and their hopes and dreams shuttered. We will continue to put pressure on the COJ to fix the stadium so that it can be fully utilised by the community.

Image: Google


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