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PE-Express
Stadium falls into disrepair
The roof at the Gelvandale Stadium has not been extended at the pavilion due to unavailability of funds. Pictured, from left, are Charles Barman, Andy Jordan and Jonathan Lawack. Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

AFTER being opened only nine years ago in March 2010, the Gelvandale Stadium has since been left to deteriorate due to the unavailability of funds and poor maintenance.

This comes as R9 million, meant to fix structural defects and water leaks, has not been allocated from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) to maintain the stadium since the 2017/2018 financial year.

The stadium, which was a training field for teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is now a pale shadow of its former self, with much repair work needed to be done.

This includes an extension of the existing pavilion roof, sections where the seats are either missing or broken, painting of the internal walls, water leaks and roof damages.

That’s despite ongoing pushes by the ward 10 councillor, Andy Jordan, to get the NMBM to provide the funds.

“A total of R9 million was allocated on my ward budget during the 2017/2018 financial year to provide maintenance for the Gelvandale Stadium.

“However, I have not received a cent from the municipality for three years now. The community of Gelvandale, schools, artists and sport teams use this stadium regularly.

“To see the stadium in this state, which is a beacon of hope for the Gelvandale community, is unacceptable,” Jordan said.

Asked if there were funds allocated for this financial year to maintain the stadium, municipal spokesperson, Kupido Baron, said the stadium was maintained from the maintenance budget of the Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture directorate.

The following maintenance works, according to Baron, have been undertaken at the stadium thus far:

  • Painting of all the internal walls;
  • All locks have been replaced;
  • Replacement of all damaged ceiling boards, light fittings plugs and faulty electrical equipment;
  • Flood lights;
  • Various plumbing repairs.
Councillor, Andy Jordan, showing the water leaks at the Gelvandale Stadium.Photo: TRISTAN DAMPIES
The ceiling defects at the Gelvandale Stadium, which has not been properly maintained.Photo: TRISTAN DAMPIES

However, during PE Express’s visit to the stadium, it was found that much of the equipment, the toilets, internal walls and the structure itself, were in a poor state.

Baron said the budget allocated in the 2017/18 financial year for the Gelvandale Stadium was for the hockey field.

“The project entailed the development of the Astroturf surface which was completed with a budget allocation of R6 million. In the 2018/19 financial year, an amount of R9 million was allocated for the Gelvandale Stadium’s roof structure.

“The defects as a result of the open roof will only be properly addressed when the existing roof is replaced,” Baron said, adding that a consultant had been appointed for the planning of the roof maintenance.

The contract was later extended for the planning consultants to be main consultants for the roof construction.

However, this appointment and extension was not approved by the Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC).

Baron explained, “The decision of the BAC came towards the latter part of the 2018/19 financial year and there was insufficient time to then embark on a new tendering process for this project.”

This resulted in the funds not being rolled over due to the contractual commitment which was not finalised by the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

Regardless of the lack of maintenance, various local artists performed at the Be The Change 2019 festival, which took place at the stadium last weekend. Jordan said that if the stadium was not properly fixed, he feared someone might get injured. However, Baron said that the sound systems at the stadium were in perfect condition and the facility could be used.

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