Deadline set for games venues


THE African Union Sports Council Region V Under-20 Youth Games regional organising committee (ROC) has given contractors working on the Bulawayo City Pool and White City Stadium up to November 15 to complete their work.

Thandiwe Moyo
Sports Correspondent

The facilities are being prepared for the games which will be held in the city from December 5 to 14.

A number of areas of concern were raised at White City Stadium and at the Bulawayo Pool, which have to be completed before November 15.

The contractor at the stadium — which will be used for athletics — is yet to lay the tartan track, make way for jump pits, make a few adjustments to the VIP area and plant the lawn.

At the swimming pool, outstanding work includes touch pads that would be linked to an electronic timer. ROC secretary-general Mvuzo Mbebe said they were happy with preparations by concerned about the two venues.

“We are happy with the progress that has happened so far in such a short period,” he said.

“The finishing is the biggest hurdle. We have a number of areas of concern that we have noted, but we are still comfortable with the progress.

“We had a meeting with the (Sports, Arts and Culture) minister (Andrew Langa) yesterday (Monday) and we are going to have another meeting with him to brief him on the progress.”

The former South African Broadcasting Corporation executive said they were worried about the White City Stadium track.

“We are concerned about the tartan track at White City Stadium. The rest is on course,” Mbebe said.

“We have been assured that the contractor will take up a double shift and will be done by November 15.

“Some equipment is already in South Africa and it will not take more than 10 days to work on it.

“The same as the warm up track we have shipped in special compacting material that dries up within three days and we will be finished as per schedule.

“That was our major concern including the flood lights.”

He said at the Bulawayo Pool there were technical issues that needed to be addressed before the deadline.

“When we built the swimming pool the tile-to-tile measurements were done, but Zimbabwe became ambitious and said they wanted electronic timing to meet international standards,” he said.

“When the touch pad is added it does not measure up to the exact specifications and we would have to chip on either side to provide for that. This could be done in the next 10 days.”

Mbebe said Luveve and Barbourfields stadiums, Bulawayo Athletic Club and the Large City Hall were ready to host the games.

“We have given Luveve Stadium and Barbourfields Stadiums the thumbs-up,” he said.

“They have gone beyond our expectations. BAC is finished and tomorrow we are going to the ZITF and Hillside (Teacher’s College).

“There were no major renovations at the City Hall but they are ahead of schedule. Come the 15th the stadiums should be ready and handed over to ROC.

“The contractors should have moved off site by then and testing of the facilities can then begin.”

The committee will continue with the tour of the facilities with confederations from the eight sports code swimming, athletics, judo, basketball, tennis, soccer, netball and boxing visiting the venues.

A draw for the games will be held in Bulawayo on Friday.