The City of Johannesburg has vowed to fix the dilapidated Alexandra Stadium which was condemned by the Premier Soccer League a couple of years ago.
It was at the same time that the then Absa Premiership side Mpumalanga Black Aces wanted to bring top quality football to the iconic township. The league had conducted a thorough inspection of the stadium and found it wanting in many respects. They made numerous recommendations to bring the stadium up to standard before they would allow premiership matches to be played there.
The recommendations included the digging up of the playing field to lower its level and the demolition of the stands and the erection of new ones. The old office block which houses the change rooms was also due to be demolished to make way for new office blocks and change rooms. Close to R5 million was set aside by the then ANC-controlled city council to fulfil the recommendations of the league. Materials and equipment were bought and stored at the stadium but thieves eventually helped themselves to everything.
In response to demands put forward by Alex football legend Maimane Alfred Phiri of the Maimane Alfred Phiri Games (Map Games) ahead of this year’s tournament, the City said the maintenance of the stadium which would include the resurfacing of the pitch was budgeted for in its current fiscal year.
In reply to questions from Alex News the City said, “The City of Johannesburg is a pro-poor administration that is committed to creating an environment that responds to the needs of citizens, customers, stakeholders and businesses.
“At all times, the City endeavours to have a good working relationship with all its stakeholders. In instances where misunderstandings might occur we encourage stakeholders to approach the City directly to find an amicable solution.
“The Maimane Phiri Games is a tournament that the City is very proud to be involved in.”
On the water challenges experienced on the day of the finals of the Map Games on 22 July, the City could only say the problem was part of a broader challenge experienced by the community of Alexandra in the lead up to the games.