Ricochet News

Boet Erasmus Stadium demolished to pave way for new development

By Liesl Silverman - Aug 17, 2018
Boet Erasmus Stadium demolished to pave way for new development

Demolition of the iconic Boet Erasmus Stadium - also called the Telkom Park, started on Friday, with the aim of attracting investors to develop on the site.

The downfall of the Stadium began when the city started the construction of the new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In its heyday the stadium used to host all major local and international sporting events in the Eastern Cape, such as rugby tests, soccer tournaments, concerts, festivals and more.

However, over time the building was neglected and fell into dis-repair, with vagrants and homeless people inhabiting it.

After an extensive process of obtaining a demolition certificate, the Mandela Bay Municipal Agency (MBDA) was given the green light to proceed with clearing the building.

MBDA Chief Executive Officer, Ashraf Adam, said “The reason we are demolishing the building is because it has been derelict for a long time, homeless people are living in the building and it has become a health and safety issue as the building is decaying and falling apart.

“Secondly we put out a tender for developers to build something new on the site, but no-one tendered for it because of the demolition costs. We are hoping that the demolition will attract developers, who will build something beneficial for the community”.

Adams added; “We want the residents of the city to be involved and engaged with what we are doing here, there are so many ideas for what can be developed here, such as RDP housing or a convention centre."

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Councillor, Rayno Kayser, who led the municipal delegation said “the demolition of the Boet marked the end of an era but also the beginning of a new era. "

"The Municipality believes the cleaning of this site will pave the way for catalytic and transformative development to take place here. Socio Economic Transformation can only be achieved through innovative spatial development which we are determined to see happen right here on what was an historic rugby ground in this country."

Tamlynn Jackson, Project Leader at the MBDA says “The process to demolish a structure of this size is complex and drawn out due to the nature of approvals involved, each with a set of criteria to be met”.

Jackson added “One such approval is that of the Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs, necessary to safeguard sensitive environmental considerations, such as the protection of the flood line. A mandatory twenty-day period for possible public objections to the demolition was also required before the demolition process could be initiated”.

Adam also said, "the agency does not want to simply appoint professionals to advise us on what to do, we want the public to have a say”.

“Govan Mbeki Avenue, The Boet Erasmus site and Bayworld are all public assets, they're in the public imagination and the public psyche. The public has vested interests in these areas over the years and the MBDA wants them to have a say in the way forward. We want to use this opportunity as part of nation-building and what it means to live in Nelson Mandela Bay” Adam concluded.

Luvuyo Bangazi, MBDA Spokesperson, commented “The MBDA is calling all citizens to share their memories of the Boet Erasmus Stadium. They can share their stories, photos and memorabilia on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #Dankieboet”.

For citizens, who would like to get involved with the project or have their say, they can go to the MBDA Facebook page and leave a comment.

Quick facts and figures

  1. The construction value is R10m which will improve the value of the site
  2. We are proud to say a minimum of 30% of the contract value is being carried out by SMEs
  3. 20 – 25 Jobs created during demolition
  4. The vision is to provide a safe and secure precinct which will provide a vacant site for future development that could accommodate a variety of uses including:
  • Residential,
  • Office space,
  • Retail,
  • Entertainment,
  • Conferencing and
  • Tourism activities.

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