300 Days and Counting

Over the next few issues we are going to focus on the nine 2010 host cities and their facilities for persons with disabilities.

So, to start off with, let’s summarise the nine cities and ten stadia.CAPE TOWN - our “Mother city” - nestled between two oceans and the landmark Table Mountain that rises 1,086m above the city.
Cape Town has a number of clubs, Ikapa Sporting, FC Cape Town, Hanover Park and Vasco da Gama that compete in the country’s 1st Division.

Cape Town built their new Green Point stadium with a seating capacity of 70,000. It is a short walk from the transport hub of the city. JOHANESBURG - the City of Gold, eGoli. Jo’burg is home to two of the country’s most popular football teams, and historical arch rivals, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. Other teams include: Jomo Cosmos, BidVest Wits and one of the oldest clubs in the country, Moroka Swallows.
eGoli has produced some of the country’s most prized talents: Jomo Sono, Kaizer Motaung, Ace Ntsoelengoe, Doc Khumalo and Lucas Radebe.
Ellis Park Stadium, located in the heart centre of Jo’burg, seats 62,000 and is home Orlando Pirates FC.

Soccer City stadium is situated in one of the country’s football-crazy townships, Soweto, home to about 40% of Jo’burg’s population. The stadium will host the first and final matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa.

DURBAN - or Ethekwini, will host one of the two semi-finals at the newly built, Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The 70,000-seat arena (see picture below) has been designed as a multi-purpose venue with an amphitheatre and a cable car that ascends 106m above the pitch to a viewing platform at the top of the expansive 350m arch.
Durban is home to two Premier Soccer League clubs, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United, aswell as Durban Bush Bucks and Manning Rangers.

MANGAUNG / BLOEMFONTEIN - is the provincial capital of the Free State Province, and home to some of the country’s most ardent football supporters.
Mangaung (means “Place of the Cheetahs” in SeSotho, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages) is the judicial capital of South Africa.
The Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic are both from this city. Bloemfontein Celtic play in a strip similar to the Scottish side, Celtic, with green and white horizontal stripes and their vociferous clan of supporters are known as the Siwelele.
The Stadium seats 48,000.

NELSON MANDELA BAY - Port Elizabeth was renamed after Nelson Mandela in honour of our world renowned statesman.
The city do not have Premier Soccer League team, or did they have a football stadium so the 2010 FIFA World Cup afforded the city with the opportunity to provide a dedicated football stadium, much to the joy of the citizens. The stadium was built on the idyllic North End Lake, (see picture above) and features a three-tier design with two rings of skyboxes.
Nelson Mandela Bay will host the third and fourth place play-offs. NELSPRUIT - Nelspruit is the capital of Mpumalanga Province and is close to the world famous Kruger National Park.

Despite only one professional team, Mpumalanga Black Aces, they have produced the soccer legend and Bafana Bafana fullback, David Nyathi, who played in Spain, Switzerland and in Italy’s Serie A for Cagliari
Their Mbombela Stadium has been built especially for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa. Mbombela means ‘many people together in a small space’ in siSwati. The stadium has a capacity of 46,000.POLOKWANE - is situated at the centre of the Limpopo Province and is surrounded by three of South Africa’s neighbours: Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Polokwane has produced three professional soccer teams. Dynamos and Black Leopards have since been relegated but Real Rovers have managed to maintain their performance since being promoted in 1995.
The Peter Mokaba Stadium is approximately 5km from the city centre, with a gross seating capacity of 45,000. RUSTENBURG - nestles in the foothills of the breathtaking Magaliesburg Mountains only 30 kilometres from Sun City, in the North West Province.
Royal Bafokeng Sports Holding’s Platinum Stars are Rustenburg’s only professional team.
Rustenburg’s stadium, the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, is named after the Bafokeng people who live in the area and seats 42,000. The stadium is 12 kilometers from the city centre.TSHWANE - is the capital of South Africa and has a long football history. Arcadia, Berea Park, Mamelodi Sundowns, Mamelodi United, Pretoria City (later renamed SuperSport United) all claim this city as their home.
The Loftus Versfeld stadium has hosted many international sporting events and, with a seating capacity of 45,000, almost no work was required to meet the stringent 2010 FIFA World Cup requirements.

In the forthcoming Rolling Inspiration issues, leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we shall focus exclusively on facilities for persons with disabilities within the host cities. We shall look at activities, venues and places of interest that have accessible facilities. We shall also cover the issues of transport and seating arrangements at each of the stadia.
The South African Disability Alliance (SADA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the 2010 FIFA World Cup committee and, as new information becomes available, we shall pass it on to you.

Happy travels!

Columnist Photos