Inaugural game at R1.45 billion stadium

The design of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was inspired by the king proteaThe new Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth hosted its inaugural match, between the British and Irish Lions and the Southern Kings, on June 16th 2009.

The stadium was constructed by Grinaker-LTA, part of the Aveng Group, in a joint venture with Interbeton from the Netherlands. Construction began in April 2007 and was completed on schedule in March this year, with an outstanding safety track record of zero serious injuries and zero fatalities on site.

For the Aveng Group, safety on site is a paramount concern. During the construction of the stadium, on average, 1 480 people including subcontractors were employed on site, peaking at close to 2 000 people. In total, about 8 500 people underwent Grinaker-LTA’s safety induction training, in line with the group’s motto: ‘Home without Harm Everyone Every Day’. This focus on safety among all the people on the site certainly contributed to the project’s safety record.

Aveng chief executive officer, Roger Jardine says, “We are delighted with the progress made at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium. It is an excellent example of our rigorous approach to safety in practice. As one of the fastest built stadiums in the world to date, it is something that all South Africans can be spectacularly proud of.”

The 48 600 capacity stadium will host several matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is geared to cater for various sporting and entertainment events. It covers an area of 55 000 square metres and the structure stands 43 m high with a steel roof that weighs 2 000 tons. A total of 12.7 km of pre-cast seating has been installed and an additional 3 000 seats will be erected temporarily for matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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