By Anél Powell
Culemborg is not available for release as a possible site for the 2010 World Cup stadium, the provincial government says, despite reports by a senior city official that "fresh facts" have emerged that could put the site back in the running.
Laurine Platzky, provincial co-ordinator of the World Cup 2010 said: "If we are to succeed in unlocking all the potential of the world's single largest sporting event for our city and province, we need to finally confirm the location as an urgent priority with objective composure and measured facts."
The unequivocal statement about the feasibility of Culemborg as a stadium possibility comes after the city's director of transport and World Cup bid chief operations officer, Mike Marsden, told the Mouille Point Ratepayers' Association that the council was reconsidering the Transnet-owned site.
Marsden told the Cape Times earlier that, while the city was proceeding flat out with Green Point as the venue, it would still "double check" the availability of Culemborg.
However executive mayor Helen Zille said that although Culemborg would have been the preferred site, the council was "sticking by" it's decision to start construction at Green Point from January 2007.
Given the land transfer and environmental obstacles of Culemborg, it was unlikely that construction would be given the go head on this site in less than 10 months.
In a letter to Platzky, the Director General of Public Enterprises, Portia Molefe, confirmed that the Culemborg site would not be released by Transnet for the construction of a soccer stadium.
Referring to conflicting reports about the stadium, Platzky said: "We cannot afford to allow the new stadium to be delayed or compromised by misinformation, vacillation and public uncertainty."
"Culemborg is not available as a possible site for the stadium."