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Cape Town - A move to commercialise Cape Town Stadium would be “disingenuous” because there hasn’t been a “eureka” solution to the problem of the struggling venue, the Green Point Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association says.
The association says the city has provided “little clarity and certainty” about the future financial implications to ratepayers. The city plans to reverse the record of understanding for the stadium and is looking at incorporating, among others, a nightclub, hotel, paid parking facilities, restaurants and sports bars at the venue to drive up revenue.
Many Green Point residents were opposed to the building of the stadium, citing high costs, noise levels and traffic volumes, and concerns about sustainability. To appease residents, the province imposed restrictions banning commercial activity.
In its first detailed response on the idea of commercialising the R4.5 billion venue, the association said a 43-page analysis on a business model for the stadium was “heavily weighted with propaganda” in favour of the city’s predetermined application.
The city previously said the analysis would give the public the associated risks of each business model.
“Having read the report, one is left with the unfortunate impression that the city is being disingenuous in seeking blanket removal of restrictions…” the association said, adding that there was concern “that there is a more sinister intention of removal of all controls over what is done on the public open spaces of the common”.
It said it was not opposed to the commercialisation of land between the stadium and Granger Bay Boulevard, provided the development does not a further “drain upon the city’s coffers”, but it was opposed to having more infrastructure on the common or outside the stadium.
The association also pointed that the city had socio-economic problems with underprivileged areas that needed upliftment, and could ill afford financial liabilities that do not improve the lives of the people in the city.
As part of the association’s submission for the public participation process, which closes on the March 31, it will suggest the stadium be donated to a private entity, probably the Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU), demolished or kept as it is - funded by ratepayers.
Mayco member for tourism, events and marketing Grant Pascoe said they had received over 100 submissions.
Once the public participation process has been completed, the city will apply to the province to unban commercial activity and overturn the Record of Decision.
The stadium has run at a loss since the 2010 Soccer World Cup, costing the city R44.6 million a year to run. The city has been unable to secure an anchor tenant, but it is still in talks with the WPRU.
A study by International Risk Mitigation Consultants provided seven proposed business models for the stadium, including the city as an operator with an anchor tenant, an independent operator with an anchor tenant or operating the stadium as a municipal entity.