Historical Pretoria stadiums to be rejuvenated – Lesufi

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has vowed to get personally involved in the refurbishment and rejuvenation of Pretoria’s two historical stadiums, the HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi and the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

The Lucas Moripe has been hosting PSL matches and was used by SuperSport United as their home ground. Sundowns also used the venue as their alternative home ground but the stadium has been barred from hosting DStv Premiership for a pitch that is not up to standard.

The stadium needs a generator, the turnstiles are not working properly and there is generally no safety for the supporters.

PSL head of inspection Professor Ronnie Schloss said it was a structural problem and that the venue could not host PSL matches until it was fixed.

The HM Pitje has been involved in a lot of shenanigans and corruption since it was flattened to the floor and refurbished to serve as a training venue for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Due to some shoddy work, the stadium did not comply with Occupational Health and Safety and PSL standards. For the second time, it was razed to the ground in February this year and will be rebuilt from scratch.

The Gauteng government said the demolition was in response to the cries by the community for the stadium be demolished and a new developmental project be undertaken.

A multi, state of the art sports precinct has been earmarked for the venue.

“I know because every time journalists ask me about HM Pitje, the Atteridgeville stadiums and the Essellen Park School of Excellence that we are working on. For the PSL to close Atteridgeville Stadium because it is unplayable was pain that I could not stomach. It is a beautiful stadium and we all have memories of that stadium, but that stadium is not available for PSL matches,” said Lesufi.

“Infrastructure in the province is very important, but if you check we are not taking care of the maintenance of key infrastructure and facilities. We must partner with Safa, and partner with municipalities so that all our sporting facilities are appropriately maintained and supported.

“I said to my team that the stadium (Atteridgeville) must come back on the list of stadiums that must be ready for the next PSL season – and my team is working very hard to bring back that stadium. We have just demolished HM Pitje, we just need partnership there so that we can have both Sundowns and municipality to agree to bring the stadium back – and many other stadiums as well, like Makhulong Stadium (Thembisa), Vosloorus Stadium, Johannesburg Stadium – we will invest on our infrastructure,” Lesufi said.


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