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No money to fix stadium

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“The department is aware that the organisers of the event have marketed the event that will be held at the AR Abass Stadium.”

Picture: Soraya Crowie

WHILE there are no funds to fix the collapsed roof at AR Abass Stadium in Kimberley and a safety certificate still needs to be issued for the seating area of the grandstand, the organisers of the Metro FM Heatwave have advertised that the music festival will be held at the stadium on December 15.

The stadium was declared out of bounds for the hosting of events after strong winds damaged the roof of the grandstand in October 2017, where the steel beams were ripped off from the pavilion’s seating area.

The Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, in response to a request to make use of the stadium in September, had advised that the department had not been able to commission an investigation in relation to the structural integrity or safety of the grandstand and was awaiting a structural engineering certificate.

Spokesperson for the department, Conrad Fortune, indicated that the organisers of the Metro FM Heatwave music festival had been granted conditional approval to utilise the stadium.

“Approval is subject to the submission of an approved application of the Section 6 of the Gatherings Act that has been approved by the SAPS. They must also submit a security and evacuation plan. The layout of where the stage will be set up, as well as other structures, must also be provided.”

Fortune stated that the music festival would not go ahead until all outstanding documentation was received,

“The department is aware that the organisers of the event have marketed the event that will be held at the AR Abass Stadium.”

Fortune indicated that due to the unavailability of funds, no repairs could be made to the stadium

“We have unfortunately been unable to replace the roof structure as we have not had the financial resources to do so. We are, however, in the process of doing minor repairs to the ablution facilities of the stadium. The stadium is open for lease and funding is utilised for the maintenance of the stadium and the daily running thereof.”

He added that there had been an increase in the number of requests to make use of the stadium.

“We consider applications for recreational events, although a decision was taken to give preference to sporting programmes. It is our responsibility to promote social cohesion and nation building and recreational activities.”