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Pretoria – The proposed redevelopment of the Caledonian Stadium in the CBD to bring it to Premier Soccer League standards has been delayed by a legal dispute, the City of Tshwane said. Thabisile Vilakazi, MMC spokesman for Community and Social Development Programs, Luthando Kolwapi, said new designs and estimates have been finalized, the tender advertised and a contractor selected. The recruitment of a new team of experts is underway to study designs. The city of Tshwane wants to move towards building once this is completed, Kolwapi said.

However, there is litigation due to a contractor dispute. It should be noted that, as defined by the evaluation, compliance with existing heritage aspects on-site would be an essential part of the project. Constructed at the beginning of the century, the Caledonian Stadium has been the headquarters of the Pretoria Football Association and the Arcadia Shepherds Football Club for many years. In November 2014, the upgrade and transformation of the stadium into a theme park was approved by the then ANC administration and a service provider was named.

The decision was met with a barrage of public criticism and reversed by the city’s present DA-led coalition government, which vowed to improve the stadium. It was said at the time that SuperSport United, the DStv Premiership club, had confirmed that it would play its home matches at the iconic stadium. The last fruitful meeting he had with the City about the fate of the stadium was in March last year, Arcadia Shepherds boss Lucky Manna said. The nation went into lockdown a month later, and everything changed.

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The last meeting was somewhat fruitful, and with the city of Tshwane, we were bouncing ideas off each other. We had an agreement to extend our stadium contract, and we even came up with how to get it back to its former glory,’ he said. They decided to draw up a plan for the renovation of the stadium to get things rolling, according to Manna. The stadium, which was used to temporarily house homeless people while the country was under heavy lockdown, went from poor to devastating after the first lockdown. It is in ruins now, both because of a lack of care and a long history of neglect.

Manna said he had been struggling for years to repair the facility, competing over ownership with officials. His squad, Manna said, were expected to return to practice on Monday, but they had to look for another training ground due to the condition of the stadium. He said he had been attempting, to no avail, to contact the city for the last three weeks.

“There is no way for parents to let their children play in the stadium; it is worse than a pig sty.” In the stadium precinct, a security guard identified only as Bra Jabu said the crime rate was very high. “They mugged a guy at the gate in broad daylight just last week. This place is a paradise for gangsters,’ he said. There were several people seen moving in and out of the stadium site. m”Now they’re staying here. It’s like a whole community living here, with no proper sanitation and electricity, “Bra Jabu said.

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