Is Mmabatho Stadium safe to host large crowds?

Issued by Winston Rabotapi MPL – DA North West Spokesperson on Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation
13 Nov 2022 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite in English and Setswana by Winston Rabotapi MPL.

The DA is concerned by the current state of the North West province’s 59 000 seater capacity Mmabatho Stadium.

The stadium, which has been closed for some time due to safety concerns, is now expected to host scores of fans on 03 December for the #FillUpMmabathoStadium event by Mahikeng born rapper, Cassper Nyovest.

While the event is expected to bring a significant boost to the local economy, we are concerned by the state in which we found the stadium during an oversight visit last week. See images here, here, here.

The stadium does not have any functional ablution facilities, parts of the general seating area are dilapidated, and the pitch spotlights are not working. One of the spotlights recently caught fire and fire extinguishers were just left at the scene. See image here, here and here.

In the VIP area there are no chairs, and the roof is leaking, while the presidential suite is dilapidated, ceilings falling in and the air conditioner is dysfunctional. See images here, here and here.

The Auditor-General indicated during a presentation on the Department of Public Works annual report for the 2021/22 financial that there was a failure by the department to conduct conditional assessments on its buildings for several years. What we found at the Mmabatho Stadium vindicates the AG’s findings.

The DA will request the MEC for Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation, Galebakwe Tlhapi, and the Executive Mayor of Mahikeng, Cllr Tshepiso Mphehlo, to ensure that the necessary safety checks and assessments are done at Mmabatho Stadium to ensure the structural integrity of the stadium before the #FillUpMmabathoStadium.

We will also request MEC Tlhapi to put detailed plans in place to ensure the safety of the attendees within the structure.

It is unfortunate that a multimillion Rand facility, like the Mmabatho Stadium which is intended to boost the North West’s sports, events, and tourism sector, is neglected to this extent.