City gets go-ahead to rebuild HM Pitje Stadium

HM Pitje stadium in Mamelodi. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

HM Pitje stadium in Mamelodi. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Published Feb 27, 2024


The Mamelodi community has given the City of Tshwane a go-ahead to bring on board private investors for the purpose of rebuilding HM Pitje Stadium and leasing it for 80 years.

Secretary of Region 6 sports council Simon Phetla said the construction of a new stadium, as part of a multipurpose sporting precinct envisioned by the city, was long overdue.

On Saturday, Phetla was among the sporting people and community members who attended a public meeting with Tshwane deputy mayor Dr Nasiphi Moya in the township.

The discussions centred on the proposed lease of a portion of land where the demolished HM Pitje was located.

HM Pitje was demolished in February last year by the Gauteng provincial government at an estimated cost of R87 million but the municipality owned it.

The stadium was earmarked as a training facility for teams participating in the 2010 Soccer World Cup but that never materialised due to non-compliance with occupational safety regulations.

Phetla said that initially, the Mamelodi community was sceptical about the introduction of the private sector to rebuild HM Pitje.

However, after lengthy discussions with the city, many people had a change of heart about the proposed plan to bring back the historic facility.

He said the community was concerned that putting the stadium in the hands of private people would mean taking it away from them.

“We deliberated on it until they showed us that the community would still have access to the stadium. The land would still belong to the City of Tshwane and it would lease the land for the stadium to be built for a period of 80 years. But, it doesn’t mean that the community will not use the stadium,” he said.

He said the city would also schedule public meetings with business people, as part stakeholders, to solicit their views.

Phetla, however, said the community was disappointed by past unfulfilled promises by politicians to assist in rebuilding the stadium.

“Since 2010, there have been promises after promises. When the Gauteng government took over the stadium from the city it promised to rebuild it, but it failed. Last year, the MEC for Sport, Morakane Mosupyoe, and MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile, came here and made bold statements that they would see to it that the stadium was rebuilt,” he said.

Rebuilding HM Pitje, he said, would benefit businesses such as street vendors who sold fat cakes and other take away food during football matches.

The project, he said, would also create employment for people and employ professionals to maintain the facility daily.

“We told the city to go on with the project. But I am also assisting them to get private investors,” he said.

Moya held another public meeting with residents in Mabopane to deliberate on the fate of Odi Stadium.

She said HM Pitje and Odi stadiums had garnered attention at the national government and provincial legislature levels, prompting discussions in the parliamentary portfolio committee on sport, arts and culture meeting.

“There has also been notable interest from professional football clubs, particularly in the rejuvenation of HM Pitje stadium,” she said.

In November last year, she said, the council resolved to present the proposal for public consideration.

“The aim of this proposal is to drive local economic growth by providing an incentive for local football franchises to invest in township stadiums while retaining control over their operation,” she said.

Under the proposed plan, the stadiums would be transformed into multifunctional sporting precincts, offering various sporting and recreational opportunities to the community.

Moya said: “This strategic move is anticipated to generate spillover opportunities in economic activities, such as township tourism, thereby bolstering the broader township economy.”

Pretoria News

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