Premium Journalist
1 minute read
12 Aug 2015
2:11 pm

Durban soccer academy development to cost R300m


Durban is set to get a R300 million soccer academy that aims to turn out football stars of the future.

South Africa under 20 players during the U20 National Womens Soccer team training session at Nike Football Centre on July 21, 2015 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

The price tag associated with the at times controversial development was revealed at a press conference on Durban on Wednesday.

The development, backed by the eThekwini Metro Municipality, the provincial Sports and Recreation Department, the South African Football Association (Safa) as well as private finding, is likely to kick off before the end of this year, according to eThekwini municipal manager S’bu Sithole.

The entire complex will include an hotel, an academy that will see nearly 100 youths be trained annually,as well as a state-of-the-art sports medical facility and soccer fields.

“This project is the pilot for the other eight provinces,” said Carlos Catalino, the chief executive of Hoy Park Management (Pty) Ltd which has secured the 30-year lease for the 14.33 hectare development. Safa is a 50 percent shareholder in Hoy Park Management.

Catalino said the academy hoped to grow the best soccer players possible, by giving youngsters from across the province who showed potential an opportunity.

Once construction kicked off, it was expected to be completed within three years.

However, the city and the developers could be heading for a showdown with tenants of the property located next to Durban’s Kings Park Rugby stadium.

The tenants, including a horse riding school and numerous small traders were given until the end of September to vacate the premises, commonly know as “The Stables”.

A large group of the tenants held a meeting on Tuesday and vowed to fight their evictions in court.

Catalino said all the tenants had been approached but negotiations in a bid to accommodate them at alternative locations had ground to a halt.

Sithole said: “No minority movement is going to stop this development.”