The man who forced President Jacob Zuma to appoint an arms deal commission wants Cape Town Stadium demolished.
Anti-arms deal campaigner Terry Crawford-Browne has fought for the government to come clean about the multibillion-rand arms procurement programme, and has now accused Fifa of foisting an equally wasteful multibillion-rand project on Cape Town.
“It’s very clear: this is about section 217(1) of the constitution, which says government procurement should be open, transparent, fair and cost-effective. This building of Cape Town Stadium was none of these,” he told the Cape Argus on Tuesday.
“It failed the constitutional requirement and was rammed down Cape Town’s throat.”
Crawford-Browne alleged that Fifa had “blackmailed” Cape Town into building the stadium in Green Point, when all Capetonians knew that existing stadiums in Newlands, Athlone and Khayelitsha could have been upgraded at “a fraction” of the R4.5 billion cost of the new stadium.
“It’s absolutely bizarre that we allowed Fifa to determine town planning.
“And now we have a white elephant. Are we going to throw good money after bad trying to make something unworkable work?” he asked, in reference to ongoing attempts to devise plans to make the stadium pay for itself.
“When they had the World Cup in Japan and Korea, Korea used the occasion to brand Samsung and LG, and they then demolished the stadiums, knowing they would never be able to fill them.
“I gather that in Qatar, they’re going to have temporary stadiums that they’ll demolish, too. We can still do something about this situation in Cape Town: we should bite the bullet now and demolish it. It’ll never pay its way,” Crawford-Browne said.
Anton Groenewald, the executive director in the city’s tourism, events and marketing department, said the stadium’s current range of potential uses was bound by 14 restrictions that were part of the province’s Record of Decision (ROD) that authorised the building of the stadium. These limited the ways in which the stadium could earn money.
“These conditions ideally need to be lifted if we are to use a large part of the stadium’s income-generating capacity.
“These ways of making the stadium commercially viable will only be realisable post the lifting of ROD restrictions,” he said.