New Telkom Park precinct plan on track

Once an international sports stadium, Telkom Park is in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s beachfront tourism hub, but has fallen victim to years of neglect and poor management.
Once an international sports stadium, Telkom Park is in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s beachfront tourism hub, but has fallen victim to years of neglect and poor management.

A SUCCESSFUL developer for the new Telkom Park precinct should be announced by September.

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) confirmed this week they were aiming to publish the request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop the precinct by the end of next month.

Once an international sports stadium, Telkom Park is in the heart of Port Elizabeth’s beachfront tourism hub, but has fallen victim to years of neglect and poor management.

Drone video footage taken this week and seen by Weekend Post showed the stadium, shut down more than five years ago, in a derelict state.

The once lush green rugby field, which saw the infamous battle between South Africa and Canada during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, is now overgrown with vegetation.

The stands and buildings have been stripped bare of all fixtures and fittings, including windows, flooring, chairs and anything else of value.

Trees, shrubs and other foliage have taken over the stands and other concrete structures are either crumbling or have completely collapsed.

Last year, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality announced there were plans to redevelop the area.

Tasked with the mammoth undertaking to re-envision the dilapidated structure, the MBDA are in the process of overseeing a number of proposals on what to do with the former home of Eastern Province rugby.

During a public meeting held in March, discussions focused on developing the area, which straddles Summerstrand, Forest Hill and Humewood and is just a stone’s throw away from the Port Elizabeth Airport, with a strong tourism focus.

MBDA spokesman Luvuyo Bangazi said the Telkom Park precinct plan went beyond the portion of the land occupied by the old stadium and therefore other aspects needed to be considered in the redevelopment of the area.

“The eastern boundary is largely composed of high-density residential housing. To the south, the site includes a natural and environmentally sensitive ‘green lung’ which connects it to Happy Valley,” he said.

Bangazi said the plan was to finalise the request for proposals for potential developers, which was undergoing legal scrutiny before being published by the end of next month.

He said there were a number of considerations contained in the precinct plan, which included a potential site for multiuse development.

Bangazi said the RFPs should go out next month and the name of the successful developer would be announced in September.

He said development would start based on the timelines of the winning bid and costs for the development would be for the developers.

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