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Cape Town Stadium: Without direction

Plus Beaufort West to gets its own commercial airport.

CAPE TOWN – The dreaded white elephant once again casts its shadow over Cape Town. The much opposed, Cape Town Stadium, is now walking a large and expensive tight rope between WE status and an iconic asset to the city.

Sail Stadefrance was confident and bluster when it supposedly signed the contract or agreed to manage the stadium but it jumped ship without setting sail, leaving a massive world class stadium and an even more massive headache to the city, suggesting that it can’t make it work.

The city cannot afford to not make it work. The stadium could land up being a defining icon of Cape Town – a shining knight of what can be achieved or a dark shadow of what it can’t.

It’s really up to rugby. The fan walk on rugby days when the Boks play the All Blacks or the Stormers v the Bulls will come close to equalling the atmosphere and fun experienced during the World Cup, but might well be doomed to memory unless rugby moves.

In the meantime ratepayers will end up paying for the stadium’s operating costs – Apparently Sail Stadefrance said it had projected “substantial losses” if it took up the project – did it only discover this now? What changed between its unconvincing but at least optimistic media briefing not that long ago?

The city’s acting mayor, Ian Neilson, said the city will hold discussions with Western Province Rugby about whether it would move from Newlands and host its games at the stadium. Forget discussions and forget Nielson – no disrespect but we need to send in Helen GodZilla to read them the riot act and torpedo them to their new stadium. I know it’s hard to leave a comfy home you’ve lived in for many years but sometimes its just time to go.

Beaufort West
Heading north out of Cape Town – Beaufort West sits about six hours from Cape Town and eight from Johannesburg. But it appears this sleepy city is now about to hit the big time. Negotiations for the revamp of the town’s small, privately owned airport have entered their final stages. Yes, hold on to your seatbelt, soon you’ll be able to fly commercial airline to Beaufort West.

Beaufort West will transform form an overnight place, where there is nothing to do to an aircraft hub in the region.

Apparently the first plane to land at Beaufort West airport was in 1920 and the airport was used during the second world war as a refuelling depot.

It used to be the big cheese in the region before George International was built. Well watch out now George, the Karoo Gateway Airport is claiming its status back.

Abu Dhabi
It seems Abu Dhabi is backtracking on its plan to have the largest ecological footprint in the world by spending $22bn to develop a clean-energy city.

The original plan was for the city to be 100% carbon neutral. That will no longer be the case, it will use geothermal energy and solar thermal cooling, but will supplement this by buying electricity from other locations.

The Masdar City project had big plans and high ideals and the scaled back version will no doubt give investors a chance to see its sustainability. The coolest plans were for a personal rapid transit system, where residents would use their own podcars within the city – they will be now restricted to a six square kilometre region around the centre of Masdar City.

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