The 2010 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner with the first match kicking off in less than two years. During the event, all eyes will naturally be on South Africa when the immense influx of football fans, tourists, world leaders and news reporters will paint a picture of South Africa's capabilities to the rest of the world.
Major cities such as Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Durban, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth are already showing the signs that the world's most popular sports tournament is coming. This is without doubt the largest event to be hosted by South Africa, and the incredible transformations taking place in these cities are a treaty as to how important a successful implementation of the tournament is for South Africa.
South Africa is rising to the challenge admirably by using construction and formwork for building state-of-the-art sports complexes and stadiums, upgrading major airports, revamping major cities, overhauling the transport system through the creation of the Gautrain and extending freeway sizes along with fixing roads and existing public transport systems. With the incredible formwork and construction happening in South Africa right now, by 2010, the country will be able to host a highly successful World Cup tournament and illustrate to millions of people around the world what a capable and incredible country South Africa is.
Five brand new stadiums are under construction for the FIFA 2010 World Cup including Green Point Stadium (the previous Green Point Stadium was demolished in 2007), the Peter Mokaba Sports Complex, the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth ( which, when complete, will be the fastest constructed sports stadium in the world) and the King Senzangakhona Stadium in Durban.
Other stadiums include the Soccer City Stadium and Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg. These stadiums each require huge construction processes and would not be able to be completed without formwork. With the use of formwork, construction companies are able to create magnificent and world-class stadiums, for example, the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga has been designed to mix modern architecture with trusted formwork and construction techniques.
18 concrete and steel giraffe structures provide support for the steel roof to the stadium which will have used 50000 cubic meters of poured concrete, 6,000 tons of steel, 90000 cubic meters of formwork concrete slabs used to create retaining walls and sheer walls to raise the Mbombela Stadium from the ground.
The Green Point Stadium in Cape Town will have made use of 130000 cubic meters of concrete, 390000 square meters of formwork, 12000 tons of reinforcing steel, six million bricks and a steel cable tensioned glazed roof.
The Gautrain is an underground railway system under construction in Johannesburg to help ease the pressure on public transport during the tournament and to help traffic flow in the city. The planned route of the train is run between four main stations – Johannesburg, Sandton, Tshwane and OR Tambo Airport and also to additional stations – Rosebank, Marlboro, Midrand, Centurion, Hatfield and Rhodesfield.
Formwork is a major part of the Gautrain construction as the entire railway runs underground and requires underground drilling and high strength supporting walls. There are already 783 precast segments manufactured for lining the tunnel. In Midrand there is a precast yard which is capable of pouring 120 cubic meters of concrete per hour. Various bridges along the railway are under construction, requiring the use of M-Beam Formwork which is transported via trucks to the sites where the bridges are under construction.
Roads and Infrastructure
Because of the influx of people expected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the need for reliable infrastructure and transportation has increased greatly. With so many tourists expected to flock to South Africa during the tournament, the road system in the country is receiving a major upgrade. For example, the eThekwini (Durban) municipality is upgrading the Western Freeway. As it is one of the country's busiest roads and would have been unable to cope with the heavy traffic expected during the World Cup tournament in terms of traffic flow and the road strength.
To ease congestion, both directions of the freeway are being extended to house additional lanes, making the freeway a four or five lane structure. Formwork is especially important when freeway bridges are under construction due to the difficult nature of constructing such heavy structures at a height. Formwork can be pre-cast and driven in or completed by scaffolding formwork.
City and Buildings
Many city centers in South Africa have suffered tremendous neglect as crime levels in the CBDs have kept the areas unpopular and unmaintained. With the upcoming FIFA World Cup, major overhauls of the cities in South Africa are underway to create an attractive and memorable experience for everyone involved in the World Cup tournament.
In Johannesburg, the NASREC Expo Center is currently being renovated for use as the media center during the tournament with the outside areas already becoming more aesthetic with paved pathways. The CBD in Cape Town is seeing many benefits from the renovations happening in the center – many old buildings are being returned into their former glory with careful renovations while the V & A Waterfront has just been extended.
The construction on the Waterfront has included a major emphasis on parking but also on increasing the size of the extremely popular building to include more shops, restaurants and activities for the influx of tourists. All of the major cities in South Africa are experiencing such renovations, increasing the attractiveness of South Africa to the foreigners who will visit the country during the famous tournament.
Formwork has been a major contributor to the construction efforts underway in South Africa. Using formwork, the country is producing first-rate sports stadiums, superior infrastructure, renovated, new and stylish buildings, better transport systems and generally, a modern, world-class destination. Through formwork, South Africa has the potential to prove to the world just how capable the country is of hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup successfully.