Malawi Youth and Sports Minister Enoch Chihana has said Kamuzu Stadium renovations will not start soon as anticipated due to government bureaucracy.
Last year, Chihana hinted that the facility’s major rehabilitation work would start this month, but in an interview on Tuesday, he said the renovations could start after six months.
“Since there are plans to renovate the stadium under the triple p [public, private, partnership], the exercise could delay as it will involve tender process.
“We will have to follow the normal tender process, but talks with the South African company [Simat] are ongoing since they are the only company that has shown interest.
“But whichever company will be successful during the tender process will have to access the work to be carried out, then sign a memorandum of understanding with government and then a contract. So, it is a process that could take another six months or so,” said Chihana.
The development means fans in Blantyre and the surrounding areas will not be able to watch international games this year.
The minister said the projection is that the renovations could take between three to four months and is estimated to cost between $15 million and $20 million [about K6.4 billion].
The final rehabilitation work will include demolishing and rebuilding some stands.
Government closed the stadium indefinitely last September on recommendation from structural engineers after it was established that some stands had developed serious cracks.
However, the stadium was reopened temporarily last month due to pressure from some football supporters.
Following the cordoning-off exercise, the capacity of the stadium has since been reduced from 25 000 to 16 500.