The Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development has said the timeframe for Kamuzu Stadium renovations in Blantyre, has been extended to March.
The minister said this when he inspected the ailing facility yesterday. Initially, he had projected that the stadium would be ready for use next month.
Kasaila also conceded that there is still more work to be done than it was earlier anticipated.
“We are making progress, but we still have a lot of work to be done to ensure that the facility is back to life.
“Nevertheless, we are determined that the stadium is ready by March [this year] so that when the season starts in April, it should be ready for use,” he said.
He said there were other aspects that were overlooked like the impact of vandalised areas.
“For instance the impact of the roofs that were vandalised by fans who jump the wall to watch games for free is big and we need to seal these spaces, otherwise it could turn into a recurring problem.
“The level of vandalism in our country has reached worrisome levels.
“Then it has also been agreed with the contractor [Pabe Construction] to paint even the upper parts of the stands that were cordoned-off just to ensure that it looks good,” the said the minister, himself a civil engineer by profession.
Kasaila further conceded that the development would translate to more costs.
“But the solace is that the contractor has assured me that by March, the major works would have been completed to pave the way for the use of the stadium while others will follow.
He said the major areas of renovations cover the toilets, drainage system, dressing rooms, tunnels from the dressing rooms, VIP and Covered Stands.
“In the long-term, it was also suggested that we could demolish the condemned stands and replace them one at a time. These are some of the plans that can be pursued,” said Kasaila.
The minister said the works were estimated to cost K292 million, “but the figure could rise”.
Pabe Construction managing director Paul Madula expressed optimism that everything being equal, they would finish the major works by march.