Moses comes to Durban

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Durban’s not big on landmarks; we’ve got the sea, you see, and um, until recently, that was about our most noteworthy physical feature. Now we’ve got the Mabhida Moses. The tired old soccer stadium opposite Kings Park was flattened to make way for our 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium which will hold 70 000 soccer fans during the big event.

Durban Soccer Stadium The Moses
View of the Moses Mabhida soccer stadium from Innes Road

This marvel of modern design and construction, named after the former general secretary of the SA Communist Party, Moses Mabhida, boasts, as its crowning glory, a massive arch with a funicular – not to be confused with a cable car – which will carry visitors up to a platform at the top of the arch for panoramic views of the city and sea.

For now what I’m loving about the stadium is how its changing our views, literally. It pops up all over the place: take the dogs for a walk around Greyville Racecourse and, voila! – there it is to the north. Visit a friend at her Morningside home and there’s the Moses Mabhida, beyond her kitchen window. My favourite view of it is from Innes Road, which is just the right distance from which to appreciate its scale and design, as well its dramatic impact on that part of the city.

At night , its now-complete Teflon-coated, glass-fibre membrane roof is lit up in a translucent glow, making even the most cynical Durbanite feel warm, fuzzy, and yes, proud.

As I write this, the pitch – grass grown in the Ballito area – is being laid. The municipality keeps telling us that the stadium belongs to all of us and that it will be very accessible once it’s opened in November. Wonder if I’ll be able to kick my slops off and feel that grass beneath my feet?

View more photos of all the South African soccer stadiums.

Durban's new soccer stadium while it was under construction
Durban’s new soccer stadium while it was under construction
The Moses soccer stadium in Durban
The Moses Mabhida soccer stadium in Durban

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi Wendy,

    Glad i was redirected here from the SA Homecoming website. I am a native of Durban – born in Marianhill and grew up in Clermont Township a house from Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka’s home in the Indunduma section of Clermont Township. My sister Fezeka is the only one still living in Clermont. Mum moved to Pinetown.

    I live in Mitchellville, Maryland. I have lived in the United States since coming to study at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, the only university in the world founded in 1864 by the United States Congress, to educate deaf and hard of hearing people. I earned my BA and BSc. there and then went to New York University for my MA.

    I just want to thank you for you blog as it brings us expat Durbanites home. Google maps is doing a great job of taking us home too and I do that once in a while when I am homesick. The pictures of the Mabhida stadium are lovely. You are right about us never really having a landmark ( we had a “seamark”) so this stadium is going to be our landmark. By the way, will they keep the ABSA stadium next to it or will that be torn down?