South Africa: Useless clone stadiums - the only such case in the world

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

South Africa: Useless clone stadiums - the only such case in the world We could say of Mmabatho Stadium that it is the only stadium of its kind in the world, if it were not for the fact that less than 250 km away from it stands an... an identical facility. It turns out that the facilities have been unusable for a long time, and elements of one of them are disappearing.


Wonder or eyesore?

The stadium, which seats 59,000 people, was built in the north of Mahikeng in South Africa in 1981. According to many reports, it was designed in the Soviet Union and built by an Israeli company, although the names of the developers or the authenticity of this information proved impossible for us to confirm. The shape of the arena is incomparable to any other facility with the exception of only... Odi Stadium, built according to the same documentation 245 km to the east.

Apart from the fact that even 40 years ago it would have made no sense to build such large stadiums in this location, neither of these two stadiums currently hosts any team on a permanent basis. Mmabatho Stadium has, however, hosted concerts, rallies or art exhibitions and installations in the 21st century. On a day-to-day basis, the venue serves a training function thanks to a running track of international standards. But what about its twin brother? As it turns out, Odi Stadium is slowly disappearing....

Mmabatho Stadium© Cascoland

Building a house? You can find materials at the stadium

The facility was officially decommissioned back in 2005 and to this day there is no prospect for it. The situation is being taken advantage of by the residents of Mabopane - an area of extreme poverty. Unemployment here reaches almost 80% and half of the families have no source of income other than low benefits. Siphati Chiloane, a resident of a neighbourhood close to Odi Stadium, explains what function the facility currently serves. Ask anyone and they will tell you: when someone needs ceiling tiles, taps or bricks, they shop, that is, steal, at the stadium, - says the woman.

The fence that was placed many years ago at the stadium is now basically gone, and the funds to secure the facility are not available. Barriers, pipes and all the other elements of the structure that can be taken away are disappearing. Because of this, for some years now, there have been fears that some sectors might soon collapse. Will the story of two extraordinary and almost identical stadiums end in disaster?

Mmabatho Stadium© Google Maps