Motsepe willing to fork out money to refurbish HM Pitje Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe has expressed his willingness to meet the government halfway with his own money to refurbish the abandoned HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi.
The spiritual home of the current defending Premiership champions Sundowns has been a white elephant since it was closed for upgrades as a 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Project about 15 years ago.
“We would use some of our own money if the government comes on board – we will do something there‚” Motsepe said.
“The first games when I took over went to HM Pitje Stadium but I was told that it is not safe‚ and the minute you tell me that a stadium is not safe I become paranoid. I don’t want 80 or 90 percent assurance‚ I want 100 percent assurance.
“HM Pitje will always be part of our plans in the long term. If there are things that can be done there‚ we will take some of our games there. Of course there are some big games that cannot play at HM Pitje but we have a unique obligation to HM Pitje.”
Motsepe said that Sundowns has a developmental obligation to Mamelodi and they are currently developing the youth in the township.
“Mamelodi gave us Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Mamelodi will always have a special place and we have some wonderful things that we are doing there‚” he said.
“We have academies there for young people and they are doing some good work. That is why the first thing I did when I bought the club was to bring the back Mamelodi on the name because it was being called Sundowns.
“I said the club must go back to Mamelodi Sundowns because we should be proud and strengthen our relationship with Mamelodi‚ Tshwane‚ Gauteng and the rest of SA. I actually wanted to take Sundowns out of Chloorkop and put it in Pretoria and have strong infrastructure in Pretoria.
“We will continue to have projects in Pretoria and exciting things in Mamelodi and the whole of Gauteng. We are building infrastructure at Chloorkop which is focused on the academy because we have to think about Sundowns for the next six to seven years.
“We will never make money out of Sundowns and the money we have put there we will never get back because that is not the point. This is part of the developmental obligation we have for this country.”
HM Pitje Stadium remains in ruins after years of neglect but the Gauteng provincial government recently said plans are underway to restore the once majestic Mamelodi venue to its former glory.
A spokesperson for the Gauteng provincial government had said: “The department of sports and recreation is working together with the department of infrastructure development and we are committed to the first phase‚ which is demolition. Beyond that the department is working towards identifying potential private sector funders for rebuilding the stadium.
“HM Pitje‚ along with other infrastructure projects‚ remains a priority for the department as it speaks to sports development within communities.”