Multi-benefit Green Hub planned for Bay stadium
Cut costs, connect with the community and protect the environment.
That is the nub of a new Green Hub being planned for the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium by the Mandela Bay Development Agency, the stadium management team and The Waste Trade Company.
The agency’s CEO, Ashraf Adam, said on Tuesday the hub would comprise recycling and composting components which together would deliver multiple benefits.
“It will cut stadium management costs and thereby help take the burden of payment off the shoulders of citizens.
“It will address community poverty issues and create a hub of activity,” Adam said.
“It fits in with the drive towards a circular economy, and will help the city meet its sustainable development goals.”
The recycling component would help the stadium to process the waste generated by fans and stadium kitchens during events and provide a public buy-back centre, he said.
“The idea is that people will be able to bring in recyclable materials to exchange them for something of value.”
This might be necessities from the new Green Hub store or, after accumulating a certain amount of recyclables, people might be able to exchange them for a ticket to an upcoming event, he said.
In another part of the hub, organic kitchen waste as well as grass cuttings from mowing the stadium fields would be composted for a food garden.
A Green Hub presentation document said a “safe space” was envisaged to educate the community on green issues as well as to empower people financially.
Agency spokesperson Luvuyo Bangazi said the project was already under way with a funding budget from the agency, and was due to be completed in June 2019.
The agency and the stadium management team were also working on a scheme for the stadium to start generating its own electricity, Adam said.
“The idea is that while we would draw electricity during an event, on other days we would contribute to the grid. An investigation is under way to identify the best model.”
There is a further intention to improve the field irrigation system which is presently fed by water from the adjacent North End lake.
One possible alternative is a system that would harvest water from the atmosphere, Adam said.
This project is being explored in conjunction with Nelson Mandela University’s Propella Business Initiative, which has already established a pilot model.
Cutting offtake from the dam would also aid the drive to rehabilitate it and turn it into a mecca for water sports.
A museum to celebrate the sporting legends of the Bay and the Eastern Cape is being planned, as well as a cafe and a conference centre.
Adam said the Green Hub and other environmental projects were part of a broader effort to keep the stadium busy and “delivering real returns for the metro, ratepayers and the community”.