Cape Town - The fast-tracked mini-project of Newlands - part of the cricket ground’s redevelopment - is underway in preparation for the T20 Global League which is set to commence in November.
Following the successful rezoning application that was approved by the City of Cape Town in July 2016, the ambitious macro-project is at an advanced stage of planning.
Once completed, it will yield 19 500 m2 of mixed use, commercially viable Gross Leasable Area (excluding cricket-requirements).
The process will be undertaken in phases, with Phase 1 expected to be open for business by the New Year of 2020, the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) announced via a press statement on Friday.
Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the WPCA, said the traditional and historical ways of doing things will not only ensure the WPCA’s eventual demise, but it will also create an unbearable impact on communities, schools, women and the pipeline which provides provincial, franchise and international players.
To this end, compliance with the CSA operational, financial and governance models is essential whilst the WPCA progressively seeks new initiatives and interventions in order to create long term sustainability.
More importantly they need to ensure growth of the game and this will only be possible with cash injections which can make a difference.
“The re-development of the Newlands Cricket Ground is one such project which could sustain not only the ground but cricket in the region for generations to come,” Dien said.
The President’s Suite has been treated as priority number one of the mini-project (redevelopment of Newlands). The concept plans show how over 200 people can be seated inside and outside at any given time - a significant improvement on the maximum of 120 people that the facility currently accommodates.
Dien referred to a ten-point operational plan devised in 2016 to strengthen the organisation and secure its significant growth on and off the field.
“Our plan was to create a strategic plan, review and overhaul our contracts, review our supplier base, ensure a more robust reporting regime and improve governance,” he said.
“We also set ourselves the goals of developing an amateur development plan, creating a stadium commercial plan, pursuing a team sponsor, creating an organizational design and engaging our stakeholders.
“It can be reported that we have delivered and moved forward on at least nine of the ten-point plan however the business optimization is in its final phase as it tackles the next layer of jobs under the executive structure,” he said.
Dien said with the upcoming T20 Global League, it is critical that the hosting status of Newlands is kept intact. “We have therefore secured a soft loan through CSA (approved by WPCA board) of R13 million including a scoreboard of R7.8 million. This Mini-Project is underway and will be completed on time and within budget.”
Beresford Williams, the president of WPCA, said the board has endorsed a youth policy to reward young evolving stars who have been steadily knocking on the door and has awarded them professional contracts.
Yet, they have also celebrated the homecoming of the experienced Temba Bavuma and Qaasim Adams.
Williams also referred to the importance of transformation across the board at WPCA that is evolving and gaining momentum. “The leadership and stakeholders of WPCA have embraced this as an imperative,” he added.
Omar Sonday, treasurer of the WPCA, said the Association has successfully completed the year with a surplus of R3 815 312 compared to the previous year surplus of R2 273 629.
The enhancement of the surplus was partially as a result of the operational model’s focus on activity-based expenditure and deliberate and effective treasury management, he said.