THE government will inject M2, 4 billion into the construction of the Lepereng Stadium which is being constructed in preparation for the 2020 Region 5 Games, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has said.
The premier made the announcement at a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium in Maseru.
The event was graced by Deputy Prime Minister Monyane Moleleki, cabinet ministers and top government officials.
Thabane said the money will be used to construct a 20 000-seater football stadium and a 3000-seater multipurpose indoor arena.
Lesotho is hosting next year’s Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 Games in December 2020 and is also penned in to host the 2022 Africa Youth Games.
Thabane said the government was proud that the project is finally starting after two years of planning.
“For the past two years, we had a cabinet sub-committee of ministers tasked with ensuring that the project succeeds and we are proud that today, after several hiccups, we are marking the commencement of the construction of the project which is going to cost the government M2, 4 billion,” Thabane said.
“We are going to construct a football stadium of 20 000 capacity and an indoor facility with a 3 000 capacity which will be used for 41 sporting codes.
“A games village is also going to be built at the National University of Lesotho and this will accommodate 3000 people while the next phase is to increase the capacity of the Lepereng Stadium to 40 000 after the 2020 games.”
Thabane said the projects will be the country’s legacy that will benefit the country for many years after hosting the games.
“The 2020 and the 2022 games will leave us this legacy which will benefit this country for a long time. Our athletes have always struggled due to lack of world class facilities and that will be a thing of the past while also there will be many jobs created from the project.
“About 3000 jobs will be created during the construction of these buildings while 300 permanent jobs will be created after the games.”
Thabane pleaded with Basotho to guard the soon to be constructed facilities jealously to ensure their longevity.
“It is my plea to everyone to take care of the facilities and ensure that they don’t end up like many that I have seen become derelict around the country. Let us put the facilities to good use and ensure that the whole country benefits,” Thabane said.