Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

#Green Building Principles in #KwaMashu Durban – #FIFA 2010 training venue

#Princess Magogo Stadium -KwaMashu Durban – FIFA 2010 training venue

Article by Dean Ramlal

The project was initiated by the Strategic Projects Unit, of the eThekwini Municipality of the City of Durban in 2007,when it called for request for design tender proposals for upgrade to existing training and sports stadiums within KwaMashu, Umlazi, and Cleremont Townships, which were earmarked as Training Venues for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

As part of the PMSA consortium, our team and Urban Architects were awarded the tender for the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, which was built from the design principles submitted in our proposal. Having previously worked with the eThekwini Municipality in developing the Urban Strategy and implementing the Infrastructure Upgrade for the Town Centre of KwaMashu, our design principles reinforced the vision of “Place Making “ for this area. The Urban Strategy included the construction of a Public Paved Walkway /Promenade with accessible ramps and stairs which replaced an existing footpath. This Walkway strategically connects pedestrians from the Taxi and Rail Interchange at the lower end of the Town Centre, through the new Park, Sports Precinct and Stadium at the higher level of the site and finally into the surrounding residential areas.


The stadium property shares its western boundary with several dwellings, which had over the years constructed walls and fences that encroached over the boundary. The boundary was realigned allocating the encroaching areas to the property owners at no cost, saving their walls and in some cases, their outbuildings.


The additions and alterations to the existing facility in a practical,simple application informed the following :

The original grandstand comprised of covered and open seating at a very shallow angle divided by a concourse. In order to accommodate two additional floors while maintaining the original roof height proved to be challenging. This was overcome by removing the three rows of pre-cast seating to get sufficient headroom for suites. Increasing the length of the grandstand compensated for the loss of seats. The lower level of seating was demolished and new pre-cast seating built with a sharper angle similar to that of the grandstand. This allowed the provision of a grassed athletic track, which could be upgraded to a tartan track in the future.

In order to meet the accommodation schedule requirements the length of the grandstand was increased from 55m to 110m,straddling the athletic track.

The grandstand comprises of three floors which incorporates the following functions:

  • Ground floor – change rooms, referees rooms, technical rooms, first aid rooms, doping rooms and public ablution facilities
  • First floor – Offices, VIP Ablutions, Stadium Management offices and staff facilities.
  • Second floor – Suites including Presidential Suite and Entertainment Suites, Venue operating centre and Media facilities.

After liaising with “MNET Supersport” the roof structure was strengthened to accommodate three television camera platforms. Camera platforms were previously set up on scaffolding in front of the grandstand obstructing the view and taking up seating space.The facility was now able to televise night games.


The offices were to accommodate Sports and Recreational Development of the City for coordination of sports development.


As the existing pitch had to be re-laid to conform to the alignment of the extended grandstand, the team upgraded the specification of the pitch to match that of the main stadium, ie Moses Mabhida. This pitch was to support the Moses Mabhida Stadium should there have been an issue with the main stadium’s field. Re-laying the pitch was closely monitored by the local councilors and very favorably commended by FIFA pitch inspectors and has become one of the best in the country due to its drainage system.


The project adheres to green principles from the conceptual stage, with the city environmental department contributing towards the implementation of green goals as follows:

100 000 litres of water a day, therefore two 100 000 litre water tanks were constructed, of which one is dedicated to the pitch. The drainage system is linked back to a pump, to reclaim between 50-60% of the water used to irrigate the pitch, as well as recycling of the dissolved nutrients. The pitch also serves as a large collector for rainwater.

The grandstand is fitted with water saving and energy efficient fittings.

Water heaters that require a quarter of the energy are included in the shower areas below. The “waste” by-product of this heating process is cold air, which is ducted into the change rooms providing ventilation

Four masts supporting floodlights were installed with the total lux level of 1200 capability wired, with four levels of switching: Practice (200 lux), Non televised (600 lux) national (1000 lux) and international (1200 lux). At present, lamps have been fitted to achieve lux levels of 1000. The light system is controlled by smart software that controls the lights at the lower lux levels to ensure even distributed usage of lamps, in order to minimize the replacement of lamps.

Suites and offices are divided by partitions, allowing ease of removal and re-use of spaces should this be required in future.

The external façades are built from local clay face brick and off-shutter precast concrete materials that require minimal maintenance and relatively inert.


The Princess Magogo Stadium has been very well received and has hosted numerous matches since its revamp. The Stadium has added a special Identity of Place in KwaMashu and has connected well into the national circuit in sport and recreation.

Feedback from the eThekwini Municipality has been especially pleasing as they have on many occasions commended the development for its practical solutions,innovative change to an existing structure ,low maintenance of the facility and are very proud of having one of the best soccer pitches in the country.



Client eThekwini Municipality – Special Projects Unit  Dave Renwick

Principal Agent –  PMSA Michael Dlamini

Architects – Choromanski Architects / Urban Architects Rod Choromanski / Marcel Henry

Landscape Architect – Urban Architects Marcel Henry

Quantity Surveyor – BTKM / E-QS Ian Furter / Seeni Moodley

Structural Engineer – Linda Ness and Associates Linda Ness

Civil Engineer –  ZAI Lawrence Fraser

Electrical Engineer – BFBA Wally Doidge

Mechanical Engineer – ADX Projects Ayanda Xintolo

Economic Development –  Graham Muller Associates Graham Muller

Environmental – WSP Group Carla Elliot

Traffic – Delca Richard Palkowski

Audio Specialist- BA Sound Studio Work Shop 

KwaMashu Town Centre. Choromanski Architects

KwaMashu Town Centre. Identifying Important Nodes Within KwaMashu CBD and Surrounding Area

KwaMashu Town Centre. Choromanski Architects

KwaMashu Town CentrePublic Paved Walkway/Promenade

Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

concession area

Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

entrance into grandstand

Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

offices & suites

Princess Magogo Stadium, KwaMashu Durban. Choromanski Architects

new extension and identity to existing structure

What is African Architecture

uMkhumbane Museum, Cato Manor, Durban, South Africa. Choromanski Architects

Interviews with Africa Architecture Awards shortlist finalist

Connecting through Africa to Innovate a Continent


View Interview of Shortlist Finalist



uMkhumbane Museum, Cato Manor, Durban, South Africa. Choromanski Architects

africanism weekly news – August 16,2017

uMkhumbane Museum, Queen Thomo Memorial. Choromanski Architects

Unveiling of Queen Thomozile Jezangani KaNdwandwe Zulu final resting Place & the Museum – 28 May 2017

Light shed on Zulu queen’s burial site

 10:41 03/10/2010


An Umlazi pensioner may have shed light on the final resting place of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s mother, Queen Thomo Jezangani Ndwandwe, who was buried secretly in Durban in the late 1950s.

Makhosegazi Simelane-Buthelezi this week took City Press and the monarch’s representative, Prince Zeblon Zulu, to a grave site in Chesterville’s Wiggins Road cemetery, where she says the queen’s remains were interred.


Buthelezi’s information could bring relief to Zwelithini, who has no idea where his mother was ­buried.

His mother’s ­departure from the royal household and life thereafter has long been the ­subject of ­speculation and rumour.

<a href=”″ target=”_blank”><img src=”″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>

Buthelezi (92) said Ndwandwe passed away in 1958 after a short illness.

“She was secretly buried at Chesterville cemetery,” said Buthelezi, who added that the grave had been neglected.

Buthelezi, who gave detailed information about Ndwandwe’s life, said she and her family were very close to the monarch’s mother.

“She stayed with us at ­KwaBhanki area in Umkhumbane (now ­Mayville).

“We were very close. My ­husband, Mkhishwa Buthelezi, was her cousin.”

She said Ndwandwe was the ­second wife of King Cyprian, who had two other wives – Queen Nompumelelo Masuku and Queen ­Majali. Ndwandwe, she said, “was buried like a commoner after being kicked out from the royal palace by King Cyprian”.

When Ndwandwe came to her house, she arrived with a little boy whose name she could not ­remember.

She said: “The strange thing is that Thomo never mentioned anything about the father of that boy.”

Ndwandwe moved out of her house to rent her own place in Nyaluka, in the same area of ­Umkhumbane.

“She moved out to start a new life. She worked in a doctor’s ­surgery. I was a domestic worker.

“Thomo’s son was stabbed to death and his tongue was cut by ­unknown people at Umkhumbane. The boy was killed while on his way to the shops to buy paraffin,” she recalled.

Buthelezi said the king’s mother was kind.

“She was very beautiful, tall, well-built, light in complexion and had a nice voice,” she said.

In 2006, Buthelezi met ­Zwelithini at an Umhlanga hotel, where she informed him about his mother’s grave.

“He promised to make arrangements so that we could visit the grave, but since then nothing has been done,” said Buthelezi.

Prince Mbonisi Zulu, Zwelithini’s spokesperson, confirmed the royal household heard about Ndwandwe’s grave being somewhere in the Chesterville cemetery after many years of trying to find it.

He said: “Isilo (referring to the king) would be very ­happy to know about his mother’s grave.”

At the cemetery, Zulu pointed out a small hill with several graves on it, but was unable to pinpoint the exact grave.

Zulu said the spot was the same one pointed out to him in 2006 by Zwelithini’s late uncle, Somjumase Ndwandwe, after he had been sent by the king to find his mother’s grave.

“We were unable to find her grave or her name in the register. It might have happened that they ­deliberately changed her name,” said ­Zulu.

Zulu is about to release a second book about Zwelithini’s life, ­Inhlendla Yethusi kaZulu.

In it, he writes that a woman from KwaNyuswa at Botha’s Hill, Mamagasela, came to King Cyprian’s Kwakhangela palace to deliver a “prophesy” that the monarch’s first-born son, Zwelithini, who had not been born yet, would not be raised by his biological mother.

He added that soon after ­Zwelithini’s birth in 1948, he was taken away from his mother and raised by his grandmother, Queen Hlabangani, who was married to King Solomon.

Buthelezi said Ndwandwe never abandoned Zwelithini as she used to send clothes for him.  

<a href=”″ target=”_blank”><img src=”″ border=”0″ alt=”” /></a>




Point Timeball Tower. Choromanski Architects
Conversation Collab

timeball tower



In 2013 I participated in ‘Conversations on Architecture.’ It’s always a privilege listening to ideas shared by my peers and to contribute to building the collateral around South African architecture.

Distinguished international speakers from as far afield as UK, Germany and Paraguay together with our local architectural prodigies will be probing important matters pertaining to the ‘built environment’.

Local Insight:

Rod Choromanski – Choromanski Architects

Rod Choromanski is a Durban-based architect specialising in small-scale community projects, medium to large-scale institutional projects, architectural heritage & conservation; architectural competitions, sports facilities, low-income housing, urban design, utility and service structures, as well as residential houses and offices.

Choromanski has served as juror for the 2012 Afrisam Sustainable Building Awards. He has written for the “Wetlands Wire” on the Greater St. Lucia Heritage Park and he has had projects published in local, national and international architectural journals.

For the full article, click here.

Point Timeball Tower. Choromanski Architects


Timeball Tower

When creatives present ideas – they are open to critique.

This ‘crit’ is a space of inspiration, influence and potential devastation.

We have taken this process of development and turned it into innovation.

Crit, for Choromanski Architects, implies a creative melting space

Music, sculpture, performance intertwined with community, social and economic.

We imagine design in a full circle of development and collective influences.