Clint Eastwood is about to start shooting a feature film The Human Factor, based on South Africa's 1995 World Cup victory and Nelson Mandela. It was a great moment in our country's

mar-stadium
Vosloorus Stadium
history especially as we're such a sports mad nation. You only have to watch a few commercials on television to realise just how much of our advertising reflects this, with major and minor stadia used for many shoots.

2010 has brought with it the opportunity to upgrade many of our Province's facilities, adding world class glamour to these potential locations. But be prepared for some major filming restrictions before, during and after both the Confederations Cup in June 2009 and the World Cup in June 2010, especially in the surrounding precincts of the three official stadia.

There are also expected to be minor restrictions for training stadia and base camps (some of which still have to be announced). Although Johannesburg and Tshwane may be over-subscribed during the Confederations Cup and World Cup, remember that Gauteng has many other great opportunities in terms of sports grounds and accommodation and would be delighted to host film crews!

Gauteng definitely is not just about the 'big three' 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums and the Province has many sports grounds throughout the main cities and towns, some of which have been in the international spotlight before. Two of South Africa's most important rugby stadia are in Gauteng: Loftus Versfeld in Tshwane, home of the Blue Bulls, and Ellis Park (recently renamed Coca-Cola Park) in Johannesburg, where the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. Also within the Ellis Park precinct is the Joburg Stadium, which is dedicated to athletics. The Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg is the official home of Gauteng cricket. Together with Supersport Park in Centurion, Tshwane, and Willowmoore Park in Benoni, Ekurhuleni, it played a significant role in the success of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

Gauteng is to be home to three 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Ellis Park stadium and Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg and Tshwane's Loftus Versveld are all being upgraded to World Cup standards. Loftus Versfeld and Royal Bafokeng are privately-owned venues, while Ellis Park is on long-lease arrangement, with Soccer City stadium, which was previously owned and managed by the South African Football Association, being returned to the State, and managed by the City of Johannesburg.

Johannesburg 2010

Soccer City Stadium, or the FNB Stadium as it is known, situated in Nasrec, is the flagship venue for the Soccer World Cup 2010, and it will be hosting both the opening match and the final. Soccer City Stadium is the largest in Africa. The stadium provides 80 000 plastic bucket seats, and has a two metre 'moat' to protect the players from the fans. The upper tier has been extended around the stadium and 99 corporate boxes added, to increase the capacity to 94 700. An encircling roof was added, creating the impression of a giant calabash. Soccer City is home to the South African Football Association and the home ground for Orlando Pirates.

With four months to go before the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup kicks off in June, renovations at Ellis Park, the host stadium of the opening and final matches, are complete with only final touches left. Ellis Park has undergone major changes. The west, south and north stands have been revamped with additional seating and a new roof added. New change rooms, VIP, media and medical facilities and a new entrance facade to the north stand have been built. It can now seat 62 000 football fans.

With the completion of the stadium, the focus has shifted towards the precinct upgrade, which is also nearing completion. Landscaping includes a water feature between Ellis Park Stadium and Johannesburg Stadium as well as public art installations. The Olympic-size swimming pool in the sports precinct has also been upgraded.

Johannesburg is also host to training venues. Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto has undergone refurbishments to the tune of R69million in preparation for being one of the three official training venues for the World Cup. The old stadium has been completely revamped, with a new grandstand and world-class facilities added. It has a contemporary design with a roof covering spectators on the grandstand. Four floodlit towers at each of the four corners of the stadium will provide lighting. It will double up as an athletics venue and a synthetic track and new polycarbonate seats have been installed all round the stadium.

The other two training venues are Orlando Stadium, also in Soweto, and Rand Stadium, in the south of the City.

Tshwane 2010
Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Sunnyside is one of South Africa's oldest and most established stadiums and the site has been used for sports events since 1903. Construction at the stadium is almost complete. A major upgrade project is the new roof over the eastern pavilion.  In addition, the stadium is also receiving new media and venue operations centres. Loftus is home to the premier soccer league club, Mamelodi Sundowns, as well as the Blue Bulls.

Tshwane's training venues include the Super Stadium at Atteridgeville, a 25 000 seat stadium. Since 2007 the stadium has undergone substantial upgrade including the construction of a new main pavilion, VIP suites and new flood lighting and is now at a stage where it can be used for international matches. The HM Pitje Stadium is also a 25 000 seater and its 2010 upgrade includes a brand new main pavilion.

Ekurhuleni 2010
While none of the World Cup matches will be played in Ekurhuleni, there are four potential practice stadiums namely Sinaba, Vosloosrus, Makhulong, and Katlehong stadiums. Construction at Makhulong Stadium is well on track and scheduled to be ready by the middle of 2009. With a planned capacity of about 15 000 seats, the stadium will comply with all FIFA and Premier Soccer League (PSL) requirements. These include flood lights, player and management facilities, security, amenities, VIP and V-VIP areas as well as a 200 square meter media facility.

Mogale City
Kaizer Chiefs will become the first team in South Africa to own their own stadium when the 55 000 Seater Amakhosi Stadium is completed this year. The new stadium, which is being developed at a cost of R1.2 billion, will be part of a greater sports precinct being developed 40km West of Johannesburg.

Sedibeng
The George Thabe Stadium in Vereeniging has been upgraded but it is not an official training ground. A lot of work is being done in and around the stadium as part of a larger Sedibeng 2010 precincts project.