About the Show
South Africa is the powerhouse of the African continent and, right now, it is also the biggest building site in the world. As the country prepares to welcome millions of soccer fans for the 2010 World Cup, the host cities are catapulted into mayhem. Architects and engineers work against the clock to complete the nation’s new megastructures. Soccer City in Johannesburg will host the opening World Cup ceremonies and the final game. Design teams are briefed to create a unique space that represents South Africa’s cultural melting pot. The result is an arena in the unusual shape of a giant African calabash (bottle gourd), but will one of the worst rainy seasons interfere with their plans? In Kwazulu Natal, the record breaking Moses Mabhida Stadium will have the planet’s longest arch; a massive steel structure with a cable car attached to it. A similar design gave the builders of Wembley Stadium endless headaches and resulted in a ten-month delay. Will the Moses Madhiba crew get it right? The Green Point Stadium in Cape Town is set against the backdrop of the infamous Table Mountain. It may be visually breathtaking but for the designers and builders this is a location from hell. At a cost of over US$3.5 billion and employing 90 thousand people, The Gautrain, or "golden train", is the biggest transport project ever undertaken in Africa. The team of international transport specialists are working on 65 sites simultaneously. They are blasting, drilling and tunnelling their way into the history books. Phase one of the project is planned for completion in time to transport thousands of World Cup visitors between the business district of Sandton and Thambo Airport. In Kwazulu Natal, an arid construction site is undergoing a remarkable makeover. It will soon become the King Shaka Airport; one of only five "Greenfield" airports to be built in the world in the last decade. Things are changing at a scary speed and not everyone or everything is adapting easily. It will take designers, engineers, monster machines and mega-millions to upgrade South Africa's infrastructure and have them 2010 ready. Tuesday June 1 & 8 at 8:30pm on the National Geographic Channel.


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