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This is the fifth of a series of World Cup city and venue guides in the lead-up to the tournament, starting on February 9, 2003.

[ city and venue guide ]

Hosted Countries:

  • Namibia


  • West Indies v Bangladesh,
  • New Zealand v Canada.


  • Willowmoore Park.


  • 1.645 meters above sea level
  • Population of 560,000
  • Most speak English


Benoni lies in the summer rainfall region of South Africa and has an average rainfall of 723 mm per year. The area enjoys long warm summers averaging in the upper 20 degree Celsius and short crisp winters.


Greater Benoni is situated in Gauteng between two motorways, the N12 and R77. It is easily accessible from all directions. Pretoria is 55km away, and Johannesburg a mere 30km. Lies at an altitude of 1 645m.

Is situated next to one of the world's seven proclaimed wetland areas, and attracts a large variety of indigenous and migratory water fowl.

The many excellent residential areas are known for their attractive architecture and beautiful gardens. Services to all areas (including the informal sector) are well catered for by the city council. There are many clubs and organisations covering a wide range of interests, places of worship for all denominations, modern, well-equipped schools, Vista University and two technical colleges. Excellent medical facilities are available with modern hospitals, private and community clinics, including the Benmed Trauma Centre. There is a comprehensive transport network. Practically every sport is catered for. The lakes, with almost 40km of shoreline, offer a variety of recreational activities and the bird sanctuaries, parks and trails are recognised by environmentalists throughout the country.


  • Restaurants, Casinos, and nightclubs
  • Cinemas and Museum
  • Lake
  • Golfing, Bird watching.

Benoni is also 15 minutes from Johannesburg International airport with regular flights to all the major venues of the World Cup.

Willowmoore Park:

Willowmoore Park was founded by English Miners in 1924 with the name derived from the willow trees that surrounded the ground and the moore that is still today at the back of the ground.

Floodlights pylons were erected in 1929 to cater for all the various sports that took place at the ground. Dennis Compton the famous English cricketer scored 300 runs in 181 minutes at Willowmoore Park a game between England and a South African XI in 1948.

In 1968 the first day/night match was played between South Africa and Australia using white clothing and a red ball.

Upgrades for the World Cup have started with a new modern world class players facility being completed and the east embankment being compacted to accommodate 12,000 spectators on comfortable temporary seating while new seating facilities at the northern end will cater for 1,200 spectators increasing the capacity of the ground to 20,000 spectators.

A state of the art new sub-surface and ring drainage has been installed on the playing surface and three additional pitches have been laid and completed in preparation for the new season.

A new LED Electronic Scoreboard has been erected and will be ready for the World Cup starting in February 2003.

A new ticket office facility has been commissioned together with four new exit and entry gates which will improve access to and from the ground where new toilet blocks and a first-aid station for public use has already been completed.

By the time the World Cup kicks off a modern four-story Media Center will be in place for the written press, radio and TV commentators. This will include internet facilities, dinning areas and photographic work stations. In addition the scorers tower is to be extended to accommodate addition media facilities.

The Presidents Room is to be upgraded and renovated to service 150 guests while the erection of a new office block will ensure the comfort of cricket staff.

The sixth World Cup city and venue guide will appear next week, featuring Pietermaritzburg.