Jordaan calms fears over World Cup

South Africa would be able to safeguard every person coming to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the chief executive of the local organising committee, Danny Jordaan, said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“There is no question that this country has the capability to safeguard every person that comes here for the World Cup,” Jordaan told a press conference.

“We will safeguard places where the players will stay, the routes, hotels, etc. The country has demonstrated its ability to manage other World Cups with no incidents of crime.”

Jordaan said ordinary South Africans had to deal with crime on a daily basis.

“They need to be protected. They deal with crime all the time.
The organising committee has planned everything including safety and security. The event will be safeguarded.”

Jordaan said the committee was pleased with the progress thus far in preparing for the tournament.

Construction of new stadiums to be built in nine cities would begin in January next year, said Jordaan, and be completed within 18 to 34 months.

“The demolition of old stadiums in some cities has already been completed, so we have made some progress,” Jordaan said.

“But stadium construction is difficult. It rains for three weeks, then workers are not happy. There will be problems, but it will be completed in time.”

New stadiums would be built in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Polokwane, Nelspruit and Durban, while stadiums in Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria would be upgraded.

Jordaan said Fifa had provided funding for the World Cup.

“All the money comes from outside South Africa. It’s not taxpayers’s money so I am sure that Fifa is confident in SA’s ability to host a world-class event,” he said.

He added that not more than R12-billion would be spent to prepare for the World Cup.

Besides the construction of stadiums, “fan parks” would be built so that people who do not have tickets could watch matches live on screens.

The tournament is expected to generate 129 000 jobs, with direct expenditure in South Africa totalling R7,2-billion.

About 15 000 volunteers would be recruited.

More than 350 000 visitors were expected, boosting the tourism sector by R9,8-billion.

Jordaan said the hotel industry assured the organising committee, at a meeting last week, that more than 55 000 rooms would be available for accommodation.

Further meetings would be held to ensure that the country would be able to accommodate the tourists.

Base camps for competing teams would also be set up in neighbouring countries with similarities in culture and language. Teams from Brazil and Portugal could be set up in Angola or Mozambique, while the German team could set up a base in Namibia.

The chairperson of the organising committee, Dr Irvin Khoza, added that a lekgotla would be held in Sun City on Thursday to discuss infrastructure, transport and safety and security in more detail.

He said the committee would also discuss how rural communities could benefit from the World Cup. The likelohood of the tournament being held in June and July—the months during which the event is usually held—would also be taken into consideration.

Fifa has commissioned a study on weather patterns during June and July over the past four years to determine whether the event should be rescheduled.

“This is one of the issues that will also be discussed at the lekgotla. For now the event will be held in June and July. South Africa is very cold during that time and Fifa will decide if the dates should be changed,” said Khoza.

The 2010 World Cup would be Africa’s first.

While Africa did not have the experience it did have the expertise and the political will to host the event, Khoza said. - Sapa

Client Media Releases

UKZN humanities academic awarded Ed Bruner Book Prize
Sanral receives high honour
What makes IIE Rosebank College cool?