Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ambassador Confident IPL, Confederations Cup Will Prepare SA Security for World Cup

Its current experience hosting the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and the Confederations Cup will be sufficient practice for South Africa to maintain security during the World Cup, according to the country's US ambassador.

South Africa's US ambassador Welile Nhlapo said on Monday that past cricket and Rugby World Cup successes together with the ongoing cricket matches moved from India for security reasons will allow for greater testing of security measures.

"These events will give us the chance to deal with all sorts of situations, give us time to correct anything that might be needed and provide a secure World Cup," Nhlapo said. "By the time we host we will be ready."

IPL boosts SA confidence for World Cup
Mail & Guardian
April 28, 2009

Johannesburg Bus Strike Continues

The strike of Metro Bus drivers in Johannesburg drags on, as drivers demand scaled wages based on seniority.

"Our human resources manager is going to the bargaining council first thing tomorrow morning [Wednesday] to hear if there are any developments. We are committed to speeding up the process," said Kutu.

He said the company decided to refer the matter to the bargaining council after its lawyers studied the reasons the Labour Court gave on its judgement on Friday, in favour of the drivers who demand a salary scale based on experience and seniority at the company.

Samwu, however, said its approximately 600 members were continuing with the strike on Wednesday, as the company had suspended negotiations.

"We are continuing with the action tomorrow [Wednesday]. We cannot have a system where a driver who is employed today gets the same salary as someone who has been with the company for 20 years," said Samwu shop steward Dion Makhura.

Metro bus strike to continue
Independent Online
April 28, 2009

Hotel Shortages in Durban; Neighbors Pledge Energy for World Cup

Durban is expected to need almost 20,000 additional hotel rooms by the time the World Cup begins next year. In other news, neighboring nations have pledged to contribute power to South Africa during the 2010 event to ensure there are no shortages or blackouts.

More than 35 000 hotel rooms have been pledged to accommodate visiting football fans during the 2010 Fifa World Cup and more than 19 000 are still needed.

With 408 days left until the football showpiece gets under way, South Africa's neighbours have also pledged to help ensure an adequate power supply for the World Cup, Eskom said on Monday.

"The Southern African Power Pool (Sapp) on Tuesday pledged to support South Africa ... in areas of generation, transmission, customer contributions and demand side management initiatives at a meeting that took place in Maputo, Mozambique."

Countries that make up the Sapp include Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Durban short of 2010 beds
Independent Online
April 28, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Green Point's Glass Roof Underway and On Schedule

The unique glass roof structure that is planned to top Cape Town's Green Point Stadium is now being put into place and is expected to complete on schedule in September.

Dave Hugo, the city council's 2010 technical director, said everything was going well, with 72 trusses already in place to support the roof.

The glass structure, made of laminated sheets 16mm thick, will weigh 1 500 tons and fill an area of 37sq km.

Engineers hope to finished with the roof construction in September.

"No other stadiums (in the world) are using glass, they use other materials," said Hugo.

...The whole roof construction is expected to cost about R475-million.

Stadium's glass roof a world first
Cape Times via Independent Online
April 24, 2009

BRT Revenues To Benefit Taxis; Confederations Secutiry Numbers Announced

This piece from the Independent looks at the projected revenues from the new BRT system, and also gives an update on security and law enforcement personnel that will be on hand during the Confederations Cup tournament in June.

Radebe said the first phase of the BRT was expected to have an annual revenue of R1.5 billion. This meant taxi operators involved in BRT companies would share an expected profit of R150 million amongst themselves.

Some figures around safety personnel to be present during the Confederations Cup were also released on Tuesday.

During the tournament, 8000 members of the police, army, metro police and emergency services would be in host cities. At stadiums and precincts 3445 security officials would be on duty. These would be made up of private security guards and people currently being trained to receive professional accreditation in the security industry.

At least 700 of these stewards and private security guards would be in action on match days.

'Retain the skills and expertise of Moleketi'
Independent Online
April 28, 2009

LOC Vows to Market 2010 World Cup Heavily

Amid criticism that the group had not been doing enough to market the 2010 World CUp, the Local Organizing Committee has pledged to expand marketing activities.

The local organising committee (LOC) has come under fire for not marketing next year’s event as much as it could, compared with the glitzy marketing of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket event taking place in SA at the moment.

But the marketing committee of the LOC board, which is representative of the stakeholders, will meet on May 4 to finalise the brand alignment of the various campaigns.

The South African Tourism 2010 marketing campaign, which is part of a broader R300m campaign launched by the agency in 2007, will go live on May 9 on international platforms such as the British Broadcasting Corporation and Eurosport.

Marketing of World Cup to hit high gear
Business Day
April 24, 2009

Update on Green Point Stadium Progress

This press release from FIFA offers a brief glimpse at the status of Cape Town's Green Point Stadium, which is apparently on track for its September 2009 completion date.

The 15-floor high, 68,000-seater Green Point Stadium will host eight 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, including a quarter-final and semi-final. The arena is on track to be completed by 14 December 2009.

The inner ring of the roof structure was successfully raised and installed mid-February 2009. The 4,500-ton roof, which includes some 9,000 individual pieces that make up the glass surface, is scheduled for completion in September 2009. The roof design is a world first and meets a number of strict environmental and technical requirements.

Green Point Stadium puts on a show
April 23, 2009

58 U.S. Stadia Interested in Hosting World Cup

Most of the stadia expressing interest in hosting World Cup games for a successful U.S. bid in either 2018 or 2022 are used primarily for football.

The venues represent 49 metropolitan areas and include 30 of the 31 NFL stadiums - only Candlestick Park in San Francisco is not on the list. Two of those also currently are home to Major League Soccer teams: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and Qwest Field in Seattle.

A minimum of 12 stadiums capable of seating 40,000 or more must be submitted to FIFA in each nation's bid. Venues with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required for the opening and final matches.

FIFA will award both tournaments in December 2010.

58 stadiums interested in hosting World Cup
Sports Illustrated
April 23, 2009

Legacy Program Gets R81m from Lottery Fund

The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund will contribute 81 million Rand (~$9 million) to the World Cup Legacy program, which will build 27 artificial turf soccer fields throughout the country over the next three years.

2010 FIFA World Cup legacy programme gets R81m shot in arm
Engineering News
April 24, 2009

New Elite Police Force Created to Fight Crime in Johannesburg

The city of Johannesburg, Johannesburg Metro Police Department and the South African Police Service have collaborated to create a new elite police force to tackle crime in the city. Dubbed the Intervention Task Team, the police force will be a primary line of defense for major crime in the city, and will work in conjunction with the inner city's CCTV cameras.

Consisting of 33 officers, the unit ropes in 16 JMPD and 17 SAPS policemen. The officers will be on standby to respond to any crimes captured on the CCTV camera surveillance system monitoring the inner city.

"We have 216 cameras strategically placed to monitor the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said the JMPD's spokesperson Wayne Minnaar.

The group will support the other specialised units and crime-busting campaigns operating in Johannesburg, including Operation Nomakanjani, the vehicle inspection unit and the trio crimes unit.

Under the command of Mr Mashao and the JMPD's acting chief of police, David Tembe, the 33 officers will perform stop and search operations, will set up roadblocks, and will monitor liquor outlets.

They will be the first to be dispatched to crime scenes, and will work flexible hours using unmarked vehicles.

South Africa: Top New Police Unit to Fight Crime In Joburg
Bua News
April 17, 2009

Freeway Projects Expand in Gauteng

Freeway exansion projects are underway in Gauteng province, with segments planned near Pretoria on track for completion before the 2010 World Cup.

South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) GFIP project manager Alex van Niekerk says the biggest portion of GFIP construction tenders had already been awarded by May last year. These seven works packages are to be progressively completed from May 2010 up to 2011.

...Subsequent to the first tranch of seven contracts awarded by May last year, the contract for the R21 upgrade from Pretoria to the Pomona off-ramp, near Benoni, was awarded later in 2008.

However, this project will already be completed before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June, says Van Niekerk.

More Gauteng freeway tenders on the way as tolling debate intensifies
Engineering News
April 17, 2009

No Fan Parks for Confederations Cup

The Local Organizing Committee has announced that no fan parks will be set up during June's Confederations Cup.

The LOC is optimistic that the local hospitality industry will be the biggest winner from the absence of fan parks for the tournament.

“Although there will be no official fan parks for the Confederations Cup, the atmosphere around the host cities, and also the rest of the country, will be electric as the top teams in the world battle it out on our own soil,” says an optimistic LOC spokesperson Rich Mkhondo.

The LOC says those in the hospitality industry can do good business during the tournament in June.

Fans Don’t despair - More public viewing areas planned
Sunday World
April 18, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bus Drivers Threaten Strike in Johannesburg

The South African Municipal Workers' Union are threatening an indefinite strike of Johannesburg Metrobus drivers, beginning next Tuesday.

So confident is Samwu Joburg branch secretary Dumisani Langa of the Johannesburg Labour Court ruling in the union's favour on Friday, that he says commuters should start organising alternative transport now.

Metrobus applied for an interdict at the Johannesburg Labour Court against the union and its members after a dispute with Samwu was not resolved in Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration conciliation talks at the end of February.

Bus drivers set to strike in Joburg
The Star via Independent Online
April 22, 2009

Cricket Match a Test Run for Tournament Parking and Security Rules

A cricket match this week at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria will act as a practice run for the upcoming Confederations Cup, with organizers implementing security and parking rules similar to what will happen during the June tournament, and during next year's World Cup.

Loftus will implement the "World Cup security system" on Thursday. No parking will be allowed at the stadium and surrounding areas and fans are urged to arrive early to avoid a delayed kick-off.

Shuttle buses won't be provided for fans to get to the stadium but Park and Schoeman streets can be used for parking.

The area around Loftus will be cordoned off to ensure everything runs smoothly. This system will be used to test readiness for the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.

European countries such as England, Italy, Germany and Spain have been employing this system for many years.

Key Loftus clash will be a test run
Pretoria News via Independent Online
April 22, 2009

Zuma Puts BRT on Hold to Stop Taxi Strike During Elections

Johannesburg's bus rapid transit system has caused a major disruption among the city's taxi drivers, who have held strikes in protest and threatened more. Likely new President Jacob Zuma has put the BRT project on hold temporarily to quell emotions, ensure taxi access during today's national elections, and to give the government time to ease taxi drivers concerns about the system.

Jacob Zuma has put the world-class Bus Rapid Transit system on ice pending further talks after taxi drivers threatened an election day strike.

Zuma said he did not realise how serious the objections from taxi bosses were until they went on strike last month and came to the ANC's office to hand him a memorandum.

The strike, which turned violent in places, left thousands stranded.

...The first phase of the bus system was due to kick off in Joburg in June, in time for the Fifa Confederations Cup, with a major chunk complete for the Fifa 2010 World Cup and final completion by 2014.

Taxi drivers on Monday promised in return they would not disrupt the elections by striking or refusing to ferry passengers to polling booths.

Zuma puts brakes on new transport scheme
The Mercury via Independent Online
April 21, 2009

1 Billion Rand Expected from IPL

During the tournament's five week run, the Indian Premier League cricket tournament is expected to pull in roughly 1 billion rand (~$111 million US) to the South African economy, according to President Kgalema Motlanthe.

"The envisaged financial investment that will flow into South Africa over the next few weeks is expected to be about R1bn," Motlanthe said.

He said the IPL was providing R10m in scholarship funds to 300 students and 32 schools across South Africa.

Motlanthe hailed the tournament organisers' decision to select South Africa as the host nation as "a tremendous vote of confidence".

IPL to pour R1bn into economy - Motlanthe
Cape Times via Independent Online
April 20, 2009

Local Pub Burned in Court By FIFA

FIFA has successfully blocked a Pretoria pub from displaying signage advertising the World Cup, citing trademark and licensing issues.

The Eastwoods Tavern, located close to Loftus stadium - one of the cup venues - had placed the legend "World Cup 2010" below its main sign on the roof.

...It also erected banners featuring the flags of prominent soccer-playing countries with the numeral 2010 and "Twenty Ten South Africa" written on them.

...Fifa and Spoor and Fisher had been working together on a trademark registration programme for the cup since 2004.

The cup, being designated by the trade and industry ministry as a protected event, meant trademarks like "South African 2010" and "World Cup 2010" could not be used, except by official sponsors.

Fifa wins marketing case against pub
Independent Online
April 20, 2009

IPL to Serve as Extra Trial Run

When South Africa hosts the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, it will be one more chance to prove the country's readiness for the World Cup, according to security officials.

"We are ready for both the IPL and the Confederations Cup," said Susan Shabangu, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security.

"In fact, we see the IPL and the Confederations Cup as part of our dry run in preparation for the 2010 World Cup.

"If you talk about a dry run, that's where you want to flex your muscles and see to what extent you are ready for the big event."

Cricket test for 2010 World Cup
April 17, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Taxi Jobs Lost From BRT, Says Transport Minister

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe is trying to convince taxi operators and unions that Johannesburg's new bus rapid transit system will not eliminate taxi jobs or result is revenue losses, but many in the taxi-driving community remain tough to convince.

"I want to state emphatically at the outset... The government guarantees no loss of legitimate jobs and profits among those who make the shift into the BRT systems," [Radebe] told delegates at the South African National Taxi Council's (Santaco) BRT Summit at Gallagher Estate in Midrand.

...The taxi industry was the "nucleus" of the BRT system.

...Earlier Santaco president Andrew Mthembu called for the government to halt the plan completely.

"We are appealing and pleading... for us to meaningfully engage with this [BRT], let this thing come to a halt completely," he said.

No job losses in taxi industry, says Radebe
Independent Online
April 20, 2009

Roof Structure Running on Time for Durban Stadium

The deadline for completing Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium is looming, but developers say the massive roof structure will be put in place in time.

The deadline for erecting the roof is August, with the stadium construction expected to be completed by October and ready for handover to Fifa in January.

Marcus Balz, the project leader on the roof structure at the R3,1-billion stadium, said yesterday that the jacks used to tension the 52 steel cables were as heavy as a car and could each exert pressure equivalent to 80 adult elephants.

...The head of strategic projects in the eThekwini Municipality, Julie-May Ellingson, said the cables were expected to be in place by the beginning of May, when the work to install the catwalk and cable car would start.

The stadium seats, in orange, yellow, green and white, are also ready for installation. "The steel frames for the seats were made here and the plastic 'tilt up' seats were made in Germany. We will start to install these at the end of June," said Ellingson.

She said that grass for the pitch was being grown in Ballito and turf for around the field was being grown in Johannesburg. "This should all be laid and finished by the end of July," she said.

All set to raise the roof on Durban stadium
The Mercury via Independent Online
April 15, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Green Elements Missing from 2010 Plans

Critics have called out the Local Organizing Committee for its lack of environmentally-conscious preparation for the World Cup. The LOC says plans are on their way.

The Cities of Cape Town and Durban are the only host cities that have tabled interventions to reduce the carbon footprint of the event. Both cities have identified target areas such as transport, water, waste management, energy and climate change, and have implemented a number of actions that will mitigate these impacts.

“We have, however, been working towards a national launch of this programme, but that hasn’t happened as yet. There have been a number of problems - it has been the finalisation of the copyright assignment agreement between the designer, ourselves and FIFA,” explained LOC environment representative Ike Ndlovu to Engineering News.

He adds that the LOC is close to concluding the national launch, and that an announcement will be made soon in this regard.

...With its experience following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the German political foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), sponsored a series of eight facilitated workshops and two discussion forums with a range of experts, stakeholders and interested parties to assist the City of Cape Town and Western Cape provincial government in developing its Green Goal projects.

Three of these workshops, focusing on sustainable development principles, green building, biodiversity, landscaping and sustainable tourism were held in 2007, with two more held in early 2008 on integrated waste management, and project funding and communications. The 2009 workshops have focused on monitoring the progress of the projects.

The Cape Town Host City Action Plan alludes to the fact that a “comprehensive and integrated set of targets are being developed by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (Deat) and the LOC to assist host cities to mitigate the environmental, social and economic impacts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup”.

Copyright issues delay launch of SA's ‘Green Goal 2010’ strategy
Engineering News
April 14, 2009

Poor Johannesburg Community to Get New Soccer Field by October

As part of FIFA's World Cup legacy program, one of 27 new artificial soccer fields will be built in the Orange Farm community near Johannesburg by October.

Complete with change rooms, training lights and security fencing, the stadium will serve the youth of Orange Farm, one of the poorer communities in the south of Johannesburg.

It will have a clubhouse and an office to be used by the local football community, reports

The artificial pitch is one of 27 that are planned for townships and rural areas, at a cost of R81-million, in the legacy programme of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) and the National Lotteries Trust Fund (NLDTF).

The first nine pitches have already been approved. Ultimately, each province will have three artificial pitches located next to a school or public institution in a programme that will run over three years.

South Africa: Orange Farm to Get Soccer Pitch
April 16, 2009

Green Point Partners with Tourist Information Company for Cab Broadcasts

Soccerwires reports that the Green Point Visitors Centre in Cape Town has partnered with a company called Tourism Radio to broadcast information about the World Cup during the event to tourists in hired cars and cabs near the stadium.

In preparation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, Tourism Radio has increased production and distribution of their devices to meet the needs of the hoards of tourists visiting the country during the games. Aiming to maximise the pleasure of self drive holidays, Tourism Radio hope to be talking to over 2000 tourists a day by the time the first football is kicked off. The partnership with the Green Point Stadium Visitors Centre means that Tourism Radio is one step closer to making that hope a reality.

Tourism Radio partners with Green Point Stadium
April 2009

South Africa a 'Hotspot' for Investment

South Africa is a hotspot for investment according to Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai World, main equity partner of the newly opened One & Only luxury hotel in Cape Town.

He considers South Africa a relative investment hotspot, notwithstanding the current global economic climate. "Our strategy is to invest in high-end assets in key destinations around the world which deliver real, measurable results. Our South African portfolio is certainly performing to these criteria."

South Africa's increasing presence on the global stage, specifically in terms of sport tourism as host of the Fifa 2010 World Cup and the Indian Premier League amongst other high profile events, means that there are vast levels of demand for additional amenities for hospitality and tourism, explains Dubai World Africa Services (DWAS) managing director Mike Griffin.

'SA a property investment hotspot'
Property 24
April 15, 2009

Tournaments Bring Sport Boom to South Africa

This article looks at the sporting boom that's coming to South Africa, including the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and the 2010 World Cup.

Next year, it will stage soccer’s World Cup. This year, it is host to a tour by the British and Irish Lions rugby team, the game’s biggest event other than a World Cup. This weekend, the Cricket World Cup qualifiers come to their conclusion, while South Africa has recently seen a head-to-head contest for the de facto world championship of the sport as its team failed to displace Australia from the top of the International Cricket Council’s rankings.

All of these are scheduled events, planned well in advance. But the bonus comes over the next few weeks as South Africa stages the 2009 edition of cricket’s Indian Premier League, which starts on Saturday in Cape Town.

The eight team, 59-match tournament has been transferred from India following the inability of the cricket authorities there to agree on a schedule with the national government, fearful of the security implications of staging a major sporting event at the same time as a general election.

India Sends Its Cricket Riches to South Africa
The New York Times
April 18, 2009

Cricket Spurs Excitement, But What About 2010?

As South Africa plays temporary host to the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, some in the country are concerned that the huge crowds and high ticket sales for the event are indicators that the World Cup's Local Organizing Committee isn't doing enough to market the 2010 tournament.

Yesterday, the streets of Cape Town were lined by cheering crowds as a string of red buses paraded the IPL’s star cricketers amid the kind of hype usually reserved for World Cup victories.

The event, shown live to the nation on TV, took place just three short weeks after South Africa agreed to host the tournament. Tickets are selling like hot cakes and tens of thousands of South Africans are expected to pack the stadiums for Saturday’s opening games.

You would think that cricket, and not football, was South Africa’s number one sport.

The LOC protests that it is indeed marketing the World Cup, but the truth is that there is no hype worth writing home about.

2010 World Cup marketing hype just isn’t cricket
The Times
April 17, 2009

Nelspruit Stadium on Track

The Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit is set to complete construction on time, according to local World Cup officials.

Mbombela's world cup stadium and future sports and entertainment venue will be complete on August 31. This was the categorical assurance given by Mr Desmond Golding, deputy director general for the 2010 integrated office.

He stated that the township development plan was progressing, the surrounding roads system was on schedule and a disaster management centre would be ready by December.

...He pointed out the long-term benefits of hosting the tournament to the country as a whole, explaining that visitors would boost domestic spending. In Germany in 2006, this was equivalent to one per cent contribution to its economy. In South Korea after the 2002 event, the growth rate more than doubled from four per cent to 8,8 per cent and it is still recognised as one of the best global economies.

The local stadium is still on track
The Lowvelder
April 16, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Schools Add More Vacation During World Cup

Winter holidays for the South African school system will be adjusted to include an extra 7 days during the 2010 World Cup. Traffic congestion and school absenteeism aer cited as the major reasons for the rule adjustment.

The winter holidays, which normally last 15 days, will now be adjusted to 22 days to accommodate the World Cup in order to avoid pupil and teacher absenteeism, as well a busy transport system during the busy period.

The 2010 Local Organising Committee, along with the Transport Department, had asked for schools to be closed, citing traffic congestion as one of the reasons.

The Education Department has ensured that there will still be 195 school days in a year, as per the prescribed policy.

Long school holiday during World Cup
Independent Online
April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Department of Transport Reduces Bus Acquisition for 2010

Fewer buses will be acquired by South Africa's Department of Transport for the 2010 World Cup.

The Department of Transport has revised down its target for new buses to be acquired, or leased, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup from the original 1 422 units, to around 1 000 buses.

"Our transport business plan estimates that we need approximately 1 000 buses, of which 570 would be operated by Autopax after the World Cup, subject to approval by the National Treasury," says Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

Autopax operates the Translux and City-to-City services, and has moved from the Transnet stable to now fall under the newly-formed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

SA scales back its bus-acquisition targets
Engineering News
April 17, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Taxi Union Calls for More Control Over Cape Town's Rapid Transit Plans

Taxi drivers and their representative union want to have more control and input in the planning and operation of Cape Town's new Integrated Rapid Transit system.

The South African National Taxi Council, Santaco, says it will ask the government for a larger stake in the control of the Integrated Rapid Transit System.

The taxi body is finalising its proposal that insists taxi operators have more ownership of practical aspects of the IRT system - also referred to as the Bus Rapid Transit system - ahead of its summit on Thursday.

The City of Cape Town has maintained that while it will purchase the vehicles for the industry, taxi and bus operators will run it.

...The Western Cape Provincial Taxi Council said it would urge the government to ensure that stakeholders in the taxi industry kept control of the IRT system, one of its main components.

Taxis want bigger stake in BRT system
Cape Argus via Independent Online
April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sex Work Legalization Still on Table for Many in SA

Decriminalizing or legalizing sex workers in South Africa is seen by many as a golden opportunity to cash in on the large amount of visitors expected during the World Cup. But the idea remains controversial.

Leading up to Fifa 2010 World Cup in South Africa, there is much debate on the topic of sex work and its decriminalisation.

At the 2006 German World Cup, an estimated 3 million fans bought sex with over 40 000 illegal sex workers who entered the European country in search of work. Make no doubt about it, with fans from every continent congregating in South Africa and the region for one month of non-stop football action, commercial sex work — whether legalised or not — will record increased business.

...South African lobby group, the Sex Worker Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat) wants the country’s government to decriminalise and regulate sex work ahead of the World Cup. As current laws stand, sex workers are unable to demand their labour rights, leaving them at the mercy of brothel owners or pimps who can exploit the women by withholding wages or medical assistance, or by forcing them to work long and unrealistic hours in order to maximise on profits.

The Supply and Demand of sex Work
The Standard
April 11, 2009

CCTV Cameras Lauded as Security Solution

This column from Business Day welcomes the Local Organizing Committees plans to install more than 60,000 closed circuit television cameras in host cities. The point is to reduce crime, and this columnist thinks the cameras will play a major role along those lines.

A promise that is of great concern to me is the LOC’s commitment to install 60000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at host cities and stadiums countrywide. We are way off that target, which means safety and security authorities and metropolitan councils need to rapidly pick up the pace of their roll-out of CCTV infrastructure.

It is a fait accompli that a foreign visitor will become a victim of crime during the World Cup. Just one appalling act of cruelty by a criminal against a foreigner has the potential to utterly negate any positive spin-offs from the World Cup.

Only a few thousand additional police officers will be hired prior to the event, making SA largely reliant on electronic eyes and ears to secure the safety of our visitors next year. CCTV cameras are known to prevent all categories of crime, from petty pickpocketing to murder.

Ordinary citizens need to put pressure on the metropolitan councils , which promised to spend tens of millions of rands on CCTV infrastructure in preparation for the World Cup. The City of Cape Town, for example, said it would spend R10m on installing 24-hour CCTV cameras along the Grand Parade and the fan mile for the World Cup and R2m addressing gaps in CCTV coverage of the central business district. Do we know how far Cape Town has progressed with those plans?

CCTV vital to police 2010 crowds
Business Day
April 9, 2009

Sports Bring Flood of Cash to SA

South Africa is welcoming three sporting events in the next few months that will provide the country with a large amount of investment. The infusion of investment will bring the equivalent of 1% of South Africa's GDP within the next four months.

As the rest of the world reels from the global financial meltdown, cricket's Indian Premier League, the British and Irish Lions rugby tour and Fifa Confederations' Cup will see the equivalent of 1 percent of the country's gross domestic product unleashed in the local economy.

...Durban will be one of the main beneficiaries of the sporting bonanza.

The city's hotels are expected to be fully booked when it stages 16 of the IPL matches and two games of the Lions tour - one against the Sharks and the other a Test against the Springboks in June - and then the Springboks play the All Blacks in a Tri-Nations match in August, all at Absa Stadium.

'Sport for us has become an important tool'
Independent Online
April 11, 2009

Neighbors Volunteer to Lend Energy During Cup

South Africa's capacity to generate power will likely not be enough during the high demand period of the 2010 World Cup. Neighboring countries have volunteered to lend some of their power to South Africa during the Cup.

Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among the 12 countries that will sign an undertaking to support an emergency plan for the tournament.

Lawrence Musaba of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) is quoted saying SAPP members will make 2 000MW to 3 000MW of "emergency power" available during the World Cup.

South Africa has of late experienced power cuts as there was little energy generation.

Neighbours give South Africa electricity for 2010 WC
April 8, 2009

Cape Town Stadium Growing on Locals

Originally opposed by many in the city, Cape Town's new Green Point stadium is taking shape and generating less criticism.

It could be argued that Cape Town didn’t need a R4.5-million stadium for the 2010 World Cup. Now that it is a reality, though, it is an impressive and visually pleasing structure. The new Green Point Stadium could be one of the world’s great sporting venues if it can be sustainable after the football circus has come and gone.

It will even glow gently at night, thanks to an outer “skin” of glass fibre and Teflon, which will admit light during the day and emit a glow when the floodlights are on.

Many of the original objections of residents seem to have fallen away.

’Living in harmony with the Mountain’
The Times
April 11, 2001

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cape Town Seeks Land Use Regulations for Walls, Adult Businesses

Cape Town is considering changes to its zoning and land use laws that will prohibit adult businesses from locating in residential or business zones, and another change that seeks to standardize the walls many residents are putting up around their homes for security. Crime is a major concern for residents in Cape Town and throughout South Africa.

Capetonians will finally have their say in the City of Cape Town's much-debated Integrated Zoning Scheme, which proposes to bar all adult-related businesses from residential and business areas.

...Meanwhile, the city's boundary walls and fences project is also one step closer to becoming drafted as a bylaw, as it is expected to be handed over to the mayoral committee soon for a first draft to be drawn up.

The policy restricts city residents from erecting solid boundary walls higher than 1.8m, or 2.1m for palisade fencing. With fixtures, a wall can be as high as 2.4m, but consent has to be granted by the neighbours. A maximum height of 450mm of electric fencing is allowed, but razor or barbed wire and glass shards are not permitted in residential areas.

People to have their say over adult business
Cape Argus
April 9, 2009

SA Arts Community Looking to Cash in During Cup

Artists in and around South Africa are getting ready for the 2010 World Cup and the visitors it will bring to the country. Many are hoping to bank on the event by peddling their arts and crafts.

Fifa Media Officer Delia Fischer says there is a golden opportunity for South Africans to capitalise on the 2010 World Cup.

"European and English fans won't want to buy 2010 memorabilia, they will want to buy something African to remind them of the good time they had here," says Fischer. "South Africa must decide what it wants to show the world."

2010 art revolution brews
April 9, 2009

Sports Tourism Boom May Follow World Cup

Some are confident that South Africa's World Cup will be the start of a new boom in sports tourism -- where teams from across the world will be begging to come play in the country.

The success of the tournament will obviously also give South Africa and the rest of the continent an image makeover. This is what will obviously be key to sustainable social and economic upliftment in the longer term for the continent.

There will also be unexpected financial benefits for our soccer, I believe. Up until now, South Africa has been inviting the great teams of the world, both clubs and national teams, to play in tournaments such as The Nelson Mandela Challenge and Vodacom Challenge. However after the world cup these dynamics will shift somewhat. When the whole world sees our fabulous infrastructure, awesome sunny weather and stunning sports stadia it will be them calling us, not us calling them in the future.

The 2010 Fifa World Cup could trigger a sport tourism boom
April 9, 2001

Friday, April 10, 2009

Using Sports for Social and Economic Development

This piece from Next American City looks at sports programs around that world that aim to aid social and economic development.

Back on My Feet is part of an international trend of using sport as a means to alleviate urban problems. In 2005, the UN General Assembly declared the International Year of Sport and Physical Education to encourage the promotion and development of sports programs across the world in combating poverty, improving global health and reaching the Millennium Development Goals. That same year, the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sports (CABOS) was formed to promote “the value of sport as a tool for social and economic development” in the 53 member countries of the British Commonwealth. The 12-member board has representatives from Barbados to Malaysia and even a South African specialist in disability sport. Their 2006 advisory report points to the role sports play in providing health benefits, improving academic attainment, developing leadership skills, and creating community cohesion.

...Other urban sports programs are seeing similarly hopeful results. The Homeless World Cup, an annual, international soccer (football) tournament with grassroots football programs for the homeless in over 70 nations, reports improvements across the board in motivation, social relations, employment, housing and drug and alcohol dependency since its first game in Graz, Austria in 2003.

Taking it to the Streets
Next American City
March 31, 2009

U.S. Touts World Cup-ability

The United States is seeking to bolster it bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup by putting forward a list of 70 prospective stadia from 50 metropolitan areas for the tournament. This includes existing venues and some that are planned for development.

From the AP:
"We are not asking, as will be the case in many places around the world, for cities and states to spend millions or tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars on infrastructure or venues. Given the nature of the United States, we're not going to need to build any hotels, any highways, any telecommunications centers, any training fields or any of those sorts of things to support a World Cup. Clearly, they'll be some modifications or upgrades will be needed in some venues, but that's eight, 10, 12 years from now."

Nine stadiums were used for the 1994 World Cup in the United States, and Los Angeles and San Francisco are the areas most in need of upgraded facilities.

Gulati hopes there could be more venues in the next U.S. World Cup, especially since the tournament expanded from 24 teams to 32 for 1998.

From the NYT:
From the north (Green Bay, Wis.), south (Birmingham, Ala.), east (East Rutherford, N.J.), west (Los Angeles) and places in between (Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dallas; Salt Lake City; Baton Rouge, La.), the list is an opening salvo in an effort to show officials at FIFA that the United States has the chops to practically put on multiple tournaments simultaneously.

The extensive list also includes several stadiums that are under construction: the new Giants and Jets stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands; TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis); the new Dallas Cowboys cathedral in Arlington, Tex.

US Soccer: Plenty of time for new stadiums
Associated Press
April 9, 2009

U.S. Soccer Pitches Big Tent for World Cup Bid
Goal, the New York Times Soccer Blog
April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artificial Fields to Be Built Throughout Country

27 artificial soccer fields are planned to be built throughout South Africa over the next three years as part of a donation from the National Lottery Distribution Fund.

On Monday, at the Local Organising Committee headquarters, next to the spectacular "calabash" Soccer City which is quickly nearing completion, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund announced a donation of R81-million for the building of 27 artificial pitches.

The project will see three pitches per province and the project will be completed over the next three years.

Already nine sites have been identified for the pitches: in Gauteng, Orange Farm; Limpopo, Thohoyandou; in Mpumalanga, Siyabuswa; in North West, Moses Kotane Municipality; in Northern Cape, Upington; in the Free State, Phuthaditjaba; in the Western Cape, Grassy Park; in Eastern Cape, Cacadu; and KwaZulu-Natal, Ixopo.

Artificial pitches to be built ahead of 2010
Independent Online
April 7, 2009

Link: "Rooms being secured for 2010"

Rooms being secured for 2010
The Times
April 8, 2009

Link: "IOC says Chicago 2016 bid is 'strong'"

IOC says Chicago 2016 bid is 'strong'
Mail & Guardian
April 8, 2009

Link: "R490m shortfall sees council trim vacancies"

R490m shortfall sees council trim vacancies
Independent Online
April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bloemfontein Satdium Upgrade Complete

The upgraded stadium in Bloemfontein is now ready for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup, according to local officials. The renovation cost roughly $35 million.

The Free State stadium, which would become the home ground of the Cheetahs as well as Celtic, was upgraded from a seating capacity of 38 000 to 46 000.

It now has 100 private suites with 200 seats as well as a VIP suite which was upgraded to 650 seats. Other upgrades include a bigger media centre, parking and security features.

The chief executive officer of Mangaung 2010, George Mohlakoane, said the upgrades cost R315.5 million, while some R325 million was allocated.

The rest of the money would be used to do considerable upgrades at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, which would be a training venue for 2010.

Bloemfontein stadium ready for Confeds Cup
March 26, 2009

Column Calls for Better 2010 Preparation in Swaziland

This column from the Swazi Observer says Swaziland needs to be doing more to prepare for the crowds expected during the 2010 World Cup. The article also includes a bullet point summary of Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Macford Sibandze's action plan for 2010 preparations.

Tourism, being the most obvious industry to benefit from an international event of this calibre, was given some sort of attention, but not enough. Other sectors like transport, industry, retail, security and even the banking sector – since there will be a lot of currencies circulating in the market - have not been given much priority even though all these will be crucial during the 2010 World Cup event.
Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs Macford Sibandze has laid out an action plan for his ministry to get on board the 2010 bandwagon and make up for lost time. He notes that the country cannot afford to sit on its laurels and let such opportunity sashay by.

He says the international event, for instance, provides the opportunity to increase tourism revenue as well as to upgrade the tourism supply-side to supplement shortage demand in the industry while the widespread media exposure would enhance the region as a brand in global tourism. Sibandze says the event provides a unique opportunity for Swaziland to significantly enhance its competitiveness in the long term, so delivering a world class experience to tourists is important for the country to convert arrivals in 2010 to good ambassadors who would spread the word and further enhance the region’s brand as a tourism destination of choice.

It’s about time SD gets aboard 2010 bandwagon
The Swazi Observer
March 28, 2009

Jordaan Reassures Taxi Drivers as Transit Systems Develop

Amid concerns that taxis will be rendered obsolete by new transit systems like Johannesburg's bus rapid transit system, Local Organizing Committee head Danny Jordaan made an effort to reassure taxi drivers. He called taxis the country's "main form of public transport".

LOC CEO Danny Jordaan said he would set up a meeting with the minister of transport Jeff Radebe this week before his meeting with taxi operators presumably before the end of this week.

...The Johannesburg city centre and surrounding parts ground to a halt as thousands of taxi drivers took to the streets earlier in the week, to protest against government�s new bus system. Some of the reports emanating from the strike were that drivers were prepared to disrupt two of the world�s major sporting events in the country.

Jordaan says taxis are at the heart of our public transport system and will continue to be so, assuring the taxi associations of their role next year.

Fear not - LOC's Jordaan moves to reassure taxi operators
Sunday World
March 28, 2009

World Cup Investment Criticized as SA Continues to Struggle With AIDS

South Africa's nearly $2 billion investment in stadia is meeting some criticism, as some within the country and beyond argue that more money should be dedicated towards fighting the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. This article from New York University's student newspaper examines the criticism.

The country’s finance minister, Trevor Manuel, announced the country would allocate $1.9 billion dollars to the completion of 10 stadiums by the end of this year. He added that the government would also set up a grant to assist the host cities for this year’s Confederation Cup as well as the World Cup.

But opponents of the spending protest that some of South Africa’s problems deserve more funds than soccer. Health care professionals are leaving the country at rapid rates and the number of people affected by AIDS is rising. South Africa is among the most endangered nations in the world with regards to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Public Healthcare Issues said that in 2006, during the time of the last World Cup in Germany, HIV/AIDS was prevalent in 38.7 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds in South Africa.

...Robert Boland, a finance and economics professor in the sports management program at NYU, remains uncertain as well.

“It’s a big risk South Africa is taking. If the World Cup prospers, there is adequate possibility that the economy will improve and in turn bring in outside money for health care,” Boland said. “But it just might not work; they may never have the proper infrastructure to change the government’s inefficiency, the country’s labor problems, and the private hospital system.”

Funding for 2010 World Cup draws criticism in S. Africa
Washington Square News
March 29, 2009

World Cup May Serve as 'Catalyst' For Olympics in South Africa

Olympic Games officials have said that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could serve as a catalyst for the country to host a future Olympics.

The 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa could act as a catalyst for a successful bid for the Olympics from the continent, Olympic chief Jacques Rogge said on Monday.

..."I believe that after South Africa has organised the World Cup there will probably be other candidatures from Africa and I'm convinced that with time in the medium term, maybe a decade, there will be a possibility."

World Cup could be catalyst for African Games
Independent Online
March 30, 2009

Taxis Driving on Sidewalks in Cape Town

Traffic congestion is causing taxi drivers to make shortcuts over the sidewalk in Cape Town.

Taxis which routinely outrage other traffic by driving in the left emergency lane have gone a step further: they've started beating congestion by driving on the pavement.

In the past three weeks 25 fines have been issued to taxi drivers for driving on or over the painted island or on the pavement.

Taxis 'take over' the pavements
Independent Online
April 5, 2009

Recession Fuels Concerns Over Huge Tourist and Mixed Use Development

Some in South Africa are concerned that the economic recession will cause delays in the development of AmaZulu World, an ambitious tourist theme park, commercial and residential development planned near Durban.

Ruwaad Holdings, the financier of a R20-billion tourist development at Macambini on the North Coast, is concerned that general agreement for the project has not been signed even though a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year with the KwaZulu-Natal government will expire within weeks.

Ruwaad on Monday met an ANC task team led by Cyril Xaba, a member of the provincial legislature, to steer the AmaZulu World project forward amid concerns that commencement had been delayed.

A spectacular model of the theme park, to be built on 16 500ha of land north of the Tugela River, was unveiled in Dubai in October.

Clarity sought on R20bn tourist project
Independent Online
March 24, 2009

More information on the project:

Covering approximately 16,500 hectares of land, Amazulu World will consist of an eco-friendly first class internationally branded theme park, with Africa’s largest shopping destination, Africa’s largest lifestyle community, the country’s first dedicated education and health village, the most comprehensive and advanced sports village development in Africa, residential dwellings, hotels, spas, a marina, nature reserves and community facilities.

Estimations have thought to bring at least 200,000 new jobs to the development which will help improve the South African economy. Tourism will also be boosted by some 40% bringing millions of tourists into the area once the development is built.

The projected length of the construction is said to last 25 years.

Amazulu World In South Africa
Overseas Property Mall
October 21, 2008

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homeless Children Won't Be Cleared From Streets During World Cup

While in the past, the international spotlight was typically proceeded by an effort to temporarily rid the streets of homeless youth, South African officials are saying that this will not be the case during the 2010 World Cup.

[eThekwini municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe] said the city faced the challenges of providing services to rich international visitors as demanded by the national government and soccer governing body Fifa, while continuing to serve poor and vulnerable residents.

..."We have to use the event to our advantage to advance our economic, social and sustainability agendas. It (the World Cup) has given the city the opportunity to ramp up its investment in public infrastructure and to bring it to the poorest of the poor by building more clinics and providing social facilities," Sutcliffe said.

However, he said, while street children were a "visible" social problem, the city had the challenge of caring for eight groups of vulnerable people including the "invisible" poor.

"We have 100 000 households in the city who have no income and they contain about 500 000 family members. And there are those households living off casual labour," Sutcliffe said.

Street kids 'won't disappear' for 2010
Independent Online
April 2, 2009

Officials Say South Africa's Transportation Needs Revitalization

In a recent debate on South Africa's transportation system, government officials called for a broad revitalization efforts to get transit and infrastructure back up to the top of the policy agenda.

The country had 750 000km of road, 22 000km of rail, seven harbours and three international airports. "These are our economic lifeblood," Democratic Alliance spokesman Robin Carlisle said. "We must care for them, protect them and develop them."

Carlisle said South Africa was also a commuting nation. "Partly due to geography and mainly due to apartheid, our commuters in South Africa make the longest commuting trips in the world."

He said people depended on transport systems, which were not working as they should.

SA transport system in bad shape
Independent Online
March 31, 2009

Hotel Shortages in Angola Ahead of 2010 African Nations Cup

Host of the January 2010 African Nations Cup, Angola has invested heavily in the tournament. But now there are concerns that the country does not have enough hotel space to accommodate the 10,000 tourists expected during the event.

Angola's shortage of accommodation may overshadow the African Nations Cup next year despite the country's $1 billion efforts to build stadiums, airports and hotels, an official said on Tuesday.

"We have secured enough hotels for tournament officials and teams, but the problem will be to find rooms for the tourists that will come to our country," said Angola's deputy Minister for sports, Albino da Conceicao.

About 10,000 tourists are expected to come to oil-rich Angola during the Jan. 10-31 event but the few existing hotels are already booked months in advance and 11 new hotels being built will only accommodate a few thousand more.

Angola short of hotel rooms for Nations Cup - minister
March 31, 2009

Cape Town's Transit System A Key Point in Provincial Premiership Race

Differences over the Integrated Rapid Transit system that's being developed for Cape Town have put provincial premier candidates at odds, with each jostling for mutual ground with the taxi operators that are opposing the IRT.

Premier Lynne Brown and Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille have held yet another meeting to iron out their differences over the Integrated Rapid Transit system and the conflict over it with taxi operators.

The two women are candidates to lead the province after the April 22 election, and this has led to accusations that each is using the fallout from the National Taxi Alliance's stiff resistance to the IRT to gain political capital.

Brown, Zille 'ready to move on IRT'
Independent Online
April 2, 2009

60,000 Transit Workers Threaten Strike Over Wages

Transit worker unions are threatening a countrywide strike of more than 60,000 people if demands for wage increases are not met.

The South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) said about 60 000 workers, including 30 000 Satawu members, would participate in the strike.

"The critical issue here is the minimum wage which is very low," Satawu spokesperson Tabudi Ramakgolo said.

Strike could cripple public transport system
Independent Online
April 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Port Elizabeth Begins City Center Redevelopment with Mandela Walkway

Planners in Port Elizabeth have started construction on the first of a series of civic development projects in the city center as it prepares to host the 2010 World Cup.

The first in a series of multi million rand projects to upgrade the Port Elizabeth city centre, one of which includes a walkway to celebrate the life of former president Nelson Mandela, started this week, a city manager said on Friday.

..."This walk will also celebrate the city as an art gallery and will use murals and other street art lining the entire route to showcase the area's cultural history," Sapere said.

The first phase of Port Elizabeth's upgrade will cost R25-million and will be completed in time for the 2010 soccer World Cup.

PE ponders Mandela Walkway
Independent Online
March 27, 2009