Thursday, May 21, 2009

Out for two weeks on vacation. Back in early June.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Qatar Calls 2022 Bid A Bridge Between the West and Arab Countries

Qatar has begun publicizing its 2022 World Cup bid, calling it an opportunity to bridge the west and the arab world.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, president of the Qatar 2022 bid, launched the process in front of a 50,000 sell-out crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha for the Emir Cup Final.

He said: "Qatar 2022 is a bid on behalf of the whole region.

"The first global sports event in the Middle East provides an opportunity for greater understanding and unity between the Arab and Western worlds and can inspire enthusiastic support from football fans young and old across the entire region.

Qatar launch bid for World Cup to unite the world
May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BRT on Schedule, According to Radebe

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe says the nation's bus rapid transit system is on track.

The infrastructure for the bus rapid- transit (BRT) public transport system is on track and going ahead unabated, said Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

He added that the Reya Vaya phase one in Soweto, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth was on schedule.

“The route from Soweto to Johannesburg will be completed in time for the FIFA Confe- derations Cup next month. The taxi industry has been involved in the implementation of the BRT system from inception and government believes that the industry is the nucleus of the BRT system,” said Radebe at a media briefing in Johannesburg.

He noted that the main issue on hold for the BRT system to become operational was the convening of another meeting with the taxi industry to finalise the operational company – as soon as the new African National Congress-led administration had an opportunity.

BRT will not lead to loss of jobs, taxi profit, Minister assures
Engineering News
May 15, 2009

Europe Favored for 2018, 2022 Up for Grabs

A look at the bids for the 2018 and 2022, which this piece suggests is really more of a contest for 2022.

Very few people within the game believe that the finals will not return to Europe in 2018 for the first time since Germany '06. That leaves the rest of the world to scrap over '22.

Significant shifts may well occur before the May 2011 deadline for final documentation, depending on attitudes within FIFA to co-hosting and Olympic awards -- Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo go head-to-head in October for the '16 Games.

Nations prepare to duke it out for 2018, 2022 World Cup host bids
Sports Illustrated
May 14, 2009

Weed Market Grows in Zimbabwe in Anticipation for the World Cup

This piece from the Mail & Guardian looks at the growth of the cannabis market in Zimbabwe, and the farmers who are hoping to benefit from the World Cup crowds.

In fact the dagga problem is so serious that it's even starting to interfere with the country's education system. Learners in some parts are said to be abandoning their studies so that they can guard their parents' dagga fields. Everyone wants to ensure that there is a good supply for 2010.

Northern Swaziland's mountainous terrain is the perfect spot to grow illegal crops. The "farmers" penetrate deep into the valleys and it's not easy for trespassers or unwelcome guests to get close.

Even the police find it difficult to deter the "farmers". There have been numerous raids and crop sprayings, but they have had little success.

While most of the dagga -- known as Swazi gold -- is sold to local users, there are reports of it being smuggled into South Africa, the rest of the Southern African Development Community region and overseas.

Green gold grass of home
Mail & Guardian
April 25, 2009

SA Economy Predicted to Rise 2.5% in 2010

The South African economy will rise 2.5% in 2010, according to Rand Merchant Bank senior economist Ettienne le Roux.

Speaking at the Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (Seifsa) annual conference, he said that these so-called shock absorbers would allow the country’s economy to recover by next year, growing by about 2,5%.

“A 2,5% growth rate is not exceptional, but it is indeed not a bad performance considering the severity of the global downturn that is impacting on us,” he said at the conference in Johannesburg.

The government had implemented a flexible and competitive rand exchange rate, counter cyclical fiscal policies complemented by falling inflation rates, as well as infrastructure spend, as shock absorbers.

However, these measures would not prevent Africa’s largest economy from entering a recession, Le Roux said.

South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1,8% in the final quarter of 2008, and soon-to-be-released first-quarter GDP figures will indicate whether the country is in a recession.

SA’s economy could grow by 2,5% in 2010 – economist
Engineering News
May 14, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Host Cities Adopt FIFA By-Laws During Event

World Cup host cities have agreed to adopt FIFA by-laws under which they must conduct themselves during the World Cup, which include strict rules governing the public areas in and around stadia. Drinking from glass bottles, spilling liquids are among the actions prohibited.

SOUTH Africans living in cities hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup matches and training areas may not spill any liquid on the ground, consume liquids from glass or use abusive and objectionable language in public open spaces.

In the vicinity of the stadiums, residents may not spill or drop any substance that may cause danger or harm to Fifa officials or players; use abusive language; “lie, stand, congregate or walk in a manner” that causes obstruction to Fifa officials; or tout a driver of a car for the “purpose and pretext” of watching over the vehicle.

These prohibitions are contained in the 2010 Fifa World Cup by-laws passed by the host cities and towns recently published in terms of the Municipal Services Act.

Hardcore by-laws for World Cup host cities
The Weekender
May 9, 2009

National Parks Hopeful for Visitation Bump During World Cup

Parks officials are expecting visitation to jump during the World Cup, and are working with a concessionaire to handle most of the hotel bookings for national parks facilities.

About 15 000 additional visitors to national parks during the 2010 soccer world cup should generate more than R50m in revenue, said a top parks official on Monday.

2010: Boom time for parks
May 11, 2009

Port Elizabeth Called On To Beef Up Tourism Efforts

Local Organizing Committee chief Danny Jordaan is calling on Port Elizabeth locals and officials to try to make the city as attractive to tourists as possible to make sure that it is included in trip itineraries no matter which teams end up playing in the city's stadium during the World Cup.

“Either way, with the global recession, fans will likely be planning much more carefully. So cities will have to mount focused campaigns, aimed at those countries whose teams are coming to Port Elizabeth, and at highlighting what makes the city special – so that they get as many of the visitors as possible.

The policy of Soccer World Cup organising body Fifa is that these things can only be tested properly in a match situation, so each local organising committee has been advised to secure three or four big matches prior to June next year, he explained. Mandela Bay has already secured two of these matches, so Fifa is happy.

Mandela Bay must go all out to draw soccer fans during Fifa World Cup, says Jordaan
The Herald Online
May 14, 2009

Hotel Boom to Precede World Cup

In preparation for the crowds expected during the World Cup, developers are building a new hotel in the casino district of Johannesburg.

The hotel, to open before the rest of the development next May to benefit from the 2010 Soccer World Cup, will be third on the property after the three-star 246-room SunSquare and five-star 179-room Palazzo hotels.

Montecasino to get a R700m development
Business Day via Project2010
May 8, 2009

Human Trafficking Concerns Prompt Action

Groups in South Africa are trying to beef up efforts to prevent human trafficking related to the tourism boom expected during the World Cup.

WITH the 2010 Soccer World Cup around the corner, rights groups such as the East London-based Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre are gearing up to battle the scourge of human trafficking that is expected in the country.

“South Africa and the Eastern Cape, in particular, have been reported by the International Organisation for Migration, as a hotspot. They also predict that it will escalate leading into the (2010 soccer) World Cup next year. “With poverty being so rife in our province, the promise of education, jobs and money makes it easy for traffickers to lure women into their prostitution rings,” said Foster.

Tackling trafficking
Daily Dispatch Online
May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fuel Pipeline to Reduce Truck Traffic, But Cut Through Farms

A fuel pipeline being built between Durban and Heidelberg is hoped to reduce truck congestion on local roads, but clearing the right of way will disrupt many rural farming communities along the path of the 555km pipeline.

Durban motorists frustrated by the number of trucks on the city's roads are set for some relief, with Transnet promising that fuel tanker traffic will decrease by 60 percent.

The decrease will be felt after the completion of a R12,7-billion multi-fuel pipeline between Durban and Heidelberg in Gauteng.

However, farming communities in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly at KwaMakhuta and Umbumbulu, could have their crops damaged or be prevented from planting to accommodate construction of the 555km pipeline. Homes will not be affected and no community will be relocated.

This is according to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the project. The report states that all people affected during construction, which is expected to be completed by December 2011, will be compensated.

Relief for Durban motorists
The Star
May 11, 2009

Youth Group Starts Litter Cleanup Program in Johannesburg

A group of Johannesburg youth is embarking on a citywide cleanup project to sweep the streets of litter. The group says the problem is too big for the city to handle alone.

The group of about 700 young volunteers, organised by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, has embarked on a massive clean-up campaign under the banner “New Vision for 2010.”

They want to ensure that Johannesburg, and its surrounds are spotless during the biggest sporting event to be held in this country.

The spokeswoman for the group, Nametso Mofokeng, said the volunteers were hoping that soccer lovers and tourists would be greeted by a ‘ ‘clean and fresh host city”.

‘‘Litter is a big problem in the city centre and young people are eager to make a difference,” said Mofokeng.

‘‘The city [council] is trying its best to clean up, but the problem is too big. That is why we are coming on board.”

She said the project wanted to recruit more than a thousand people, plus the homeless and hawkers.

Big Joburg clean-up for 2010
The Times
May 11, 2009

Agreement Made Then Altered in Johannesburg Bus Strike

The Johannesburg bus driver strike over pay scales continues, dragging into its second week. Depsite an preliminary agreement between the Metrobus representatives and the bus drivers union, Metrobus is trying to amend the deal to make it more affordable.

A bus driver strike in its second week will leave commuters stranded once again on Monday as parties continue to try and thrash out a wage agreement.

Metrobus spokesperson Kenney Kutu said the union accepted a proposal by the mediator last week but it still needed to be refined.

"Samwu [SA Municipal Workers' Union] leadership accepted the proposal, and we did not reject it. But we came up with another offer which we believe we can afford," said Kutu.

...This month's strike has been peaceful so far, but no Metrobuses are running because the company said it could not guarantee the safety of drivers standing in for the striking workers.

Joburg commuters stranded
Independent Online
May 11, 2009

Train Crash Adds to Transportation Safety Concerns

Transportation safety is an increasing concern across the country, as a recent train collision near Pretoria left 200 passengers injured.

A statement from the Railway Safety Regulator said an accident investigator had been sent to the scene for a preliminary investigation into the cause.

"The RSR will conduct a full investigation on this incident. We remain deeply perturbed by the prevalence of these incidents which place the lives of commuters at harms way," the body said.

It added that an urgent meeting with senior executives of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), the parent company of Metrorail had been agreed upon.

Trains collide, scores left injured
Independent Online
May 8, 2009

Using Soccer World Cup Developments to Fuel Rugby World Cup Bid

Looking to piggyback off the development and infrastructure related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South African Rugby Union (Saru) President Oregan Hoskins is hoping to lure the either the 2015 or 2019 rugby World Cup back to South Africa, where the event was held in 1995.

"The government has been very supportive and they have provided the financial backing to allow us to complete what we believe is a compelling case to bring the Rugby World Cup back home," said Hoskins.

"South Africa in this day and age is set up to host the very biggest global sporting events and we believe we would offer rugby an unrivalled showcase for the game.

...Mark Alexander, bid Committee chairperson and Saru deputy president, said the newly refurbished 90 000-capcity Soccer City in Johannesburg would be the venue for the opening and final matches of any South African World Cup and other new stadiums, as well as existing rugby stadiums, would be used.

"South Africa is spending billions on upgrading our infrastructure and on venues to host the Fifa World Cup next year and the legacy of that tournament offers rugby an incredible opportunity to put on a spectacular tournament in ideal conditions," said Alexander.

SA Rugby Union bids for World Cup 2015 and 2019
Mail & Guardian
May 7, 2009

Road Deaths Highlight Challenges for Pretoria

Car crashes have brought a one-week road death toll up to 14 in Pretoria, where road dangers are proving to be a major challenge for transportation planners and officials.

A motorist was killed and 11 people injured when a taxi driver, allegedly overtaking a car outside Pretoria, crashed into two cars and another taxi before bursting into flames.

The smash brings the number of people killed on the city's roads to 14 in the past week.

Crash causes city's 14th road death in a week
Pretoria News
May 7, 2009

Mauritius On 2010 Tourism Bandwagon

Mauritius has joined with other Southern African countries to try to beef up efforts to draw tourists during and after the 2010 World Cup.

Mauritius has teamed up with the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ to join Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and hosts South Africa in a top line-up of accommodation providers. The initiative, which was announced today (10 May) on the occasion of the 2009 Tourism INDABA in Durban by Honourable Xavier Luc Duval, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Leisure and External Communications, Dr. Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee and Jaime Byrom, CEO of MATCH (FIFA's servicing partner for accommodation), forms part of FIFA's and the Organising Committee's objective to host an African World Cup and make sure that the entire Southern African region benefits from the global football showpiece.

Mauritius joins Southern African countries gearing up for 2010
May 10, 2009

Indonesia is Serious About 2022 World Cup Bid

Football fever is Indonesia makes it a perfect prospective host, according to the country's football federation as it prepares its bid for the 2022 World Cup. Plans include 7 new stadia, and upgrades to five additional stadia.

Despite its lack of success on the field, the world's most populous Muslim nation would be an ideal host and a serious rival to world football's heavyweights, said Nugraha Besoes, general secretary of the country's football federation.

"This bid is no joke, we've been planning it for a long time - this is a serious bid," Besoes told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Asian Football Confederation's annual congress.

...He said Indonesia had gained valuable experience as a co-host of the 2007 Asian Cup when packed stadiums and fights for match tickets showed there was massive support among the country's 226 million people.

"There have been some negative signals from outside Indonesia about this bid, doubting we can be hosts, but people are crazy about football here," he said.

Australia, England, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States have bid for both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, along with two joint proposals from Belgium and the Netherlands and Spain and Portugal.

South Korea, Indonesia and Qatar have confirmed their interest in hosting the 2022 finals.

The Indonesian bid pledges seven new stadiums and major upgrades to five existing venues, with matches held in 11 different cities across the sprawling archipelago, including in Banda Aceh, a region once roiled by decades of conflict.

World Cup 2022 bid no joke, insists Indonesia
May 8, 2009

Durban's Tourism Boom

Durban is undergoing a tourism boom, with the Indian Premier League rugby tournament, the recent Indaba African travel trade show and the upcoming World Cup.

More than 13 000 delegates are expected for Indaba
Africa's biggest travel trade show - which will officially open tomorrow at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

Major hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments in the city are fully booked.

The IPL was forced not to schedule matches in Durban over the next week because of Indaba. Together, the two events have resulted in the city crawling with local and international tourists, including several sports and Bollywood stars.

Tourism bonanza hits Durban
The Mercury
May 8, 2009

Taxi Drivers Remain Opposed to BRT Plans

Opposition to bus rapid transit remains strong amongst taxi drivers and their unions, mainly over concerns that the new system will cause job losses.

Braam de Jong, Putco's senior operations executive, said while government was of the view that the BRT system needed to be put in place to allow South Africa to break down outdated barriers, taxi operators would hold the country for ransom if was put in place.

"Protests, strikes, disruptions, violence, war and bloodshed... would bring the economy to its knees.

"Taxi operators have warned if BRT is implemented... It will cast a shadow over 2010 [the Fifa soccer world cup being hosted in SA 2008)."

...BRT in Gauteng was set to operate to Orange Farm, Sebokeng, the Johannesburg CBD, Soweto, Lenasia, the OR Tambo International Airport, the West Rand, Sandton, Sunninghill and Fourways.

BRT: 'Bus industry's future in jeopardy'
Independent Online
May 7, 2009

Cape Town to Stop Irrigating Green Point With Drinking Water

Cape Town has announced a "green" plan to irrigate the city's World Cup stadium, opting to use non-potable spring water to irrigate the stadium and the nearby Green Point park, as opposed to the drinking water that had been used in the past.

The City of Cape Town has approved a R15 million "green" project to irrigate 2010 Soccer World Cup stadiums, an official said on Thursday.

After several green options were considered the city decided to use underground spring water for irrigation, said Alderman Clive Justus, mayoral committee member for the city's utility services.

"The final report identified the use of underground spring water from a few natural springs situated above the Molteno Reservoir in the city bowl as being the most favourable solution," he said in a statement.

...Until now, the Green Point Common, which includes the Metropolitan Golf Course, had been irrigated with pure drinking water.

"However, in keeping with the objectives of the 2010 World Cup Project - which also includes the reconfiguration of the Green Point Common - the need to reduce the long-term demand on potable water to irrigate the area was identified at an early stage."

Cape Town soccer stadiums go green
Independent Online
May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Link: Joburg spruces up for big soccer games

Joburg spruces up for big soccer games
Independent Online
May 6, 2009

Link: 2010 will benefit South Africa: survey

2010 will benefit South Africa: survey
Independent Online
May 6, 2009

Link: Bus drivers waiting for new wage wage offer

Bus drivers waiting for new wage wage offer
Independent Online
May 6, 2009

South African Police Invest in Mobile Units and Crime Robots

High-tech mobile police units will be stationed outside of each stadium during the World Cup, according to South African law enforcement officials, who are investing heavily in crime prevention technologies, including robots.

The first of 10 motorised units, said to be worth millions, arrived in the country last week.

They will be stationed outside stadiums and manned by senior police officers on match days to monitor how many people enter the stadiums, traffic conditions in the area, crime and general surveillance, said Senior Superintendent Vish Naidoo, spokesman for the police's 2010 unit.

He confirmed that police had recently bought the first unit, and would take delivery of three more before next month's Confederations Cup.

..The units form part of the police's R650 million procurement drive for 2010 and beyond, which also includes water cannons, specialised helicopters and bullet-proof vests.

After 2010, the units would be used for crime prevention and for other major events, said Naidoo.

Apart from the mobile command units, police have also bought remote-controlled robots to fight crime during the tournament.

There are eight remote-controlled vehicle-tracking robots in the country, each costing about R2.5m, with another eight expected to be delivered later this year.

The robots, imported from the US, are used to detect and defuse bombs.

Each comes with a 12-gauge shotgun and hi-tech sensors.

Mobile units will give police an edge in 2010
cape Argus
May 5, 2009

Obama's Chicago Roots May Help City Win 2016 Olympic Bid

President Barack Obama's cachet and Chicago roots may play a big role in securing the city as the host of the 2016 Olympics, according to Spain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Juan Antonio Samaranch Junior. But, he says, it will take more of a show of support than a simple photo op.

By mentioning the former leaders of Britain and Russia and linking them to the success of the bids for London 2012 and Sochi 2014, Samaranch made it clear that he believes it will take even Obama more than a photo and a couple of handshakes to get Chicago the Olympics.

At the IOC Assembly in Copenhagen on October 2 -- in the presence of Obama but also of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Spain's King Juan Carlos among others -- the 115 members of the committee will only be really moved by clear support for the bid, complete with full state backing and plenty of cash.

'Obama factor' might give Chicago Olympic edge
Mail & Guardian
May 5, 2009

Johannesburg Bus Strike Enters Second Week

Johannesburg's public transit system is still in shambles as a strike of bus drivers enters its second week.

Union officials described meetings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as a "waste of time" but Metro Bus spokesman Kenney Kutu was hopeful of a breakthrough on Monday.

SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) Gauteng branch secretary Dumisani Langa said if meetings on Monday did not yield any results, the union would call for a solidarity strike by all its members.

Bus strike enters second week
Independent Online
May 4, 2009

Weather Not Likely A Delaying Factor for Green Point Stadium

Despite concerns over a wet and windy winter, construction on Cape Town's Green Point Stadium is expected to complete on time.

Contractors building the multimillion-rand Green Point Stadium are bracing themselves for a few months of heavy rains and gale-force winds, seven-and-a-half months ahead of the deadline to complete the World Cup venue.

That's according to Andrew Fanton, project manager of the Green Point Stadium construction site.

...Parts of the 68 000-seater World Cup stadium's glass roof were fitted on Thursday and it is expected to be completed by September.

Thereafter, the grass pitch, which is being grown on a farm in Stellenbosch, and the stadium seats will be installed.

Fanton said the stadium's internal finishes, which include the VIP suites, boardrooms, change rooms and bathrooms, will be completed by July, and the external facade by August.

Winter threat to Green Point stadium
Cape Argus
May 1, 2009

FIFA Pushing for Stricter Security Preparations

In the wake of a deadly fan crush that claimed 19 lives at a March World Cup qualifying match in Ivory Coast, FIFA officials are working with national security officers for workshops on ensuring security as World Cup qualifying events and during the final tournament. This security initiative was implemented in 2006, largely in response to the looming 2010 World Cup in crime-addled South Africa.

Fifa's stadium and security committee this week also confirmed the dates for the Fifa national security officers' workshops, which are expected to be held in each of the six soccer federations, starting next month.

The committee's chairperson, Junji Ogura, of Japan, said the workshops would start in Cairo next month and end in Miami early next year.

The workshops formed part of Fifa's global security concept, said Ogura.

The global security concept was established by Fifa in 2006, and was introduced to improve security at stadiums to be used for the 2010 Fifa World Cup qualifying rounds.

Ogura said the workshops would involve the national security officers from each of the participating countries, confederation security officers, as well as members of Fifa's stadium and security committee.

"A core focus will be on the implementation of Fifa's safety regulations, which have been in operation since January 1, 2009," said Ogura.

2010 stadium security thrust into spotlight
Cape Argus
April 30, 2009

SA Acquiring More Buses Ahead of 2010

Buses and public transport are cited by Transport Minister Jeff Radebe as a major compnent of South Africa's preparations for the 2010 World CUp. Acquiring and leasing buses and coaches for the event is expected to pick up in the year leading up to the event.

In addition, Government is putting a guarantee of R 1.4-billion for the purpose of acquiring 570 buses.

A total of 110 general spectator buses, 168 semi-luxury coaches and 292 Intercity buses will be acquired for the World Cup.

Mr Radebe explained that an additional 260 buses will be leased from the industry, 250 for general spectator services and 10 semi-luxury coaches, bringing the total fleet to 830 for the 2010 bus and coach services to be provided by government.

He said a critical component of South Africa’s transport preparations for the World Cup was the provision of transport infrastructure, but most importantly the provision of the various modes of public transportation.

MAN, Mercedes to supply 2010 buses, coaches
April 29, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

$5 Billion to be Invested in Police Force for 2010

According to this piece, South Africa will be investing $5 billion in its police force for security during the 2010 World Cup. Officials want to make sure the event is safe for visitors, 350,000-400,000 of whom are expected to come from the United States.

South African police have trained at US sites, some with FBI support, to prepare for the World Cup. Nhlapo continued, “We do have some challenges. There are special police training for the challenges we know we’re going to face. We’re trying to cover all the areas and needs.”

South Africa will spend five billion dollars to help ensure 200,000 police officers on duty for the World Cup, helping safeguard teams as well as visitors. US interest in 2010 World Cup tickets ranks only behind the United Kingdom, South Africa tourism officials said, just as Americans moved past Germans to become the second-largest group among the nine million yearly tourists.

...Sthu Zungu, South Africa Tourism’s US regional president, said more than 10 million global visitors are expected next year with 350,000 to 400,000 of them coming during the World Cup and each spending on average about $1,000.

South Africa to welcome many Americans in 2010
The Real Footie Analyst
April 29, 2009