Tuesday, June 30, 2009

With Eyes on Woprld Cup, London U-Turns on Temporary Olympic Stadium

Officials in London are backtracking on a much-touted plan to build the city's 2012 Olympic Stadium as a semi-temporary structure, and are now considering a plan to make the stadium a permanent fixture. The move is part of an effort to help England secure World Cup hosting duties in either 2018 or 2022.

The move signals a drastic u-turn on the original legacy plan for the Olympics, which envisaged the stadium as a semi-temporary venue which would be converted into a smaller, 25,000-capacity sports school and athletic ground in ‘legacy mode’.

According to the Evening Standard, [legacy chief Baroness] Ford said she was convinced the ‘beautiful’ stadium could pay its way as an all-year ‘visitor attraction’ and become part of London’s ‘iconic offer’.

As a result, stadium designers Populous - formerly HOK Sport - could be asked to rework the scheme which is already well under construction.

The original plan for post-Olympics adaptive reuse had received critical acclaim, as many other Olympic hosts have struggled to make use of Olympic structures after the event is over. The new move to make the stadium permanent could make major waves in London's legacy plan, which had envisioned the Olympic campus becoming a mixed use residential and parks district after the games.

Stadium faces redesign in drastic London Olympic rethink
The Arhcitects' Journal
June 29, 2009

Taxi Industry Can't Claim Legal Right Over BRT Routes

The taxi industry had claimed last week that because it developed routes along which the country's new bus rapid transit system would run, it owned the intellectual property rights and should therefore be the rightful owner of the new BRT system. However, legal experts counter that claim.

"Transport routes do not constitute subject matter which can be termed intellectual property," said Herman Blignaut, partner at intellectual property specialist Spoor & Fisher.

On Tuesday, the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) said it wanted full ownership of the BRT system because it had developed the routes the BRT system was targeting.

'Taxis have no legal rights'
Independent Online
June 24, 2009

Soccer in South Africa in Photos

This collection of photos from The Boston Globe's The Big Picture photo blog shows soccer in South Africa. Most shots are of kids playing, and some are a bit on the cheesy/rose-colored side, but they offer a nice visual display of the sport in the country.

Soccer in South Africa
The Boston Globe
June 24, 2009

Soccer City Coming into Form

The brand new Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg is nearing completion. It will be the biggest stadium on the continent.

Costing R3-billion, the 94 000-capacity stadium is distinctive, resembling a huge calabash -- a hollowed-out gourd used as a cooking pot or water carrier throughout Africa.

The calabash has inspired the colouring of the orange and brown membrane that surrounds the stadium, while a ring of lights will illuminate the bottom of the building, simulating fire underneath the pot.

When it is completed later this year it will be the biggest soccer stadium in Africa.

'Spectacular' stadium will light up World Cup
Mail & Guardian
June 25, 2009

Brazil Cautions Itself About Overspending for 2014

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has expressed concern and warning about the country's upcoming 2014 World Cup hosting duties, calling on planners to not overspend and to focus on creating projects and investments that will have a long-term use and viability after the tournament.

His caveat this week came a day after Jerome Valcke, the general secretary of Fifa, said officials were concerned that infrastructure built for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa would become "white elephants".

"We're going to hold the World Cup in 2014 and we shouldn't go overboard and spend what we don't have," the Brazilian president said.

Fifa have approved 12 cities to host games in 2014 and all of them must build new stadiums or refurbish older ones.

2014 World Cup costs a cause for concern
The Star
June 25, 2009

Crimes at Confederations Cup Bolster Security Concerns

Reports of crimes and security breaches during the recent Confederations Cup have bolstered the concerns of many who fear South Africa's high crime rate will be a blight on the upcoming World Cup. Officials, however, downplayed the recent crimes, which included some teams being robbed, journalists being mugged, and fans being forced to pay bribes to corrupt police.

Deputy security minister Fikile Mbalula downplayed concerns on Monday, saying the incidents were isolated and did not constitute any "major breach of security."

Crime threatens to mar Confed Cup
The Times
June 23, 2009

The Development of Green Point Stadium

Pitch Invasion offers this look at the current state of development at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium. Post includes some great pictures and some video.

Green Point Stadium will host eight games at the 2010 World Cup, including a semi-final, and will have a capacity of 68,000 at a cost of R3 billion (approx. $400M). It is being constructed on the site of the now demolished old Green Point Stadium, an 18,000 capacity stadium home to both Santos Football Club and Ajax Cape Town.

World Cup Stadia 2010: Green Point Stadium
Pitch Invasion
June 23, 2009

Taxi Drivers Call for Full BRT Ownership

Representatives of South Africa's minibus taxi industry are demanding full ownership over the new bus rapid transit systems being developed.

"Government must allow the taxi industry to own BRT in its entirety," National Taxi Alliance secretary-general Alpheus Mlalazi said at a press briefing in Johannesburg.

The taxi industry had developed the routes the BRT system was targeting, he claimed.

BRT: Taxi industry demand ownership
Independent Online
June 23, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Durban Bus Closure to Cause Commute Woes

The closure of a bus system in Durban is expected to create transportation troubles for commuters in the city for at least two months.

With the shutdown, thousands of children will now face the dangerous prospect of travelling in taxis, being dropped off far from school and crossing dangerous intersections in peak traffic.

Many of them will be forced to walk long distances or miss classes.

On June 1, beleaguered bus service operator Remant Alton contacted the eThekwini Municipality to say the firm could not continue operating the service from the end of that month, citing financial difficulties and the non-payment of subsidies.

Dead end for Durban bus service
Sunday Tribune
June 21, 2009

Mozambique Legalizes Gambling Ahead of 2010

The government of Mozambique has eased gambling laws in hopes of capitalizing on visitors to neighboring South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.

The law, which passed unanimously, reduces the investment required to open a casino from 15 million dollars (10.6 million euros) to eight million dollars, Noticias newspaper reported.

It also legalises electronic gambling and slot machines outside casinos, and transfers regulation of the gambling industry from the finance ministry to the tourism ministry.

Mozambique loosens gambling laws
The Citizen
June 18, 2009

Polokwane Stadium '78% Complete'

World Cup officials in Polokwane say the brand new Peter Mokaba Sports Complex is on track to be complete in September.

"The work dealing with concrete and bricks has been completed. We are now left with two major things, placing the 45000 plastic seats and working on the pitch." said Polokwane World Cup director Ndavhe Ramakuela.

"The roof which was ordered from Japan and assembled in Johannesburg is the final stages."

Peter Mokaba Sports on track
The Sowetan
June 18, 2009

Par-and-Ride System Blasted By Fans

Attendees at a recent Confederations Cup game in Johannesburg expressed complaints over the park-and-ride systems set up to transport people to the stadium.

“The park-and-ride system on Wednesday was horrendous to say the least, because there was a lot of pushing around among fans who were looking for transport and buses to shuttle them back to the various transport hubs,” said one caller.

Angry fans slam park-and-ride fiasco after Egypt-Italy game
The Citizen
June 21, 2009

SA Considering Legalizing Prostitution

There are concerns in the country that the 2010 World Cup will result in an increase in human trafficking for sex work, and officials are warming up to the idea of legalizing prostitution to reduce this threat. But with a high rate of AIDS/HIV in South Africa, some critics say the move is a bad idea.

Legal experts have already suggested proposals to legalise prostitution, saying police would be freed to focus on serious crime instead of petty vice - a position that has won support among some police officials.

S.Africa mulls prostitution law
The Straits Times
Jun 22, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Premonition of 2010, Hotels Squeezed as Rugby Fans Come to Town

Concerns about South Africa's hotel industry being able to accommodate the large amounts of tourists and spectators visiting during the World Cup are seemingly justified, as crowds visiting the country for a rugby tour have pushed some cities' hotels beyond capacity.

Hotels in Durban, which hosted the first Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions, sold out weeks ago, forcing some supporters to take rooms two hours away or more. Many have opted for shortened weekend breaks during the Test series and one enterprising fan has even booked a one-day round trip.

More than 30 000 fans have travelled to South Africa for the Lions tour, but that figure will be dwarfed by the influx of football fans next summer.

Lack of accommodation remains one of the chief concerns for World Cup organisers, who have been forced to reserve hotel rooms in neighbouring countries.

SA may struggle to find room for World Cup fans
Mail & Guardian
June 21, 2009

Transit Bogged Down During Confederations Cup

Transportation in the four host cities of the Confederations Cup has been a challenge due to crowds and delays in the development of public transit systems.

Johannesburg was supposed to have a new rapid bus system in place for the Confederations Cup, but the all-powerful minibus taxi industry, fearing for its market share, put the brakes on the project. The first phase of the bus-rapid-transit (BRT) is now only due for completion by September.

Confed Cup still dogged by transport difficulties
Mail & Guardian
June 19, 2009

Neighboring Namibia Hopes to Host World Cup Teams

Namibia is hopeful that it will be able to attract and play host to national teams coming to the region for the 2010 World Cup.

It is a well-documented fact that properly prepared countries bordering the host nation normally benefits economically from events of such magnitude with the inhabitants through their government and other stakeholders the chief beneficiaries of such ventures and comparative advantages.

Namibia to Benefit from World Cup Pitfalls
New Era
June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

15,000 KM Fiber Optic Line Brings Faster Internet to SA

A new fiber optic data transmission line running 15,000KM from France to South Africa is set to begin operating at the end of June, bringing faster Internet access.

Costing more than R5-billion and spanning several continents, the 15 000km fibre-optic cable that runs under water from France via East Africa to Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, promises lower broadband costs and faster data transfer.

A faster, cheaper internet on way to SA
Independent Online
June 14, 2009

Johannesburg Train Station Upgraded Ahead of 2010

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has completed renovations on the Doornfontein station in Johannesburg, one of many stations being upgraded in anticipation of the World Cup.

It has access for passengers with special needs, CCTV cameras, a lengthened and resurfaced platform, and an area for retail and commercial activities. The project forms part of Prasa’s multi-million rand national station upgrade programme.

This will involve the refurbishing of the station network around the country for the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.

...New stations are being built at Moses Mabhida in Durban, Windermere in Cape Town, and Rhodesfield in Johannesburg.

Upgraded R77m train station unveiled
Independent Online
June 11, 2009

KwaZulu-Natal Hosts Public Viewing Areas

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government has invested 20 million Rand (~$2.5 million) to set up four public viewing areas where locals can watch Confederations Cup games.

The province will host public viewing areas (PVAs) at four key districts in the province to give people a taste of the Confederations Cup excitement.

Entry to the PVAs is free.

Big screens for Cup action
The Sowetan
June 11, 2009

Green Point Stadium to Cost Four Times Original Estimate

The Green Point stadium in Cape Town is expected to cost taxpayers 4.4 billion Rand (~$534 million) -- more than four times the original cost estimate.

The City of Cape Town still needs R570-million to pay for it.

The price of the stadium - the biggest single cost of hosting the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town - has increased by almost R1bn a year from its initial estimation of R1.2bn in February 2006.

It has even exceeded the maximum estimate of R4.18bn which an assessment of alternative stadium sites in July 2006 determined a new stadium would cost.

South Africa, are we ready?
Independent Online
June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Security Buffer Zone Spreads Around Stadia

Security concerns related to South Africa's high rate of violent crime have caused police and FIFA officials to create a 1KM-radius security zone around stadia used in the Confederations Cup. Anyone trying to get into the stadia will pass through a metal detector. Assigned seating is also seen as a security move, mainly to protect spectators from overcrowding.

The assigned seating is meant to prevent overcrowding or the risk of a stampede and, unlike at local matches, nobody without a ticket is allowed to enter the stadium grounds.

About 8 000 police officers are deployed for the Confederations Cup, which is also being hosted in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Rustenburg.

SA tightens security around Confed stadiums
Independent Online
June 17, 2009

Children a Focus of Labor Trafficking Concerns

Human trafficking for sex work and general labor is being cited as a major concern for South Africa in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup. A recent report from the US State Department on human trafficking lauds South Africa for its work preventing sex worker trafficking and prosecuting violators. The reports calls for more focus on protecting laborers, especially children.

The report recommended that the South African government pass and enact the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill and implement the Children's Amendment Act of 2007.

Children must be protected during 2010 - US
Independent Online
June 17, 2009

Cape Town's World Cups Costs Drop

It will cost the City of Cape Town 11 million Rand (~$1.35 million) to play host to the 2010 World Cup, according to officials. This estimate is down from a previous total of 30 million Rand (~3.68 million).

The money will come from a R20m provision for 2010 operating expenses on the council's 2009/10 budget. In addition, the city must ensure it has public liability insurance of R300m in place during the event.

Hosting World Cup draw to cost Cape Town R11m
Cape Argus
June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Security Concerns Draw Extra Police at Confederations Cup Stadia

With security arrangements not set up by the Organizing Committee until two weeks before the Confederations Cup, the South African Police Service has stepped in with an additional 800 officers to provide security services at three of the four stadia used in the tournament.

The Mail & Guardian has established that 300 extra police officers were deployed at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg where the opening match between South Africa and Iraq was played on Sunday. Another 250 officers were deployed at both the Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg and at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

This is in addition to the 8 000 police officers already providing “national security” services to the tournament.

Confed Cup security headache
Mail & Guardian
June 16, 2009

Police Demand Bribe From Reporter

This post from a Reuters sports reporter recounts a run-in with local police in Sandton City who pulled the reporter over, offered driving directions and then demanded payment.

I told them I had a very reliable SatNav. They told me it was useless and I would get lost. Only they knew where my hotel was and after giving me directions asked me for their money.

“Where are our dollars or pounds, sir ?” they asked in a more threatening manner.

I gave them their cash and they let me go.

Mind how you go, sir — a lesson with the South African police
June 15, 2009

Poor Attendance Highlights Confederations Cup Ticket Pricing Concerns

World Cup organizers are voicing concerns about poor attendance numbers so far at the first games of the Confederations Cup, running June 14-28. One game saw its stadium only half full. Some argue the ticket prices are too expensive for most working class South Africans.

The cheapest ticket for a group match in the Cup is R70 (~$9) - more than half a labourer's average daily earnings. After that, the prices climb threefold to a minimum R210 (~$26).

Asked whether Fifa would consider lowering prices for upcoming games, Mkondo said: "It was mentioned in some quarters. It is an issue that the organising committee and Fifa will look at."

Organisers mull how to fill Cup stadiums
Mail & Guardian
June 15, 2009

Western Cape Looks to Play Home Base to 10 Teams During World Cup

Officials in the Western Cape province are hoping to attract 10 of the 32 World Cup qualifying teams to make the province their home base during the tournament. Attracting teams is seen as a good way to also attract tourists.

Teams would stay in places like Paarl, Stellenbosch, George and Knysna. Golf resorts would be ideal because they were secluded and had high security.

Teams could attract a large fan following and more bookings at hotels, guest houses and camp sites.

'Make the province your base'
Cape Argus
June 13, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Webcams Offer Live View of Stadium Progress

This great post from Marc Forrest shows feeds from webcams monitoring construction progress at six World Cup host stadia. The following stadia are shown:

-Soccer City, Johannesburg
-Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
-Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
-Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth
-Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
-Peter Mokaba Complex , Polokwane

This is a very cool way to see how things are coming along. Refresh the page for the most up-to-date images.

2010 FIFA World Cup Stadium Webcams
June 12, 2009

SA Has No Plan to Prevent HIV/AIDS in Visitors

With no HIV/AIDS prevention plan in place for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to visit South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, health advocates are calling for new efforts to prevent the spread of disease. With officials also considering loosing laws to allow sex workers during the event, many are concerned about the high rate of HIV increasing.

The South African Law Commission is studying proposals to legalise sex work as experts warn of an influx of women trafficked for prostitution ahead of the World Cup, but it will be at least three months before it releases its findings. A meeting of stakeholders was also called last week by the South African National Aids Commission to discuss health-related preparations for the World Cup.

...Jonathan Berger, of the Aids Law Project, said the lack of preparation was "of concern" with the tournament kick-off scheduled for 9 June 2010. More than £800m has been spent on state-of-the-art stadiums and infrastructure projects since South Africa won its World Cup bid in 2004. Yet the country's HIV and Aids prevention and treatment programmes remain a shambles, amid overspending by the Department of Health, a shortage of drugs and an exodus of underpaid health professionals.

New calls to tackle Aids risk ahead of 2010 World Cup in South Africa
June 7, 2009

BRT Postponed in Johannesburg

Amid protests from the taxi industry, the City of Johannesburg has delayed implementation of its citywide bus rapid transit system until August. The system was planned to be in operation by June for the Confederations Cup soccer tournament, but conflicts between the government and angry taxi drivers resulted in the postponement.

Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for transport, Rehana Mosajee says the BRT project had been on schedule until the decision was made due to ongoing consultations with the taxi industry. About 500 Johannesburg taxis will take part in transporting soccer fans during the Confederations Cup, which begins next week.

This was revealed by the City of Johannesburg at the media launch of "iTransie 2 Ellispark." Taxi drivers and 77 buses will ferry fans to Ellis Park. South African ratepayers having already forked out R1 billion for the BRT system, must now pay R10 million for Plan B.

More than 400 taxi drivers will be paid by the City for their services as all the rides to the stadium will be free. The city insists all the drivers will be trained and the taxi industry says this training is already underway. Drivers will have their criminal records and their vehicles' roadworthiness checked.

JHB shelves BRT on eve of Confed Cup
The Voice of the Cape
June 5, 2009

Cities Considering Extra Insurance for World Cup

Host cities in South Africa are grappling with the question of insurance during the 2010 tournament and whether more should be acquired.

SA’s Fifa host cities have to decide whether to take out extra insurance to the tune of hundreds of millions of rand to boost their cover for some of the risks associated with the 2010 soccer World Cup.

Cities are grappling with the choice of making do with the cover of their existing insurance and that provided by the Fifa Local Organising Committee (LOC), or taking extra cover.

The City of Cape Town is not taking any chances. It is arranging for extra insurance cover of between R300m and R500m, says the city’s head of risk & underwriting, Chris Greenway.

Do we have World Cup covered?
June 5, 2009

Taxi Industry Wants Full Control of BRT System

The taxi industry says it will accept nothing less than full control over the bus rapid transit system the government has been planning for its urban areas.

The South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) has made its position clear: the industry is not prepared to accept the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in its current form. Either the government gives it control of the proposed transport system, or it continues to rule the roads with its taxis. There is no middle ground.

The threats from the taxi industry should not be taken lightly. This is not the first time its survival has been challenged, and since the minibus taxis appeared in 1977, it has successfully stared down opposition at every turn.

In the driving seat
Sunday Tribune
June 14, 2009

Cape Town's Green Point Stadium Developing into 'Great Beauty'

A reporter ventures inside Cape Town's Green Point stadium, one of the new stadia being built for the 2010 World Cup. Inside the as-yet-unfinished stadium, the reporte finds much to like.

A number of cranes are still stationed around the perimeter as the glass "roof" is still being installed.

Although 30 percent of the work is still to be completed, the stadium is a work of beauty.

I look up and walk in a small circle, marvelling at the architectural and engineering feat. From outside the stadium has sexy curvy lines reminding one of the Atlantic Ocean which it overlooks.

From a distance it looks to me like a large sailor's hat, which is rather apt for Cape Town being a port city.

Green Point stadium's a thing of great beauty
Cape Argus
June 13, 2009

Cape Town Moves Ahead with Green Plans

Cape Towne is moving along with the implementation of its 2010 Green Goal action plan -- a series of projects aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the World Cup.

Consisting of 43 projects with specific targets, the aim is to leave a positive environmental legacy after the event. The World Cup's carbon footprint is expected to be bigger than any other major sporting event.

"The carbon footprint is going to be much higher than the previous world cup in Germany for various reasons, including the long distance flights that people from other countries need to take to South Africa," said Green Goal manager Lorraine Gerrans.

Green project goals on track
Cape Argus
June 11, 2009

IRT Has Taxi Industry in a Fit

The Integrated Rapid Transit system planned for the Western Cape has sparked a major controversy between transport officials and the taxi industry. Further progress on the system could mean riots and violence from the taxi industry.

There is also no clear indication whether the first phase of the IRT system, the nucleus of the 2010 transport network, will be implemented in time for the World Cup. But the government says it is confident that the plan will go ahead.

Rocky road to 2010 for Cape Town
Cape Argus
June 11, 2009

England's 2018/2022 Bid is No Sure Thing

This post from SoccerLens looks critically at England's bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup and argues that despite many factors enhacing the country's chances, the bids are not a guarantee.

Perhaps one could say: “We haven’t had a World Cup since 1966, so it’s about time for it to come to our shores again, surely?” Not necessarily. Perhaps FIFA will continue in the same vein as they did with Japan and Korea and with South Africa and allow a smaller nation to hold it. Qatar’s bid could be a bit of a darkhorse in this respect, and should not be overlooked.

I do not want to put a downer on things, but the England bid’s chances do appear slimmer when considering all of that, don’t they? But England more than stands up with its competitors in all the respects listed above.

England 2018 & 2022: Let’s Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves
June 10, 2009

Much Rides on SA's World Cup

The stakes are high for South Africa during the World Cup. Many within the country and beyond see it as a "make or break" situation.

The World Cup will be the biggest sporting event ever held in Africa. The continent's future reputation and chances of holding more mega-events -- with the huge investment that they bring -- will hang on its success.

...But failure in the month-long tournament, which begins on June 11 next year -- especially if there are major incidents of violence from South Africa's notorious criminals -- will have the opposite effect, proving the dire predictions of naysayers who include South African whites still sceptical of black rule.

2010 World Cup crucial for Africa
June 9, 2009

SA Investing in Safety Measures, But Crime Concern Persists

Crime in South Africa is being called the central concern as the country prepares for the crowds expected during the 2010 World Cup beginning next June. About $162 million will be spent on special police and security measures near World Cup venues throughout the tournament. But despite the effort, South Africa's crime statistics have many in the international community worried about the country's ability to maintain safety.

About 50 people are murdered a day -- more than in the United States, which has six times South Africa's 50 million population. There were officially 36,190 rapes in 2007-2008 and 14,201 carjackings, but many crimes go unreported.

Crime is central problem for 2010 World Cup
June 9, 2009

First 2010 Stadium Complete

The first newly built stadium planned especially for the 2010 World Cup has completed construction in Port Elizabeth.

Eight 2010 games, including a quarter final and a third and fourth place play-off, will be hosted at the city's 48 000-seater Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.

The new ground hosts the touring British and Irish Lions rugby team on Tuesday when they will play a local Southern Kings Invitational side.

Ribbon has been cut at first 2010 stadium
June 7, 2009

Durban Work Progressing On Time

World Cup development is moving ahead on track in Durban, according to this piece.

Construction work is moving apace across the city, most noticeably around the Moses Mabhida Stadium, King Shaka International Airport and at Warwick Junction, where two new flyovers are being built.

But cast your eyes away from the main centres and you'll see massive work at World Cup training venues in Umlazi, KwaMashu and Clermont - three projects which municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe described as "mini sports precincts" and are expected to cost about R300-million.

Durban is reaching its goal
Sunday Tribune
June 7, 2009

Durban Projects Moving Ahead on Schedule

World Cup development is moving ahead on track in Durban, according to this piece.

Construction work is moving apace across the city, most noticeably around the Moses Mabhida Stadium, King Shaka International Airport and at Warwick Junction, where two new flyovers are being built.

But cast your eyes away from the main centres and you'll see massive work at World Cup training venues in Umlazi, KwaMashu and Clermont - three projects which municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe described as "mini sports precincts" and are expected to cost about R300-million.

Durban is reaching its goal
Sunday Tribune
June 7, 2009

Taxi Operators Threaten to Kill Over BRT Sytem Demands

Radical members of the taxi industry have threatened lethal violence if their demands to operate the planned bus rapid transit system set to begin service in urban areas are not met.

Speaking before Thursday's meeting between Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele and the government-recognised South African National Taxi Council about the urban bus system, the National Taxi Alliance (NTA) says it is prepared to die for its demands, "and we will kill anyone who gets in our way".

"We will turn Cape Town into another Baghdad. We know how and we have the means to do it," Mvuyisi Mente, the spokesperson for the Western Cape branch of the NTA, told Weekend Argus last week.

'We'll turn Cape town into another Baghdad'
Cape Argus
June 7, 2009

'Poor' Roads Costing SA Drivers Billions

Poor road conditions are reported to cause more than 20 billion Rand worth of damages to South African drivers, with more than half of the nation's 754,600 KM roads in "poor" condition.

The Financial and Fiscal Commission says the state of roads continues to decline, even though spending has increased. While the international benchmark stipulates that a maximum 10 percent of a country's total road network could be allowed to be in "poor" or "very poor" condition, in South Africa the figure is 60 percent.

Crumbling roads are costing us billions
Saturday Star
June 6, 2009

Taxi Industry Fighting Carpools

The Taxi industry in Diepsloot is trying to stop carpooling by requiring owners of cars used for carpooling to register with the taxi association.

Residents in Diepsloot who want to use their cars in lift clubs have to get permission from the local taxi association. If they don't, their passengers risk being yanked out of the car and forced to take a taxi.

Taxi drivers want end to car pools
The Star
June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Construction Work Drives Wildlife Indoors

Infrastructure and construction projects in urban areas are driving snakes into homes in search of nesting places, according to this report.

ReptiRescue, an organisation that responds to snake alarms in Gauteng province, where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located, says the upheaval caused by the upgrading of roads, airports and stadiums is driving snakes from resting places.

In the past two months alone, ReptiRescue has had to catch 24 snakes in the Johannesburg area, an unusually high number for winter, when snakes are usually less active.

Last winter, the organisation only had three such cases.

Snakes and ladders on the road to 2010
Independent Online
June 4, 2009

Nine SA Sites Chosen for Fan Parks, Neighboring Botswana Left Out

Botswana will not play host to any sanctioned fan parks during the 2010 World Cup. However, the country is not prohibited from setting up less formalized public viewing areas.

There were hopes that Botswana would have some fan parks during the month-long football jamboree, the first to be hosted in Africa.

"There will only be nine fan parks in South Africa. Botswana will not be able to host fan parks, but instead public viewing areas would be applicable here" Moopeloa said.

Fan parks are designated areas where fans can go and watch soccer matches live at public screening. The concept became popular during the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany. An estimated 20million fans thronged fan parks while the figure of supporters who went to the stadium was three million.

What would be considered for Botswana, are Public Viewing Areas (PVAs) and the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is in contact with FIFA and other stakeholders in South Africa regarding the viewing facilities.

No 2010 fan parks for Botswana
Mmegi Online
June 2, 2009

Backup Plan To Ensure Transport During Confederations Cup

Despite concerns and troubles related to the taxi industry's opposition to bus rapid transit plans, a backup plans has been set up to ensure the operation of public transport in Confederations Cup host cities during the tournament, according to Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele.

These preparations included infrastructure development at airports, roads, the rail sector and traffic management.

Ndebele said he had been briefed about the bus rapid transit (BRT) system and and had met with the teams of the BRT implementing cities of Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth to discuss the government's further talks with the taxi industry to ensure successful implementation.

Country's transport plans get the nod
The Star
May 29, 2009

Gautrain Project '60% Complete'

The rapid rail link connecting Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport and the rest of the region is apparently 60% complete, according to officials. The phase expected to be complete next June may be accelerated to meet demand during the 2010 World Cup, which will begin in early June 2010. The entire project won't be complete until around 2011.

The first phase is still scheduled to be up and running by the end of June next year, although it may be accelerated to wrap in May, in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The decision on this is still pending.

The initial phase encompasses the rail network between the OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton, and includes the stations at OR Tambo, Rhodesfield, Marlboro and Sandton, together with the depot and operations control centre located near Allandale road, in Midrand.

The second phase, being constructed concurrently, will be completed in 54 months, towards 2011.

Gautrain project 60% completed
Engineering News
May 29, 2009

Projects On Time in Cape Town

Cape Town construction projects are reportedly moving forward on schedule.

Multi million rand projects designed to take Cape Town to the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup spectacular and beyond are at their final stages of completion. These include the impressive new Central Terminal Building at the Cape Town International Airport, the Green Point and other Stadia, upgrading of the local roads network and eight new city hotels.

Cape Town's 2010 and beyond projects reaching completion
May 26, 2009

Fiber Optic Plan Edges Forward in Cape Town

Plans are moving ahead in Cape Town to set up a citywide fiber optic cable telecommunications system. The city also plans to purchase existing networks from telecom providers as part of the $50 million project.

City of Cape Town CIO Andre Stelzner says the negotiations are proceeding, with the main objective being the reduction in the digging up of public roads and pavements in laying these cables.

...Stelzner says he expects the negotiations, including the settling of the prices to be paid, to be completed within a month.

The second phase of the project is to meet the city's 2010 Soccer World Cup commitments. This includes the laying of fibre-optic cabling around fan sites and areas that will be the most frequented by tourists during the period.

CT's fibre-optic project on track
May 25, 2009

Entrepreneur Kicks Off Community-Based Job Creation Plan

A South African entrepreneur is hoping to set up a countrywide network of community-run co-ops that would add about 21,000 jobs to the economy.

John Eschenburg, the founder of ReaGile iHs, which aims to establish franchised cooperatives in each township in South Africa, explained that it was aiming to roll out about 1 200 cooperatives, consisting of a cinema unit, a mini police station and a mini clinic across the country.

The units would broadcast films and sports events at a fee. However, five big screens mounted outside the facility would also broadcast free educational material and sporting events, such as the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Each cooperative, which would employ about 21 people and be owned and managed by community members, would be run on a franchise basis, without the members having to pay franchise charges.

Community project to take 2010 soccer World Cup to townships
Engineering News
May 22, 2009

Host Cities Selected for 2014 World Cup in Brazil

12 host cities have been selected for Brazil's 2014 World Cup.

There were no real surprises as Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo were given the go-ahead to stage games in the tournament.

Seventeen cities had submitted bids and Belem, Campo Grande, Goiania, Rio Branco and Florianopolis were the five to miss out.

The selection covered all the main regions of Brazil and results in a tournament which will require plenty of long-distance travel for teams. The South American country is the fifth biggest in the world by geographical size.

... FIFA had originally wanted just 10 venues for the finals but were persuaded by the Brazilians to allow two extra ones.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said there was an enormous amount of work to be done in the coming five years.

"There is not a single city ready to host a World Cup game today or even in six months time," said Valcke.

FIFA names venues for 2014 World Cup in Brazil
The Guardian
May 31, 2009

SA Police Receive Riot Control Training From French

In order for local police forces to prepare for the 2010 World Cup, French police have come to Nelson Mandela Bay to train officers on crowd and riot control.

NELSON Mandela Bay police officers are being trained by French officers on crowd management and control in preparation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said yesterday that the training was being conducted by French police officers, who had come to South Africa to provide skills to local personnel.

French officers train local police on crowd control
The Herald
June 1, 2009

Joburg BRT System Still Needs Ticket Operator

Johannesburg's new bus rapid transit system is coming online. The first part of the system is expected to be operational in time for the Confederations Cup soccer tournament that begins June 14. Though a request for bids has been released, no firm has yet been selected to operate the system's automated ticketing capability.

The City of Joburg mayoral committee member for transport Rehana Moosajee recently announced the BRT system will be “completed on a sufficient scale to serve the needs of the Confederations Cup”. Moosajee stated the BRT fare system – which forms part of the intelligent transport system implementation – would be available in time for the Confederations Cup.

The cashless, prepaid, electronic ticketing system was supposed to enable the BRT system to transport 69 300 passengers per day, but this number could decrease if the tender is not finalised.

The first phase of the project is set to cost R2.5 billion. Phase 1A of the BRT was supposed to be in place by May to support the Confederations Cup. Phase 1B is scheduled to be completed by the next May, in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The first phase is set to be completed by 2013 and the whole system will be fully deployed beyond 2020.

BRT e-ticketing delayed
June 1, 2009