Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gautrain Tunneling Pushes Project Forward

Progress on the Gautrain regional rail project near Johannesburg is moving ahead, as a critical tunnel nears completion.

[W]ith just one press of the button the blast would take down the hewn wall and open up the 15,5km tunnel between Park station and Sandton, making one continuous conduit that has taken three years to construct.

The tunnels came from opposite directions - one was en route from the Shaft E2 site in Rosebank, while the other came from the Park station site.

Gautrain tunnel becomes one
The Star
October 14, 2009

Blackouts and Energy Loss a Concern During World Cup

Energy company Eskom is assuring South Africans that there will be no power outages due to increased demand during the World Cup. The economic recession and rising mineral prices have many concerned about outages and economic losses as energy demands rise sharply during the World Cup.

Officials at the parastatal energy giant Eskom say they are confident they will not have any blackouts during the matches, which kick off on June 11 and run for one month.

But South Africans have sharp memories of nationwide power failures in January 2008, which shut down the critical mining sector, hobbled factories and left cities plunged into darkness for days.

Strain on the electricity supply eased as the global recession sapped mining orders and cut demand for power from the energy-intensive industry.

Eskom answers 2010 power concerns
October 11, 2009

Nation Perceives Transit Progress, Cape Town Remains Skeptical

Though many parts of the country seem comfortable with South Africa's progress on updating public transit services, Cape Town residents are much more skeptical about the development. Congestion is consistently mentioned in surveys as one of the city's most pressing problems.

Since 2005, the HSRC's South African Social Attitudes survey has asked respondents aged 16 and older about their perceptions around next year's World Cup.

Last year the national Department of Transport asked for the inclusion of specific questions on road congestion and public transport services.

Since 2005, respondents in Cape Town have consistently identified congestion as a key concern. The Review article says that 82 percent of Cape Town residents agreed that roads would be "severely congested during the World Cup".

Scepticism about 2010 transport
Cape Argus
October 7, 2009

Testing Cape Town's New Stadium

A soccer match, a rugby match and a mass prayer will serve as test events for Cape Town's new Green Point soccer stadium. The events will gradually build up the amount of attendees to see how well the stadium handles the crowds, and how its operators will react to game-day audiences.

The city and the Sail Group, part of the consortium which is to manage the stadium, are trying to hold a mass event which will fill the stadium but be gentle on the turf - so are considering a cultural or religious event.

It is hoped that the final full dress rehearsal will be a mass prayer gathering. It will aim to fill the stadium to capacity.

This will be the final chance to test access and egress routes for the 68 000-strong crowd - as well as everything else from the public address system and lights to turn-styles and barcode scanners.

World Cup: Stadium put to the test
Cape Argus
October 6, 2009

SA to See Immigrants as Economic Opportunities

Long seen as a threat to the local economy, immigrants are now being regarded as an economic opportunity in South Africa, which is hoping to build on the increasing in-migration related to the upcoming World Cup and its business potential.

Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba outlined the new policy in Johannesburg yesterday, at the regional launch of the United Nations Development Programme 2009 Human Development Report.

Titled "Overcoming barriers; human mobility and development", the report urges all governments to regard migrants as potentially good for the development of their host and home countries.

Immigrants 'not a threat'
Cape Times
October 6, 2009

World Cup Boosting IT Development

The 2010 World Cup is having a major influence on the development of South Africa's information technology industry, according to economists.

Walker said IT growth up to 2010 will be driven by initiatives arising from the Fifa 2010 World Cup soccer tournament. Up to 2012, the engine will be government infrastructure projects.

After that, commercial demand will return when, according to the International Data Corporation, the economy will have recovered. In addition, better access to broadband will encourage new applications. And after 2013, new technology will drive the market.

IT gets nice slice of the pie
October 5, 2009

Olympic Hopes Lost, Japan Still Eyes World Cup

Tokyo recently lost its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, but Japan still has its sights set on hosting either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

The JFA had planned to use the proposed 100,000-seater waterfront Olympic stadium had Tokyo won the 2016 Olympic vote. Yokohama, venue for the 2002 World Cup final, has Japan's biggest stadium with a capacity of 70,000.

JFA president Motoaki Inukai wants Tokyo -- which did not host matches at the 2002 tournament -- to stage the World Cup final.

Japan plans World Cup bid despite 2016 failure
October 5, 2009

Green Point Stadium 1 Rand Lease Deal Irks Locals

The city of Cape Town is on the verge of sealing a deal with a French-South African consortium to lease the 4.5 billion Rand ($610 million USD) Green Point soccer stadium. Under the proposed agreement, the company would only have to pay 1 Rand per year to lease the stadium, unless it is able to clear a profit. Many assume the stadium will likely be profitable, but others are concerned that the high public price tag is being gambled.

Despite fears that the venue will become a costly white elephant after the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the city is pushing ahead with a controversial deal with a French-South African consortium. The city hopes to receive a 30% share of the after-tax profits of the SAIL Stadefrance Operating Company.

If the operator does not make a profit, however, the city will recover just R1 a year in rent while spending millions more on maintaining the stadium. To be viable, the building will have to host between 20 and 40 events a year.

Rent row hits stadium
City Press
October 4, 2009

40,000 Stadium Stewards Planned for World Cup

More than 40,000 people will be trained to serve as stadium stewards during the World Cup. They will be charged with controlling crowds and ensuring safety in the stands, which has been an issue at many stadia over the years.

The new stewards are not security officials, but marshalls deployed to assist with the management of crowds. They do not fall under the provisions of the Private Security Regulatory Act, so do not have to be registered with a security service provider.

40 000 stewards training for 2010
Cape Argus
October 2, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stadia on Track for Completion Q1 2010

After FIFA inspections of South Africa's World Cup facilities, organizers have confirmed that all stadia are on-track for timely completion before the 2010 World Cup.

A 50-member delegation from Fifa and the local organising committee (LOC) inspected the five newly built stadiums over the last six days.

The team comprised experts in competition broadcasts, media operations, medical and transport logistics, and protocol.

The competitions chief for the LOC, Dereck Blanckensee, said preparations were on track for all stadiums to be completed within the first quarter of 2010.

SA stadiums on track for 2010 World Cup
Mail & Guardian
October 1, 2009

Mexico Bows Out of 2018, 2022 World Cup Races

Citing concerns about its economy and the country's internal infrastructure needs, Mexico has withdrawn its bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

"The decision is based on two factors, the world economic situation and the investment needs in (our own) infrastructure and (that of) third parties,"' Femexfut general secretary Decio de Maria said.

Mexico withdraw from race for 2018 and 2022
September 30, 2009

Cape Town Invests in Extra Insurance Policy

Cape Town is expecting to take out an additional insurance policy of 300-500 million Rand ($42-67 million USD) to protect itself from any liability and damages during the 2010 World Cup.

The 2010 local organising committee and Fifa already have coverage for the event. It is reported that Fifa has taken out cover worth $640m (about R4.672bn) against the possible abandonment of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup finals, in South Africa and Brazil respectively.

Cape Town to get extra insurance for 2010
Independent Online
September 30, 2009

Transit Expanding, Playing Big Role in 2010 Plans

Buses and trains are seen as playing an important role in the country's operations during the 2010 World Cup, according to Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele. With new bus rapid transit systems opening, expansion of bus lines and the creation of the Gautrain regional rail system in Gauteng Province, public transportation is being dramatically expanded ahead of the World Cup

Government has bought at least 570 of the luxury buses and they will be managed by the Passenger Rail Management Association (PRMA) and Autopax, a company that is responsible for the Translux fleet.

Ndebele said the joint venture will not only allow fans to travel "in style" but will in the long run boost the country's transport system as the buses will be sold back to the private sector after the world cup.

Busses, Trains to Play Major Role in 2010
September 30, 2009

Zuma Backs Expansion of Police Power

President Jacob Zuma has come out in support of amendments that would expand police powers ahead of the 2010 World Cup. The changes would allow police to crack down much harder on violent criminals.

Alongside the proposed amendment to Section 49, government is also in the process of strengthening the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD).

Zuma said the strengthening of this directorate is an important measure to ensure that changes to Section 49 are not abused, adding that legislation to this effect will be introduced in due course.

Zuma Supports Amendment to Strengthen Hand of Police
September 29, 2009