Friday, February 26, 2010

Cape Town Releases World Cup Transit Plan

The City of Cape Town has released its World Cup public transit plan. Certain services will run for free, while many will carry longer hours.

The plan envisages trains, buses, minibus taxis and metered taxis ferrying tourists to and from the airport, the Cape Town stadium and public viewing areas, and on an inner-city loop.

On match days, fans holding World Cup tickets will be able to travel to and from the stadium for free from more than 25 park-and-ride centres across the city, from as far afield as Strand.

Cape reveals plans for 2010 transport network
Cape Times
February 26, 2010

Officials Warn Against Exagerrations

South African officials are calling out the news media for soliciting controversial statements to exaggerate the safety issues of the country.

Zille said it was important not to "pump up" international fears, and mentioned the recent attack on the Togolese football team during the Confederations Cup in Angola as an example of how perceptions could go wrong.

"They don't differentiate between countries," she said, adding that she herself had been on the receiving end of journalists "trying to squeeze alarming statements" out of her.

'Watch out for World Cup scare-mongering'
Cape Argus
February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Introduction to South Africa's World Cup Stadia

This piece offers a brief description of each of the World Cup stadia.
Our World Cup stadiums
Independent Online
February 25, 2010

Zuma Confident About World Cup's Long Term Legacy

South African President Jacob Zuma is promoting the long-term physical legacy of the 2010 World Cup, promising that the event will bring about a major countrywide improvement to the nation's infrastructure.

In an interview with the UK's Financial Times published on Thursday, Zuma said the government planned to invest more than R800 billion in infrastructure after the soccer tournament finished, as Africa's largest economy continues to expand economic activity.

The development programme for the next three years will include power stations, roads and dams.

Zuma hopes to build on World Cup momentum
February 25, 2010

Fake Bus Crash A Test of City's Disaster-Readiness

A mock bus crash was created in Pretoria to test the city's readiness and ability to deal with disasters during the World Cup.

Staff at the British High Commission in South Africa, along with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials in London, FIFA and local police took part in the demonstration.

Mock bus crash in Pretoria used to make sure preparations are on track for 2010 World Cup
February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anti-BRT Faction Expected to Protest

Factions opposed to the expansion of bus rapid transit are expected to join protests over services, according to the Gauteng Department of Community Safety.

Sedibeng, which incorporates Sharpeville, was rocked by service delivery protests this week, with a councillor's house burned down, cars stoned and at least 13 people arrested.

Matshikiza said the police would react severely if infrastructure, including the BRT, was threatened.

Gauteng warns of BRT protests
Independent Online
February 24, 2010

Tourism Ministry to Investigate Price Hikes During World Cup

Tourism officials are pledging to crack down on any local businesses and hotels caught inflating prices ahead of the World Cup.

Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the South African tourism minister, said: "In recent weeks we have noted allegations that accommodation establishments in the tourism industry are not responsible, and are inflating prices excessively.

"Until now, our impression has been that this is not the case, but we believe it should be investigated and the results of the investigation made public."

An internet search found that a room at a midrange hotel near Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport that would cost R1,145 (£95) on a typical weeknight will be at least a third more expensive during the Word Cup. The investigation follows an inquiry into airlines for alleged price collusion.

South Africa hotels investigated over World Cup price rise claims
February 24, 2010

South African Team's Home Base Move 'Embarrassing'

As World Cup teams finalize their home base selections for their stay in South Africa, the host nation has been forced to make a last-minute switch to a new facility due to construction delays.

Hosts South Africa, who were due to use Esselen Park as their base, had to change after the president of the South African Football Association (Safa) Kirsten Nematandani found the proposed venue unsuitable as it was run-down.

The team will now stay in the Southern Sun hotel in Graystone Drive and train at a local high school.

Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe earlier in the week described the situation pertaining to the Bafana base camp as "embarrassing".

Host's change of camp 'embarrassing' - Safa
Independent Online
February 24, 2010

See the full list of World Cup team home bases:
List of team bases for World Cup
Independent Online
February 24, 2010

Construction Concerns Spark Controversy Over England World Cup Team Camp

Controversy has erupted in England and South Africa, as reports about incomplete construction at the selected England World Cup team's home base Phokeng, Rustenberg.

At a media conference at Sun City with 19 team coaches, Valcke and local organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan on Tuesday tried to reassure the media that the England team camp was almost complete and already had people staying in the hotel.

The English press reported this week that the England base camp was little more than a construction site, with only half of the 72 rooms ready, the pitch not yet built and the medical centre nothing but cement and bricks.

LOC pictures tell half the story
Independent Online
February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FIFA Official Admits South Africa Has Hard Work and Little Time

Jerome Valcke, secretary general of FIFA, admits that there is a lot of work to be done to get South Africa ready to host the World Cup, and that finishing the work may require some overtime work.

"At this stage, we couldn't play the opening game. That's a fact. At this stage, we have 700,000 tickets still to sell, at this stage I can make a list of things that aren't ready for the World Cup. We have 108 days - it seems short, it is short, but even if we have to stay awake all night, every day, we will be ready by the time of the World Cup."

FIFA: World Cup couldn't start tomorrow
February 23, 2010

Nation's Top Cop Says World Cup Will Be Safe

National Commissioner Bheki Cele, South Africa's top police official, says the nation will remain safe during the World Cup, despite fears about its high rate of crime.

"One thing I would never do is to deny that there is crime in South Africa, especially violent crime," Cele said.

But he said crime was decreasing, a point independent researchers also have made. The South African Institute of Race Relations said in a study last year that the number of murders and the rate per 100,000 have declined steadily since South Africa held its first all-race elections in 1994.

The institute, however, said the South African public still believed crime was worsening.

South Africa's top cop on World Cup
Independent Online
February 23, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Struggles Continue for Johannesburg BRT

The New York Times takes a look at the struggles facing Johannesburg's bus rapid transit system -- both in terms of operation and local opposition.

The new Bus Rapid Transit systems planned for South Africa’s major cities in recent years have promised to ease those hardships by providing fast, affordable, dignified travel on bus lanes cleared of other vehicles.

Prodded by a national commitment to improve public transportation for soccer’s 2010 World Cup, Johannesburg is carrying out the nation’s most ambitious program. The city predicted that buses would be rolling from Soweto, where a quarter of the city’s four million residents live, to Sandton, the region’s commercial and financial hub, by June.

A Bus System Reopens Rifts in South Africa
The New York Times
February 21, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amid Funding Trouble, Officials Say BRT Will Survive

Funding troubles are threatening the stability of South Africa's foray into bus rapid transit systems in its major cities. Officials say they will do whatever they can to avoid its collapse.

"The ongoing insufficient funding is a major concern. BRTs are mass transit network projects needing sustainable funding for 10 to 20 years - we will not allow it to collapse," acting Transport Department director general George Mahlalela said.

He was addressing a packed SA Bus Operators Association (Saboa) conference in Pretoria, on the progress made in the introduction of integrated public transport networks in the country.

"It (BRT) is a better experience in many ways and interventions need to be put in place to deal with the funding matter."

BRT will not collapse - transport department
Independent Online
February 18, 2010

Local Businesses Upset Over High Alcohol Permit Fee

New alcohol permitting rules set to take effect during the World Cup place a high price on selling alcohol anywhere tournament matches are being broadcast. The permit fee is 50,000 rand (~$6,600 USD). Local business people are not happy about the cost.

According to the "2010 Soccer World Cup Liquor Policy" any "public viewing event" where matches are broadcast to an audience - "general public or otherwise" - will need the special licence to sell alcohol.

The legislation would affect anyone hoping to benefit from the World Cup by attracting people to watch games and drink anywhere "other than a private dwelling".

World Cup booze plan fury
Pretoria News
February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Personal Economic Situation Not So Bad, According to Survey

South Africans are reportedly more happy with the way their personal economic situations are playing out, and many of them believe that their personal financial situation will continue.

A new Ispos Markinor Survey released this week found that more than 46percent of South Africans believed their personal economic situation would improve in a year’s time, compared with 42percent in November 2008.

Ipsos Markinor political analyst Anneke Greyling said: “Despite tough economic conditions, South Africans are slightly more positive about their personal economic conditions compared with a year ago.”

South Africans upbeat about economy
February 17, 2010

Cape Town Luxury Hotels Booked Nearly Solid for World Cup

Luxury accommodations in Cape Town are almost completely booked during the World Cup.

The Cape Times surveyed a number of establishments in the greater Cape Town area. Results showed high-end hotels to be booked to near capacity, while some middle-ranged establishments stood at between 50 and 70 percent.

The five-star Cape Grace Hotel at the V and A Waterfront is approximately 90 percent booked, with all group bookings taken.

Five-star 2010 accommodation almost full-up
Cape Times
February 16, 2010

Air Safety Officials to Fight Terrorism, Unauthorized Ads

In order to protect against terrorist acts and the unauthorized flying of advertising messages over World Cup stadia, aviation officials are going to keep a tight watch over South African air traffic during the World Cup. To get ready, they are holding a test sessoin in April to make sure they can react and respond to any potentially unsafe situation in the airspace above the country.

Top priorities include preventing terrorist attacks and protecting Fifa from brands trying to advertise without the football association's blessing.

Fifa and South African authorities are strictly protecting the association from "ambush marketers" - brands trying to piggyback on the World Cup without officially sponsoring Fifa.

The exercise is to take place between April 23 and 26. Scheduled flights are exempt from flight restrictions during the exercise and the World Cup.

'Make-or-break exercise' for World Cup safety
Cape Times
February 16, 2010

Swine Flu A Concern for South African Health Officials

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi says an outbreak of the swine flu in South Africa could be disastrous during the World Cup -- and event held in the height of the flu season of June and July.

Motsoaledi said the department of health had managed to acquire 1.3m doses of the H1N1 vaccine and another 3.5m doses from the World Health Organisation.

"We received a letter from the World Health Organisation that they are going to donate to South Africa 3.5m doses of H1N1 which will arrive in this country by March," he said, adding that the WHO donation saved South Africa about 250m rand (£20m).

South Africa worried by possibility of World Cup swine flu outbreak
February 15, 2010

'Tent City' Will Have Room for 1,500 Fans

The proposed "Tent City" hotel set to take shape in the Johannesburg suburb of Waverly Park will have room for 1,500 people, including space for 200 people to bring and pitch their own tents. The area is being set up by the City of Johannesburg to offer affordable housing during the World Cup.

The Tent City campsite, which will be erected in Waverley Park neighbourhood in the city's well-heeled northern suburbs, will have space for nearly 1,500 people.

Of these, 1,280 people will be able to rent space in 40 tents that will be subdivided into four- and six-bed all-male, all-female and mixed units, according to the City of Johannesburg website.

Come camp at the World Cup
Independent Online
February 15, 2010

Cybercrime Expected to Rise Ahead of World Cup

South African cybercrime is expected to increase during the lead-up to the World Cup, according to industry analysts. Updated communication infrastructure could help enable online scams.

The arrival in SA last year of the Seacom undersea cable, which has increased the amount of internet bandwidth available, would make for a double threat.

"History also shows that malicious activity increases in a country after new bandwidth is made available," [said analyst Paul Wood.]

South Africa: Scams Likely to Rise At World Cup
Business Day
February 15, 2010

Johannesburg to Build 'Tent City' for World Cup Accommodations

The City of Johannesburg is setting up a "tent city" to act as accommodations during the World Cup.

Tent City, to be erected at Waverley Park, comes hot on the heels of the converted container hotel slated for the Houghton Golf Course.

The facility is set to open from June 4 to July 16, and there are already bookings from countries including Argentina, Denmark, Brazil and Australia.

Joburg tackles high WC prices
The Star
February 15, 2010

Workers Call on FIFA to Ban Foreign Manufacture of Memorabilia

South African laborers and union officials are protesting over the controversial manufacture of World Cup memorabilia outside of South Africa.

Members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) protested outside FIFA's offices last week insisting that no more memorabilia for the tournament is imported.

The complaints erupted after it was reported that 'Zakumi', the World Cup mascot, was being manufactured in China. Since then, it has emerged that many other products, such as scarves, shirts and blankets, are being brought in from outside South Africa.

Workers vent anger over imports
February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gauteng Province to Host Most World Cup Teams

At least half of all World Cup teams will be using places within Gauteng Province as their home base during the World Cup.

The province's geographical position at high altitude and abundance of amenities, including world-class hotels, training facilities and stadiums, have ensured that at least 16 of the 32 countries will be based in the province.

Some of the top countries who have decided to set up camp in Gauteng are Holland, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Germany.

Gauteng to host at least half of 2010 countries
February 6, 2010

Hotels Promise to Keep Rates Standard During World Cup

Operators of bed-and-breakfasts and hotels in FIFA-endorsed accomodation areas have pledged to keep their prices reasonable during the World Cup.

Knysna tourism head Shaun van Eck said the organisation suggested that establishments use summer rates during the World Cup.

"However, many establishments are sticking to their winter rates for the whole period," he said. "We sincerely believe that the World Cup is a long-term opportunity for us to build Knysna... to a top 100 destination in the world. Our approach is definitely a strategy to attract more visitors, and to position Knysna as a value-for-money destination."

Guesthouses promise not to hike prices
Cape Argus
February 4, 2010

Temporary Fan Park to Be Built in Berlin

An 8,000-person capacity temporary stadium will be built as a fan park in Berlin during the World Cup. The stadium will be built on the grounds of a now unused airport in the middle of the city -- a plot of land that has been the focus of planners and architects looking for ways to reuse and revive the area.

The arena, to be built at the disused Tempelhof airport, will cost a reported €1.5 million (US$2.4 million) to construct, and feature giant screens measuring as much as 100 square feet.

Fifa World Cup arena to be constructed in Berlin
February 2, 2010

Health Sector '90%' Ready for World Cup

Health officials in South Africa say the nation's health sector is "90%" ready to handle any medical issues experienced during the World Cup.

With just over 100 days before the matches, the sector has to finalise preparations for responsive health services, as well as a disaster management plan and prompt responses.

SWC: Health services 90% ready
February 8, 2010

Medical Center Will Be Established at Polokwane Stadium

A health center will be linked to the Peter Mokaba Stadium stadium in Polokwane to help with any injuries and medical issues during World Cup matches.

The Limpopo Provincial 2010 FIFA Health Committee is pleased with moves to set up the centre as well as progress made towards the final preparations for the event.

The Committee, which met at the weekend, confirmed that Polokwane, Mankweng Hospital Complex, Lebowakgomo, Mokopane, Seshego, and Polokwane - Medi Clinic Hospital were ready for the World Cup.

Key facilities at these hospitals such as theatre operations, trauma centres and intensive care units have gone through an intensive checking process and will be ready to handle any casualty during the event.

South Africa: 2010 Medical Centre for Limpopo
February 8, 2010

Pietermaritzburg Stadium Opens

A new stadium has been completed in Pietermaritzburg. The stadium won't be uised for any games during the World Cup, but locals are hoping to lure teams to the city to use the new facility as a training ground.

The stadium is one of several legacy projects for 2010 and can be used for training by any of the visiting World Cup teams, said KwaZulu-Natal cooperative governance MEC Nomusa Dube.

“We are currently lobbying a number of teams to locate in the province for the World Cup,” Dube said.

R85m stadium opens in Pietermaritzburg
February 8, 2010

Tourism Boom Slow to Materialize in KwaZulu-Natal

Early hotel reservation figures and flight bookings indicate that Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal province may see smaller crowds for the World Cup than expected. Local business people are hoping that the boom is still on its way.

Airfares and accommodation have reportedly been pushed up to unaffordable levels and this, combined with persistent crime fears and the effects of the recession in Europe and the US appear to be keeping international visitors away from South Africa - and Durban in particular.

Tourism KZN CEO Ndabo Khoza said this week there were concerns in the accommodation and tourism industries, but they were nonetheless confident of reaching their initial target of 25 000 foreign visitors over all 30 days of the tournament.

Tourists shun KZN over prices
Sunday Tribune
Feburay 14, 2010

Condoms To Be Handed Out At Fan Parks

In an effort to encourage safe sex, condoms will be distributed for free at World Cup fan parks throughout South Africa during the World Cup.

This is a part of the Gauteng department of health and social development’s massive safe sex campaign to coincide with the tournament.

Department spokesperson Mandla Sidu said yesterday: "The campaign will focus on educating people about safe sex and the role played by alcohol and drugs in the spread of HIV-Aids."

Free condoms at 2010 WC fan parks
February 12, 2010

Rail Link From Johannesburg Airport to Be Ready in Time for World Cup

A rapid rail link between Johannesburg's Sandton Station and the city's OR Tambo International Airport will be ready in time for the World Cup, according to officials at Gautrain.

Although the train is not a World Cup project, its readiness would ease concern that existing public transport plans may not be sufficient for the many thousands of visitors expected in SA for the event.

Barbara Jensen, spokeswoman for the project, told Business Day yesterday that although the airport-to-Sandton link was not a World Cup project, "chances are very good that it can be ready".

She said the project managers would make a final call on the deadline within the next two weeks.

South Africa: Gautrain Says Airport Line May Be Ready for World Cup
Business Day
February 11, 2010

Johannesburg Extends BRT

The city of Johannesburg will extend its Bus Rapid Transit service to new routes beginning in March.

"From 1 March 2010 there will be a complimentary service running directly from Dobsonville to the Johannesburg CBD and Ellis Park station and feeder services transporting passengers from Naledi to Thokoza Park Station, from Jabavu to Lake View station and from Mofolo to Boomtown station," said [Rehana Moosajee, member of the mayoral committee for transport].

These routes will be additional to the daily trunk route service running from Thokoza Park in Soweto to Ellis Park, that had been operational from August 31, 2009.

Joburg extends rapid bus services
Independent Online
February 11, 2010

Rail Officials Blame Government Underfunding for Poor Service

South Africa's passenger rail agency is struggling with financial burdens, and officials blame underinvestment on the federal government. Some questions now remain about whether train infrastructure will be ready to carry the crowds expected to travel throughout the country during the World Cup

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) yesterday pinned the blame for the commuter rail parastatal's financial woes on underfunding from the Department of Transport, and on the poor performance of some of its own managers.

In an advertisement 'open letter' to the Democratic Alliance's (DA's) Manny de Freitas in Business Day yesterday, Prasa CEO Lucky Montana said a due-diligence report on Shosholoza Meyl, one of Prasa's subsidiaries, had revealed that the group required about R1,4bn a year to run this business "effectively".

South Africa: Passenger Rail Chief Blames 'Underfunding'
February 10, 2010

Rail Draws Eyes as Airlines Struggle

As the airline industry struggles in South Africa, transportation officials are increasingly looking at rail as the sustainable transit investment of the future.

The high cost of fuel, security issues at airports, myriad taxes, the huge infrastructure needed to support air transport, a web of regulation and environmental pressures all make it virtually impossible to keep fares in check. While new technology can address some of these costs, the advances are slow, the benefits minimal.

Trains, on the other hand, have few of the hindrances of air travel, yet fulfil the same economic function of facilitating trade through the transport of goods and people. And while the cost of rail infrastructure is large, once in place the potential to grow is enormous.

South Africa: Slow, Slow Train
Business Day
February 10, 2010

Jobs Up Slightly, But Not Ideally

Unemployment is slightly down and new job creation is slightly up, according to a report on South Africa's fourth quarter 2009 economics. But most of the jobs created are in the informal sector, which officials view as only a minor impact on the economy.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey shows 116000 jobs were created in the informal sector in that quarter, more than enough to offset continuing job losses in agriculture and domestic work.

But the survey shows that the informal sector makes up less than a fifth of SA's total workforce, so if it's the swing factor in employment and unemployment, that's a concern. This is often not the "decent work" the government aspires to, and these may not be sustainable jobs.

South Africa: Little Reason to Get Excited
Business Day
February 10, 2010

Interpol and neighbors to Work With South African Police

South African police will be neigboring countries and Interpol to ensure security during the World Cup.

The SAPS commissioner, Bheki Cele, met senior officers from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, DR Congo, Swaziland, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Mauritius to improve border management ahead of the finals. Interpol will offer assistance through the use of mobile passport control units at ports of entry, team training camps and stadiums.

The move comes after a terrorist attack on the Togo team bus prior to the Africa Cup of Nations in the Angolan province of Cabinda last month, which left three people dead.

South African police work with Interpol on World Cup security
February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Health Officials Claim Readiness for Cup Boom

Health officials claim South Africa's clinics and health facilities will be ready to handle the influx of people and patients during the World Cup.

Local organising committee (LOC) representative Victor Ramathasela said the country was ready to provide health services of world standard.

"I can confidently and boldly say that we are ready to provide health services of world standards and more."

SA clinics ready for World Cup influx
Independent Online
February 10, 2010

Holland and Belgium Add Soccer Starpower to 2018/2022 World Cup Bids

Holland and Belgium have named former World Player of the Year Ruud Gullit president of the two countries' joint bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Harry Been, chief executive of the bid, said: "With his reputation and enormous international appeal, Ruud Gullit's appointment is of great significance for our candidacy.

"Ruud has a tremendous football background and knowledge that we believe can be a great advantage for the bid.

Ruud Gullit appointed president of World Cup bid
February 9, 2010

Indonesia's 2022 World Cup Bid Up in the Air

Without the formal support of the government, Indonesia's bid to host the 2022 World Cup are on shaky ground. Countries must confirm this week that they are indeed prospective hosts for the 2022 tournament.

[T]he Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) are yet to receive confirmation of their government's backing, leaving their chances of hosting the tournament looking bleak.

Indonesia's 2022 World Cup bid in severe doubt
Feburary 9, 2010

Violent Crime 'Not Necessarily Linked' to Poverty in South Africa

A new report from the South African Institute of Race Relations claims that the nation's high incidence of violent crime is not necessarily related to the high rate of poverty.

The report, published in Fast Facts, the institute's newsletter, surveyed 80 indicators for municipalities across the country. Eastern Cape municipalities - with a poverty rate of 62% - had the highest murder rate, at 54 murders per 100 000 people. But Limpopo municipalities, which also recorded a poverty rate of 62%, had the lowest murder rate, at 13,7 per 100 000 residents.

Western Cape municipalities also had a high murder rate, at 51 per 100 000 people, but a low poverty rate, at 26,5%.

Lisa Vetten, senior researcher and policy analyst for the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said it was too simplistic to blame poverty for high rates of violent crime.

South Africa: Crime And Poverty 'Not Correlated'
Business Day
February 9, 2010

Governmental Overseers Say South Africa is Ready for the World Cup

The Inter-Ministerial Committee that oversees the governmental preparations for the World Cup says the country is on-track to host the event in June.

[Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe] said the committee was satisfied with all the reports submitted to them. These included reports on the management and training of protocol officials who will be involved in the management of guests and Heads of States and Governments attending the tournament.

"Most significantly, the meeting welcomed the report that all stadiums have been completed on time. This means no spectator will sit on wet cement come June 11 kick off! No other country has achieved this in all recent world cup finals," said Motlanthe.

South Africa: World Cup Preparations Running Smoothly - Imc
February 7, 2010

Cape Town to Host Additional International Event During World Cup

The city will play host to an international conference that plans to include CEOs from the Fortune 500 companies and the "Time100", a group of influential politicians, thinkers and celebrities.

As the world watches, the city will also host Fortune 500 bosses, world leaders and the Time 100 for a New Global Opportunity conference.

Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and the Fortune 500 is a list of the most powerful businessmen and women in the US.

The Time list includes US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, Oprah Winfrey, finance guru Suze Orman and actor Brad Pitt.

Fortune 500 includes bosses of top companies like Exxon Mobil, Wal-Mart, Ford and General Motors.

South Africa: World's Most Influential Heading for the Cape
Cape Argus
February 7, 2010

Cape Town Stadium Needs Traffic Plan Update

Traffic remains an issue at the new Cape Town stadium, where jams and congestion marred the second test event at the brand new stadium leading up to the World Cup.Officials in the City of Cape Town will meet with stadium operators Sail/Stade de France to try to update the traffic plan.

This comes after traffic ground to a halt around the Cape Town Stadium precinct on Saturday, causing thousands of spectators to miss the curtain-raiser match between the SA Legends and the International 10s.

The match was followed by the main game between the Vodacom Stormers and Boland.

Motorists with tickets for VIP parking waited up to an hour to get into the main parkade because sniffer dogs checked every vehicle entering the stadium precinct for explosives and narcotics.

Beautiful stadium ... pity about the traffic
Cape Argus
February 8, 2010

Police Warn Against World Cup Disruptions

Police officials in South Africa are warning people and groups who set out to disrupt the World Cup that they will be held to the full authority of the law.

"Any criminal or would-be-criminal who threatens the safety of the 2010 Fifa World Cup will meet the full might of the force," Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said.

"We will not be subjected to such unbecoming behaviour and will not tolerate this nonsense," said Mthethwa.

Police chief issues World Cup warning
Independent Online
February 7, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

20 Years After Apartheid, Troubles Remain for South Africa

20 years after the country cast aside apartheid, South Africa remains a troubled country, according to this piece, which looks at the nation's history and the challenges it faces as it prepares to host the World Cup.

But the nation is still saddled with a lot of baggage from its apartheid past: oppression, poverty, exploitation of the majority of the people, unevenly distributed educational opportunities, dilapidated townships, a 23 percent unemployment rate, rampant crime, a huge gap between rich and poor, and high AIDS mortality rates.

South Africa is set to host the World Cup in soccer this summer, a decision that is still hotly debated outside of South Africa. According to the German newspaper Munich Merkur, Bavaria's club manager Uli Hoeness said to Munich's City Hall officials that he would not travel to South Africa because of security issues unless safety could be 100 percent guaranteed. His comments created a flurry of diplomatic exchanges. It prompted player Beckenbauer to say publicly, “But you would also not hang around the South Bronx in New York at night.”

South Africa 20 Years Later: From Apartheid to World Cup
The Epoch Times
February 6, 2010

Trade Union Congress Calls World Cup a 'Great Rip Off'

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is calling the World Cup a "great rip off" for the Western Cape, arguing the event is draining jobs.

"The Western Cape is losing jobs as a result of Fifa's actions. It seems that whilst in the rest of the country Fifa and the World Cup related activities are growing the economy, the Western Cape is being prejudiced," the union federation's provincial secretary, Tony Ehrenreich said in a statement.

"The clothes and mascots are being made in sweat shops in China. Traders were excluded from the soccer stadium precinct and the city centre. The companies trying to manufacture local soccer-related merchandise are being taken to court. The beer deals are leading to all beer being foreign and imported, and buses used for the World Cup are being imported, when we could be manufacturing them," he charged.

Cosatu: World Cup a rip off for Western Cape
Independent Online
February 5, 2010

Street Vendors Can Sell in Durban During World Cup

Permitted street vendors in Durban will be allowed to sell their wars on the streets during ther World Cup under their existng permits, according to a recent ruling by the eThekwini Municipality. But they are not allowed to engage in "ambush marketing", in accordance with FIFA bylaws.

Malusi Mhlongo, a lawyer for the city, said street traders would continue to trade as normal during the match days at their permanent trading premises.

Advertising without city authority is prohibited within a 100m radius of the Fifa Fan Park and also at the controlled access site outside the perimeter of the stadium.

Fifa by-laws for street traders
February 5, 2010

Casual Workers Struggle to Find Work After World Cup Building Boom

Union officials from various sectors in South Africa are claiming that despite the recent boom in construction work due to World Cup stadia preparation, the majority of workers were casual workers and are not likely to find further employment in the public sector.

According to the director of human resources at the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (Safcec), Muller Uys, about 70 000 people have done civil construction work for the football spectacle. This included labour on stadiums, the Gautrain and on minor building jobs.

"Of these 70 000, around 70% were local casual labour, which is a legal stipulation, and the rest were skilled or core workers. We have to move the local component around so that they can have regular work. The core people return to their companies and are assigned other projects."

Safcec economist Pierre Blaauw said it was difficult to put a number to all 2010 constructors countrywide but there were about 130 000, with about 91000 being casuals.

South Africa: World Cup Stadium Building Boom Proves Short-Lived
Business Day
February 3, 2010

Cape Town Square to Host Fan Park

A town square in front of Cape Town's city hall will be transformed into a fan park for one month during the World Cup tournament.

The historic square opposite the city hall will be the official fan park for the World Cup.

Phase one of a multi-phased upgrade has been completed, with city officials expected to add the final touches closer to the event.

The 2010 Fifa fan fest tender was last month awarded to a joint venture between World Sport, VWV and Grand Parade Investments. World Sport is also the organiser of the J and B Met.

Get ready for a Grand Parade World Cup bash
Cape Argus
February 2, 2010

Cape Town's Rapid Transit Costs Triple

The costs of implementing the City of Cape Town's Integrated Rapid Transit system have jumped from 1.3 billion Rand ($167 million USD) to 4.6 billion Rand ($593 million USD).

The project has more than tripled in cost, and R16-million of the amount needed for this financial year will be borrowed from the city's rates revenue and repaid in February when the national government allocates its grant funding for transport projects.

The latest adjustment comes after "further refinements" of the IRT's cost estimates.

The city has R584m in hand for a project that will cost an estimated R892m in the 2009/10 financial year, leaving it with a R308m shortfall that will be funded by external bridging finance of R272m.

IRT costs soar to R4,6bn
Cape Times
February 2, 2010

Fighting Human Trafficking with 24-Hour Call Center

Charity organizations in South Africa are teaming up to counteract human trafficking into the country by establishing a call center where victims and witnesses can file reports.

Some observers wonder how the Salvation Army and its partner Be Heard, which have stepped up their anti-human trafficking campaign and recently launched a 24-hour toll free hotline, will manage in such a complicated environment.

But Marieke Venter, of the Salvation Army's central division, is adamant her organisation will do whatever it can to stop what she called 'new slavery', and save lives despite various challenges.

South Africa: Salvation Army, Be Heard to Eradicate 2010 Human Trafficking
January 29, 2010

Violence and High Prices Limiting Visitors to South Africa During Cup

Violence and high-priced packages aimed at tourists hoping to maintain a tightly secured visit to South Africa are making the World Cup less of a boon than many had hoped, according to this post.

The English FA have returned some of their tickets to Fifa and sales in Germany and Holland have also been slow, amid the disconnected though still unhelpful publicity surrounding the attack on the Togo team bus in Angola and doubts raised by influential football figures such as Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness over cost and security. The last two questions are linked, because apart from the relative scarcity of available aircraft seats and hotel beds that is driving up the price of World Cup packages, fears over visitors' safety mean that most deals are being pitched at wealthy individuals staying in upmarket accommodation rather than independent travellers on a budget.

South Africa's cup is failing to set the world on fire
January 31, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

FIFA Claims 2018 Not A Guarantee for Europe

Despite the widespread belief that FIFA will select a European country to host the 2018 World Cup, officials are claiming that the field is open to bidding countries from all areas. FIFA head Sepp Blatter has stepped back from an earlier proposition that only European countries would be considered to host the 2018 tournament.

"I said it's a possibility only if other associations do not bid. It is not a decision for the executive committee to change that right of every association to bid for a World Cup.

"But the movement to go to Europe exists."

World Cup 2018 still open despite European pressure-FIFA
January 29, 2010

Teams Select Home Bases

Brazil has chosen Randburg as their home base during the World Cup, Serbia has picked Auckland Park in Johannesburg, and England will be housed at a new complex being built in Phokeng.

The English Football Association’s demands included a games arcade, plasma television sets for the 23 players and 30 officials, and an electrified perimeter fence.

The bedrooms of the five star complex should also have British television channels.

Teams settle their World Cup base camp locations
February 1, 2010

Army Claims Readiness for Crime Uptick During World Cup

The National Defence Force will be ready to defuse any major incidents during the World Cup, according to Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. The Army has been working closely with police forces in host cities to prepare for any uptick in crime during the tournament.

Sisulu says the SA National Defence Force will ensure that the country hosts a successful and safe tournament.

‘Army is ready for 2010’
The Sowetan
February 1, 2010

Polokwane Stadium Ready for World Cup

The Peter Mokaba Sports Complex in Polokwane is officially ready to host the 201 World Cup, according to officials who say the stadium passed its two test matches in January.

Ndavhe Ramakuela, director of 2010 Polokwane, said they were satisfied with the stadium and that the facility was now ready for a 45 000 full capacity crowd.

“We used these two events to test the stadium’s readiness for major games and it passed the test nicely. We have also ensured that all safety and security measures are in place,” said Ramakuela.

Another WC stadium passes declared ready
The Sowetan
February 1, 2010

FIFA Expects Moderate Loss in South Africa

FIFA is expecting to take a moderate loss from this year's World Cup, according to officials. The loses are estimated at "a few thousand dollars" according to officials, a stark contrast with the $277 million profit the international football association earned from the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

But that is a much happier picture than the one Fifa painted eight months ago, when releasing its accounts for the 12 months to the end of 2008. To guard against financial risks, Fifa has been hoarding cash since the 2002 World Cup and by January 2009 it had exceeded its £500m equity target by £63m.

Fifa braced for losses from South Africa's hosting of 2010 World Cup
January 29, 2010

Troubled Gautrain May Begin Operations Before World Cup

Previously thought to be too far behind schedule to begin operations before the World Cup, planners behind the Gautrain rapid rail link between OR Tambo International Airport and Downtown Johannesburg are predicting the system will be ready two weeks before the tournament.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane doesn't want to pay any extra cash to Gautrain concessionaire Bombela in order to bring the launch date forward from June 27. Instead, the provincial government is offering to relax later delivery deadlines for other parts of the project.

Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe says there is an "80% to 90% chance" that the link will be opened on May 27. "It is looking more than positive," he says. "We hope to sign a new contract and make an announcement in mid-February."

Gautrain may start to roll before World Cup
The Times
January 30, 2010

Analysts Predict Economic Benefits Will Be Smaller Than Hoped

Economic analysts have released a report suggesting that local economic benefits from the World Cup will be smaller than many had hoped.

A Cadiz Securities investigation contends that the effect of the tournament will be far more “muted than much of the current local optimism would suggest”.

The research report, by analysts Shamil Ismail and Jasmine Lin, cites data from the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, showing that tourism numbers and retail sales may not necessarily spike. Tourist arrivals in South Korea actually declined during the tournament.

World Cup bonanza not a given
Business Day
January 29, 2010

Cruise Ship Won't Dock as Hotel in Cape Town During Cup

Owners of the Queen Elizabeth 2 have cancelled plans to dock the famous ship in Cape Town as a floating hotel during the World Cup. They have not announced whether another site in South Africa will be chosen during the event.

Istithmar World, an investment arm of the indebted Dubai World conglomerate, says Cape Town is "no longer being considered" as a possible destination for the legendary ship.

QE2 won't dock in Cape Town for World Cup
SAPA/AP via Independent Online
January 28, 2010

Police Chief OKs Johannesburg Airport

South Africa's police minister has deemed the upgraded OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg ready and safe to welcome teams and tourists during the World CUp.

"We are satisfied with the progress made at the airport and I am confident that the world cup will be safe. Our law enforcement agencies are ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup," he said.

Mthethwa was visiting the country's largest port of entry on Tuesday as part of his ongoing campaign to check the state of readiness of all ports of entry, including airports and borders before the mega tournament.

South Africa: Or Tambo Ready to Welcome 2010 Guests
January 26, 2010