Friday, April 30, 2010

Durban Sky Car Breaks Down Again

The sky car at Durban's new Moses Mabhida Stadium has once again stopped working. This new break-down is being attributed to a fault in its data cable. Repairs are expected by May 7.

"Unfortunately this data cable is specialised for the sky car and hence we have to order a replacement cable from overseas," Julie-May Ellingson, the head of Durban's strategic project unit and 2010 programme, said in a statement.

Ellingson said the defects in the cable were detected before the Easter weekend.

Durban sky car grounded
Independent Online
April 26, 2010

Johannesburg's BRT Expands

The Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit system in Johannesburg is expanding its services, and reopening a line that had been temporarily suspended.

From Monday, Protea Glen and Eldorado Park residents will have feeder buses that will take them directly to Thokoza Park station to catch the main bus to the town.

The Braamfontein line, which was suspended last year due to a lack of commuters, will also be reintroduced.

Rea Vaya spread its services
The Star
April 30, 2010

Cape Town's Handicap-Accessible Fan Park and Stadium

The new Cape Town Stadium and the fan park area leading up to the stadium will be handicap-accessible, according to local tourism officials.

The route through the city to the new Cape Town Stadium is fairly disabled-friendly.

Cape Town tourism authorities say the city has gone out of its way to make the World Cup an accessible and enjoyable experience for disabled soccer fans.

Cape Town Tourism chief executive Mariette du Toit-Helmbold said the city would ensure that disabled fans got to the stadium and fan parks in comfort.

Stadium is 'disabled-friendly'
Cape Argus
April 30, 2010

Massive Transit Strike Planned, But Likely Over Before World Cup

The United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) and the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union (Satawu) will jointly host a national strike of Transnet, a public commercial company that oversees rail, ports and pipelines in South Africa. Metrorail employees aren't expected to join the strike, but that has not yet been ruled out.

South Africa's transport system was expected to be brought to a standstill from May 10 as 50 000 Transnet workers planned to strike over a wage dispute.

"This will be the biggest strike in the history of South Africa," said Chris de Vos, general secretary of the United Transport and Allied Trade Union (Utatu) at a press conference in Johannesburg on Friday.

"It will make all other strikes look like kindergarten parties."

Fears over massive strike
Fin 24
April 30, 2010

World Cup a Chance For African Peace: Former UN Head

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says the 2010 World Cup in South Africa has the potential to create peace and better global cooperation -- especially for the troubled nations of Africa.

I am convinced that this World Cup has similar potential to rebuild fractured relationships, both within and outside Africa. I am equally convinced that it will do much to puncture the prejudices that, for many, unfortunately continue to define the image of the continent. The cup is a tremendous opportunity for Africa to show how, out of the headlines, it has changed for the better. There are, of course, countries where problems, conflicts and abuses have worsened. But these are the minority. There are many more where democracy and human rights have taken root, governance has improved, civil society has blossomed and opportunities are being extended to ever larger segments of the population. Four years ago, the World Cup altered many people's perception of Germany. This time, people will be surprised by Africa's remarkable progress and good spirits – and hopefully, its football teams.

The World Cup is Africa's chance to show how it has changed
Guardian
April 26, 2010

South African Security Officials Declare Readiness

South Africa's police forces are touting their readiness to deal with criminal activity large and small during the World Cup. The country has invested nearly $100 million in security updates for the event. However, high crime remains a concern.

"We are ready. We were ready yesterday," national police commissioner Bheki Cele said as the host country showed off part of the $89 million worth of security equipment it has bought to keep fans safe at soccer's biggest tournament.

Police minister Nathi Mthethwa watched as South Africa's police paraded water cannons, boats, jet skis, motorcycles and heavy duty emergency disaster vehicles through Cape Town's main square before the display at Greenpoint Stadium.

South Africa shows its security muscle for WCup
USA Today
April 29, 2010

Qatar's World Cup Hopes Go Far Beyond Soccer

Qatar is pinning its ambitions toward becoming a global city on its bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar's wealth is mind-boggling, and with that comes opportunity. Perhaps the biggest opportunity occupying the minds of those creating Qatar's horizon is the World Cup.

Hosting the world's most popular sporting event would be a game-changer, which believes its next incarnation will be as a global IT and financial centre. Bringing the world to its shores is the chance to change perceptions. Eventually, someone has to fill the thousands of empty offices and the condominiums stretching across the desert sand.

To make that happen, white-collar nomads need to be convinced they can make a life in Qatar, not just make money. The World Cup is the chance to prove the point.

World Cup dreams rise like the Doha skyline
The Sydney Morning Herald
April 26, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brazilian Cities Could Be Cut from World Cup Hosting Duties

Some of the 12 FIFA-approved cities being considered as hosts for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil could be cut from the list after not meeting a stadium renovation deadline, according to Sports Minister Orlando Silva. He says the country only needs 8 stadia to hold the event.

Orlando Silva says many cities did not meet the March 31 deadline to begin renovating their stadiums or build new ones. Unless they meet the second deadline on May 3, they run the risk of being excluded from the World Cup.

Brazil may scratch some cities from 2014 World Cup
USA Today
April 23, 2010

Cape Town Street Vendors Pushed Out for Fan Park

More than 300 street vendors in Cape Town' Grand Parade area have been instructed to leave the area beginning May 1, and not return until after the World Cup is over. They are being removed to make room for a fan park.

"According to the host-city agreement, the city is legally obligated to provide a stadium and a fan-fest area," said Thembinkosi Siganda, Cape Town's director of economic and human development.

"After a location analysis the city identified the Grand Parade as a fan-fest area and this was approved by Fifa."

Cape traders to be moved ahead of World Cup
April 26, 2010

German Firms Have Eye on Brazilian Infrastructure Projects Ahead of World Cup, Olympics

German companies are hoping to get in on the World Cup and Olympics infrastructure work in Brazil, according to Rainer Bruderle, Germany's minister for economics and technology.

Bruderle said the German firms were hoping to partner with Brazil in areas of infrastructure, organization and security.

"There is a large interest on the part of German businessmen in infrastructure work in Brazil, especially in relation to these big sporting events," Jorge said.

Germans look to Brazil World Cup, Olympics
USA Today
April 27, 2010

Dispute Drags on Over eThekwini Beachfront Beautification Project

A land battle between a beachfront property owner and the eThekwini municipality is heating up. The city is arguing that the landowner has deliberately stalled the renovation of his beachfront amusement park, which was to be beautified ahead of the World Cup. The new set of delays could push back a legal decision -- and any work -- until mid-May.

But Steyn said in the latest round of papers filed with the Durban High Court that this was "disingenuous and unconvincing", and asked why the council could not find space elsewhere for the traders.

"It seems it is intent on advancing, for its own commercial gain, the rights of other commercial entities to the detriment of the applicant.

"Surely the location of street traders is irrelevant to the success and future opportunities of the World Cup," he said.

The council, in its previous papers, disclosed that Steyn had complained about loss of income and asked for compensation of R1.5-million, which had been refused. Steyn insisted that his business had suffered during the upgrade, with telephone lines, water and electricity frequently cut off. He said three of the four entrances to his park were also closed off.

Beachfront battle turns ugly
The Mercury
April 22, 2010

Soccer and Government Officials Implicated in Million-Dollar Graft Case

A new investigation by the Sowetan newspaper alleges that a committe had voted to give members of the Local Organizing Committee and the South African Football Association a deep cut of the proceeds from the 2010 World Cup. Many high ranking government officials have been implicated in the investigation. Roughly 50 million Rand (~$6.7 million USD) would have been split by the officials. The payoffs have been referred to by some officials as "bonuses".

The committee, led by Oliphant as president and Khoza as his deputy, voted at a meeting to reward members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) board 10percent while Safa executives stood to pocket 5percent of the spoils, estimated at between R500million and R1billion – a windfall from the June 11 to July 11 soccer showpiece.

Shockingly, associations of Safa were to be given a paltry 5 percent.

This was uncovered by Sowetan after a lengthy investigation and eventually confirmed by a number of highly-placed sources in the soccer fraternity.

Ousted Safa bosses’ plan to loot R500m
Sowetan
April 29, 2010

Qatar Plans Air-Conditioned Stadia for 2022 Bid

As part of its bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the hot desert nation of Qatar is proposing a plan to build 12 air-conditioned stadia to fight the heat.

The new venues would use solar power to provide what officials say will be optimum pitch-side conditions despite the scorching Arabian sun.

The $4 billion Qatar World Cup bid has been dismissed by many as a publicity stunt because of ferocious summer temperatures that can top 50 degrees Celsius but organizers say they can harness this power to create carbon-neutral arenas.

Qatar plans air-conditioned stadiums if it gets World Cup
The Washington Post
Aoril 28, 2010

Street Vendors Allowed to Sell Food Dring Cup in Nelson Mandela Bay

Street vendors will be allowed to sell indigenous foods in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Municipality during the World Cup. Health concerns had previously prevented street vendors from selling food, and many other cities still plan to prevent locals from peddling food on the streets.

The municipality says it biggest concern has always been health issues - and those who will be permitted to trade will have to adhere to the rules. "We invite traders to make the best economic opportunity to make money from the World Cup by selling their food. We will be very strict when it comes to health regulations and they must adhere to that," says Nelson Mandela municipal spokesperson, Kupido Baron.

Traders allowed to sell indigenous food during World Cup
SABC
April 26, 2010

Tent City to Open Near Durban Stadium

The Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in Durban is set to host a fan camp during the World Cup where fans can pitch tents and camp out. This particular camp is being run by an Australian tour group, and more than 1,200 Australians have already booked a spot.

[Australian] fans have already marked their territory in Durban. Australian Tour Group Fanatics, responsible for the organisation of the tour, will be based at the Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, where a camping village will be set up.

The camp will open on June 8 and close on June 30 and is close enough for a leisurely stroll to the new soccer venue.

Transport options have also been included in the travel package which includes match tickets.

South Africa: Australians Ready to Pitch at Tent City
BuaNews
April 26, 2010

The Story Behind Green Point's Unlikely Choice as Cape Town's World Cup Venue

A recent investigation reveals how FIFA encouraged the government to use Cape Town's Green Point as the site of the city's World Cup venue, despite another stadium being fit to host the event. The investigation is one chapter in the new book "Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and 2010 Fifa World Cup", which was released by the Institute for Security Studies

In the chapter by Schoonbee and Brummer, they outline how Fifa and the Local Organising Committee (LOC), "effectively Fifa's agent", pressed the City of Cape Town into signing off a last-minute decision against the preferred venue, Athlone Stadium.

South Africa's initial World Cup bid fingered Newlands Stadium as Cape Town's venue. Fifa accepted this, but the 40 000 seater would not be able to stage any games beyond a quarterfinal. Athlone, however, was the City of Cape Town's choice.

How Green Point beat Athlone for 2010 stadium
Independent Online
April 29, 2010

FIFA Under Fire for Trademark Protection

Local businesses in South Africa are expressing disgust with FIFA over the organization's "draconian" trademark rules, which they say over-protect big ticket sponsors.

FIFA makes the bulk of its money from selling marketing and television rights, and has already generated a record $3.3 billion ahead of the June 11 kickoff in Johannesburg.

Big companies pay big bucks to be associated with the tournament, and in return FIFA strictly enforces its trademark rules to protect its sponsors. Those who haven't paid for exclusive rights are barred from using symbols and words associated with the World Cup.

FIFA criticized for over-protecting 2010 World Cup sponsors
CNN
April 29, 2010

Book Explores Corruption Related to 2010 World Cup

A new book investigates various conflicts of interest and instances of corruption related to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that challenge the wisdom and value of hosting similar international events.

A book released Wednesday by the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, titled “Player and Referee: Conflicting Interests and the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” details six case studies regarding stadium building, official suppliers, bidding practices and government oversight that cast a harsh light on the lack of transparency and public benefit of such arrangements.

The case studies, written by investigative journalists from South Africa and Britain, charge that competing interests among those seeking to benefit financially have left preparations for the 2010 World Cup vulnerable to “manipulation through the use of influence, political pressure, bribes, fraud and extortion.”

Many of these accounts have a familiar ring, addressing issues that occurred at previous World Cups. FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, has regularly faced charges of secrecy and corruption.

Book Questions World Cup Business Arrangements
The New York Times
April 28, 2010

Durban Nearly Ready for the World Cup

Officials in Durban are confident that the city's preparations for the WOrld Cup will be complete within the next few weeks, even the troubled cable car on the arch at the new Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Michael Sutcliffe, speaking to The Associated Press at the SportsAccord International Convention, said King Shaka International Airport will be open this weekend and the Moses Mabhida railway station just outside the new 70 000-seat stadium will be open in 10 days. All road upgrades should be done by the middle of May, he said.

"The infrastructure, it's all there," Sutcliffe said. "You are getting a vibe happening."

Even the cable car at the stadium should be ready to go this week.

Durban almost ready for SWC
News 24
April 26, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Qatar Plans Temporary Stadia for 2022 World Cup Bid

Hoping to catch the eye of FIFA and reduce the likelihood of post-event white elephants, World Cup organizers in the desert nation of Qatar have proposed a plan to build temporary stadia for the 2022 World Cup, should the country be chosen as host. The stadia would then be deconstructed after the tournament and rebuilt in other places or countries in need of sports infrastructure.

The idea is an expanded version of the original vision for London's 2012 Olympic Stadium in Stratford, which was to have been reduced from 80,000 to 28,000 seats after the Games but may now remain at a larger capacity. In-stadium cooling technology that is being developed to reduce temperatures for players and spectators that can average a sweltering 41 degrees in June – a huge handicap for any Middle Eastern bid – will also be shared with other countries that have to date found their climates incompatible with hosting major events.

Qatar build up 2022 World Cup bid with flat-pack stadiums
Guardian
April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IMF Predicts Greater Rise in 2010 Economic Growth for South Africa

The International Monetary Fund is increasing its forecast for South Africa's 2010 economic growth from its October estimate of 1.7% to a new estimate of 2.6%.

The IMF's latest estimate is above official forecasts for growth of 2,3% this year, but just below market consensus, which sees the economy expanding 2,9%.

It sees the world economy growing 4,2% this year, revised up from 3,9% in January. Emerging giants China and India are leading the recovery from the worst global recession in six decades.

South Africa: IMF Sees SA Bouncing Back With 2,6 Percent Growth
Business Day
April 22, 2010

Transportation Permit Applications Up in Gauteng

More than 1,600 applications have been filled out for special operating licenses in Gauteng Province during the World Cup. Minibus operators, tour agencies and other shuttles are seeking official approval to drive in and around Johannesburg and the rest of the province during the World Cup.

[Gauteng Department of Transport Director Sipho] Mbele said rail was going to be the backbone of the mass public transport, with eight dedicated trains for Tshwane and 10 for Johannesburg to be added to normal operational services.

He said that 50 days before the start of the tournament, the department's transport operations were ready and were being rolled out for 19 of the 32 teams which would have their camps in Gauteng.

1 600 claims for SWC transport
News 24
April 21, 2010

Cape Town Rapid Transit System Close to Complete

Cape Town's Integrated Rapid Transit system is coming into shape, and officials say it will be ready to launch ahead of the World Cup.

Hatton said all the infrastructure projects geared for World Cup transport would be ready by the time the crowds arrived.

The ticket kiosk at the Granger Bay station was installed yesterday, and other stations would be completed over the next month.

Bus delivery was on schedule, and batches of buses would begin arriving weekly from next month.

Cape IRT passes critical test
Cape Argus
April 22, 2010

Government Declares Itself Ready for World Cup

A recent report to the national government indicates that South Africa is fully prepared for the World Cup to begin, however the report refers only to the readiness of stadia and various disaster and crime plans.

The latest sport and recreation department progress report on the 2010 FIFA World Cup presented to Cabinet on Wednesday confirms "it is all systems go", government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday.

Briefing the media following Cabinet's regular fortnightly meeting, he said all the stadiums were ready and in the process of being handed over to the host cities, well ahead of the FIFA requirement that they be handed over 15 days before the June 11 start of the tournament.

All systems go for SWC - govt
News 24
April 22, 2010

Fewer Foreign Visitors Than Predicted, But Same Economic Impact

Roughly 373,000 foreign visitors are expected to visit South Africa for the World Cup, according to a recent study. This is lower than previous predictions of nearly half a million and lower than other World Cups, but the economists who did the study say the economic impact of these visitors will be comparable due to longer stays in the country.

"We have revised the figures post the worldwide recession and major ticket sales phases, and some of the numbers are encouraging," said Gillian Saunders, principal of Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions, the global auditing and consultancy firm that released the report.

...Visitors were expected to stay an average of 18 days and spend about R30 200 compared to the 14 days and R22 000 predicted before.

World Cup fans were expected to attend five matches per person, up from the 3.4 matches previously expected.

373 000 foreigners expected for World Cup
Independent Online
April 23, 2010

Cape Town International Airport Expands

Expecting growing crowds in coming years, an expansion of Cape Town International Airport is nearly complete, setting the airport up to handle upwards of 14 million travelers a year.

In 2005, the modest regional airport, designed to carry just four million travellers, was struggling to process eight million people.

But after five years of construction, the R2.3bn transformation into a world-class masterpiece is nearing completion in time for the World Cup.

It will give the Western Cape and the city an airport that has already been named the best airport in Africa.

Cape shows off multi-billion rand make-overs
Cape Argus
April 23, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

German Team Keep 'Unsafe' Hotel Choice

The German National team has decided to keep with its choice of a World Cup home base in Pretoria, despite recent reports of the hotel not meeting FIFA standards.

South African newspaper The Times reported Friday there are safety fears at the hotel complex because plans for renovation work at the four-star The Velmore Hotel, near Pretoria, were not approved by the relevant authorities.

The hotel has reportedly invested 80 million rand (10.8 million US dollars) to meet the standard required by world football's governing body Fifa.

Germans will stay at 'unsafe' World Cup base
Agence France Presse
April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The World Cup's $12.6 Billion Impact

The World Cup will generate roughly 93 billion Rand ($12.6 billion USD), according to a recent audit. Much of the proceeds have been or will be generated by related infrastructure work.

[G]lobal audit and advisory firm Grant Thornton says the gross economic impact of the event is expected to reach 93 billion rand.

Of this, 62% is expected to be generated pre-2010, and 38% during the course of the year.

Foreign tourism will account for 16% of the gross impact.

The majority of economic spend comes from the national government’s spend on infrastructure and some operational expenditure.

World Cup will generate R93 billion - audit
Sowetan
April 21, 2010

Gautrain Leg Nearly Complete

Construction is nearly complete on the first leg of the new Gautrain regional rail link connecting metro Johannesburg with OR Tambo International Airport.

Trackworks and associated railway infrastructure are complete and this section of the Gautrain route is now operational. Ticket vending machines and fare gates have been installed and testing of the system is in progress.

At Sandton station, construction work on the multi-level parkade and erection of structural steelwork canopies that will form the entrance structure on the corner of Rivonia Road and West Street is under way.

Tracks almost clear for Gautrain
Pretoria News
April 21, 2010

Durban Blasts FIFA Over Rule-Breaking

FIFA is in trouble in Durban, where two practice field have been ruined by trucks delivering stadium signage, and plans for a tent city did not meet local approval.

Match, Fifa's hospitality and logistics arm, has been stopped from erecting a tent town on the south side of the R3.1 billion Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban because altered plans have not been submitted to the city.

In addition, two newly laid practice fields, which have been destroyed by heavy trucks delivering the German-made marquees, will be replaced at Fifa's cost.

Durban gives Fifa a red card
The Mercury
April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Russia and Australia Kick Up Efforts to Win 2018 or 2022 World Cup Hosting

Leaders in Russia and Australia are pushing their countriies' respective efforts to play host for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Putin added the issue to March 24's meeting of the Government Presidium of the Russian Federation, and has overseen progress on the guarantees since. The documents now having been signed, they will form part of the official bid presented to FIFA on May 14.

Putin said: "The World Cup preparations will not only require a large number of new sports facilities. They will also mean that we must develop - and are certain to do so if our bid is accepted - additional infrastructure: airports, roads, hotels and other tourist facilities in at least 10 major Russian cities, if not more. All of that would remain to be used by our people for decades to come.''

Meanwhile, Football Federation Australia chief executive officer Ben Buckley believes forecasts of social and economic growth in Asia make a compelling case for his country, which joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.

Australia and Russia step up World Cup bids
ESPN
April 19, 2010

Police Union Calls for Overtime Increase During World Cup

The South African Policing Union is calling for an increase in ovetime allowances for its members during the World Cup.

Police management had offered to pay employees R700 per shift for overtime worked.

The union rejected this and demanded a R900 allowance per shift for its members and that they only work up to eight hours of overtime per day.

"We don't want a situation where our members will refuse working overtime, especially during the World Cup."

The union has called on police management to attend to the matter urgently as it could compromise security during the World Cup.

Cops demand raise for Cup
News24
April 19, 2010

Zuma Says Transportation System Ready For GDP-Boosting World Cup

With the opening of the new central terminal building at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South African President Jacob Zuma said Tuesday that the country's transportation infrastructure was ready for the World Cup and its transportation demands. He also said that theWorld Cup would add about 4.9 billion Rand (~$662.7 million USD) to the country's gross domestic product in 2010.

He said that as the airport's name changed from the Johannesburg International Airport to the OR Tambo International Airport in 2006, "so did its form and size".

A transport action plan was developed in 2005 in preparation for the World Cup, as part of which R20bn was put into expanding airports countrywide.

"... Now we are seeing the results," said Zuma.

SA ready for World Cup - Zuma
News24
April 20, 2010

The Transport Legacy of the World Cup

South African Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele says the country's transportation infrastructure will be ready to handle the crowds during the World Cup, and that transportation will be the most important long-term impact of the World Cup.

Turning to road transport, the minister said his department would have in place an inter-provincial and regional transport system operated by the recently appointed Operating Managing Entity (OME).

"The OME will facilitate the efficient and safe transport of general spectators to and from matches."

A major component of the entity would be 110 newly acquired 79-seater inter-city buses, specially procured by the government for the World Cup.

A first-class national integrated transport system using the newly acquired Auto Pax coach fleet integrated with the taxi industry had been created.

SWC to 'leave transport legacy'
News24
April 20, 2010

FIFA Rakes Cash, But Slow Ticket Sales May Hurt South Africa

Ticket sales are one of the major sources of World Cup-related revenue for host countries, and South Africa's struggling ticket sales could turn out to be a major problem for the country's economy. Meanwhile, FIFA officials are confident that the tournament will be a financial success for the sport's international governing body.

Match tickets are a "key revenue stream" for a World Cup's local organizers, according to Udesh Pillay, of the Pretoria-based Human Sciences Research Council.

Pillay is editor of the book, "Development and Dreams, The Urban Legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup", the result of a five-year study into the long-term impact of the World Cup.

He notes that the local organizing committee of the Germany World Cup in 2006 made a profit of $237.5 million, "partly due to the near-capacity sales of match tickets."

South Africa 2010, because of a unique set of factors, may not be able to maximize this revenue stream as other hosts have done.

South Africa sacrifices short-term profits, hopes for long-term benefits
The Canadian Press
April 19, 2010

World Cup Productivity Lull Could Harm Local Businesses

Some economists are warning that the World Cup may turn out to be an economic drag for some businesses, as crowds and congestion cut into worker productivity during the tourist-flooded event.

This is because of huge challenges to the infrastructure, leading to delays and traffic congestion.

Workers' productivity is also expected to drop as a result of people wanting to watch the soccer spectacle at work.

According to Martin Humphries, the managing director of Executives Global Networking (EGN) - an information network for chief executives - some of the country's top chief executives, financial executives and human resource managers have already begun to assemble under EGN's banner to prepare for the possible disruptions and glean wisdom from their overseas counterparts.

World Cup to hit SA businesses
Fin24
April 18, 2010

South African Food Chain Seeks A Spot in Fan Parks

The South African causal dining chain Nando's in looking to cash in on the World Cup by becoming an official food vendor at many of the fan parks being set up for the event. Fast food giant McDonald's recently declined to serve as official food vendor at the parks.

On Thursday Nando's chief executive Noel Doyle told Sake24.com that the motive was not profit, but rather to give the company and its staff an opportunity to share the enthusiasm and become involved in the tournament.

The fast-food group is currently negotiating with nine municipalities, following McDonald's decision not to exercise its rights to provide food in the Fan Parks.

Nando's already has an agreement with Durban's eThekwini municipality, but Doyle would not comment on the negotiations currently under way.

Nando's wants World Cup action
Fin 24
April 16, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Durban Looks to Unload Old Airport

Durban's new King Shaka International Airport is set to open for operations on May 1. When it opens, the city's old airport will no longer be needed, so the Airports Company South Africa is looking to sell the land. But how long it takes could impact how long it takes for the city to recoup the money it invested in building the new airport, which is expected to see significant traffic during the World Cup.

From May 1, Durban will be served by the new King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy, built at a cost of R7bn.

Melomoney said the sale of the old site was dependent not only on Acsa, but on the national and provincial governments. Both Acsa and the government have previously stated they will not sell the old Durban airport to anyone who is going to operate it as an airport, as that would provide competition to the new airport.

Durban airport put up for sale
Fin 24
April 16, 2010

FIFA Gets Tax Exemption for Cup-Related Expenses in Brazil

The Brazilian government has made a deal to exempt FIFA and its partners from taxes related to goods and services purchased to prepare for the 2014 World Cup.

"The decision to exempt FIFA is based on the assessment that Brazil stands to win a lot more by the stimulating effect on the economy. Releasing tax money will have a smaller impact than what is set to be generated by the economy and will be collected through taxes," the [Brazilian Planning Minister Nelson Machado] noted.

FIFA to be exempt from taxes
News 24
April 16, 2010

SA Hospitals Ill-Equipped to Handle Major Disaster

A FIFA medical adviser has warned that South Africa's public hospitals are "completely unprepared" to handle a major World Cup-related disaster such as a crowd stampede or riot.

"Hospital disaster plans are actually a disaster," said Professor Efraim Kramer, a Fifa medical officer and adviser to the local organising committee.

Kramer, head of emergency medicine at Johannesburg's Witwatersrand University, told a doctors conference on Wednesday that public hospitals had "absolutely no idea" how to implement disaster management plans because they had not been tested.

In contrast, Kramer said private hospitals, some of the best in the world, were better prepared and had good disaster plans. The South African government says public hospitals would handle at least 70 percent of the World Cup workload.

'Hospitals not ready for WC disaster'
Reuters
April 15, 2010

Cape Town Tries to Clear Prostitution Off Streets

Officials in Cape Town are making extra efforts to clear the city's streets of prostitutes, sex workers and brothels ahead of the World Cup. Child prostitution has also seen a reported rise in recent weeks, causing concern amongst local law enforcement officials.

With just nine weeks to the tournament kick-off, the city's vice squad is closing in on illegal brothels and prostitution rings.

[The city's safety and security mayoral committee member JP]Smith said there was a comprehensive policing strategy in place for the World Cup, which included clearing the streets of prostitutes and closing all illegal brothels.

'No prostitutes on the menu'
Cape Argus
April 9, 2010

Durban beach Upgrade Delay Threatens Reputation

A land dispute between he city of Durban and a local amusement park owner is dragging in the courts, which threatens to delay renovation of a beachfront part of the city -- a delay that some fear would harm the city's reputation during the World Cup.

[W]ith a June 11 Fifa deadline for all construction in the city to cease, it is looking increasingly likely that the "Dairy Beach node" upgrade will not be finished in time. This, officials say, will harm the city, its citizens and especially Steyn and his business.

"Strict adherence to the upgrade schedule is imperative for the city," chief legal adviser Alisande Bradshaw said in an affidavit before the court.

"Should any phase be delayed, it will obstruct the completion of the project and expose the city to adverse scrutiny and criticism both nationally and abroad.

Beach upgrade in jeopardy
The Mercury
April 8, 2010

Cape Town Establishes Program to Protect Children During World Cup

Officials in Cape Town are setting up a system to handle lost and runaway children during the World Cup. Specifically, the program seeks to protect children from human trafficking, sexual exploitation and substance abuse.

Together with Home Affairs and non-governmental organisations, the department of social development has established a school holiday programme for local children. It has also set up places of safety for children at stadiums and public places as well as interpreters for children who speak foreign languages.

“We have put everything in place – social workers, interpreters and places of safety,” spokesperson for social development MEC in the Western Cape Danny Abrahams said.

Abrahams said they would put “lost children” or “runaways” in places of safety until the World Cup is over. He said they would also work with Home Affairs and International Relations in cases where children are from other countries.

Plan to keep children safe during World Cup
Sowetan
April 8, 2010

Threats and Violence the Unfortunate Theme at World Cup

Threats of terrorism and the recent ambush of the Togo National team at the African Cup of Nations are testing the will of some nations and players who are expected to play in this year's World Cup. Though FIFA officials and South African locals are trying to dispel rumors of violence and danger, the prevailing feeling is that security is not a guarantee.

Since terror is represented by words as well as bombs or bullets, we can expect more of this crossfire of rhetoric as the global focus on South Africa intensifies.

Adebayor’s withdrawal is no doubt chastened by his stated anger that not only did the security forces fail to protect his team in an area where separatists were known to pose a threat, but the African soccer confederation subsequently barred Togo from the next two African Cup of Nations.

Undercurrents of Violence at the World Cup
The New York Times
April 14, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Drinking Hours May Be Extended in Northern Cape During Cup

Officials in the Northern Cape are considering a plan to extend drinking hours at pubs until 2 in the morning during the World Cup. The move is being called an effort to create a "relaxed social atmosphere".

[Economic development and tourism MEC John Block] was considering amending the province's new Liquor Act to allow drinks to be sold until 02:00 in bars, restaurants, taverns and hotels.

The amendment, gazetted on April 7, came seven days after the province's new Liquor Act came into force, restricting the sale of liquor until midnight.

NCape may relax pub rules for SWC
News24
April 14, 2010

Home Affairs Department To Ease Processing of International Fans at Ports

South Africa's Home Affairs department has instituted temporary practices to ease the processing of foreign visitors into the country during the World Cup. Free visas for foreign visitors attending games, passenger processing systems and new lanes at airports for foregin visitors are some of the measures being taken to ease the flood of visitors. Other measures will also be put in place, including one that aims to "track" foreign visitors around the country.

A 24-hour operations centre had been established in Pretoria to handle any problems that might arise.

Briefing the media earlier on Wednesday, Dlamini-Zuma said her department was also setting up a system to track and facilitate the movement of foreign visitors around the country.

"We are making sure we have an integrated system at our ports of entry that can assist us both in the security, but also in the facilitation of movement of people.

Home Affairs ready for 2010 SWC
News24
April 14, 2010

Human Trafficking A Smaller Concern, According to Study

Human trafficking ahead of the World Cup was expected to be a major problem in South Africa, where thousands of people were expected to be smuggled into the country to work for low wages. However, a study out of the University of South Africa suggests that problem may not be as big as had been feared.

[A]t present the number of people trafficked to, in or from South Africa each year is currently not known, but that the real figure is more likely to be in the hundreds than in the thousands. But, she says, trafficking is a very real problem in this country.

"There is enough even from the little bits of quantitative data that we manage to get hold of , and a lot of anecdotal data from various, from a range of stake holders; it is definitely a problem and a lot of people are at risk," Allais said.

The study led by Allais is the first comprehensive investigation done in South Africa - it was commissioned by the country's National Prosecuting Authority and done under the auspices of the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria. But researchers said their ability to investigate the problem was severely curtailed because governments in the region do not gather statistics on trafficking, and because the team was not given names and details of government officials dealing with it.

Spotlight on Human Trafficking Before World Cup in South Africa
Voice of America
April 13, 2010

Some Price Issues Facing Tourists in South Africa

This video from CNN features an interview with Thandiew January-McLean, who is the CEO of South African Tourism. She discusses how her agency is dealing with concerns over local businesses overcharging customers. She claims there is only a minority of hotel owners who have raised their prices exorbitantly.

She also discusses how the country hopes to use the World Cup as leverage to continue to lure tourists after the World Cup is over.


Will South Africa really benefit from World Cup?
CNN
April 14, 2010

Durban Hospitals OK'd to Handle World Cup Crowds

Hospitals and health care facilities in Durban have been given the seal of approval from parliamentary committees for their readiness ahead of the World Cup.

"From the presentations we heard, the level of integration and co-operation within the government levels and the advancement of the preparations, we are sincerely satisfied," health portfolio committee chairman Dr Bevani Goqwana said in a statement.

Durban hospital ready for World Cup visitors
Independent Online
April 12, 2010

FIFA's Hotel Service Ditches 300,000 Reservations Due to Low Demand

The contractor picked by FIFA to supply accommodations and ticketing during the World Cup recently announced that it would no longer need 300,000 bed nights at area hotels that it had booked in anticipation of the crowds coming to see the tournament.

MATCH now holds only 600,000 of the 1.9 million bed nights that it originally reserved for the competition, said Brett Dungan, the executive director of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, according to the Johannesburg- based Afrikaans-language newspaper.

Soccer World Cup Agency Dumps 300,000 Bed Nights, Beeld Reports
Bloomberg
April 14, 2010

South African Cities Will See Additional Transit During World Cup

Extra train sets and transit police will be on-hand during the World Cup, according to Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele.

[The country has] already invested over R20 billion in the passenger rail services for the World Cup and beyond.

“The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is currently upgrading key stations and critical infrastructure,” Ndebele said.

The former Kwa-Zulu Natal premier also announced refurbishments of two thousand coaches, the roll out of the South African Railway Police, which are key in making the country fully complaint in support for the soccer spectacular.

Rail services upgraded ahead of 2010 World Cup
Bush Radio News
April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

KwaZulu-Natal to Provide 15,000 'Tourist Buddies'

The provincial government in KwaZulu-Natal is hoping to improve its tourism industry ahead of the World Cup by training thousands of locals and hospitality industry workers to be "tourist buddies" to visitors. These "buddies" are intended to help tourists as they travel in and around the province.

MEC for economic development and tourism Mike Mabuyakhulu said they were targeting 15000 people to be trained.

“For starters, we will train 1500 people. We will be taking people already in the employ of the hospitality industry but we will also train volunteers from the rural areas,” he said.

“Those receiving training are staff in hotels, food outlets, restaurants, garages, car guards and any industry dealing with people,” Mabuyakhulu said.

Plan to train 15000 tourist buddies for Fifa World Cup
Sowetan
April 13, 2010

Questioned Sao Paulo Stadium Approved as Possible 2014 World Cup Host

FIFA officials have announced that Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo is fit to host first-round, second-round, and possibly even a semi-final match during the 2014 World Cup. FIFA released the statement after a Brazilian newspaper reported statements by a FIFA officials indicating Morumbi Stadium would not be considered as a host venue.

The statement said information was provided on what needs to be improved for the stadium to host a semifinal, and "FIFA is currently waiting to see these improvements."

FIFA had previously said it was not satisfied with the project for Morumbi Stadium.

FIFA says Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo is ready to host group games at 2014 WCup
The Associated Press
April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Providing Fan Parks and Viewing Areas in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is dedicating $2 million to create public World Cup viewing areas in cities and to facilitate the transmission of game broadcasts to rural areas.

[Tourism Minister Walter] Mzembi said there will be no charge to watch games in the rural viewing locations, while city residents will be charged one dollar to access the sites.

Zimbabwe Budgets US$2 Million for Public Viewing of World Cup in Rural Areas
April 8, 2010

Zimbabwe Hopes to Draw Tourists With Revised Visa Rules

The government of Zimbabwe is hoping to revise its visa rules to ease international travel into the country from neighboring South Africa.

Proposals included a special permit to allow travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe and a complete suspension of visa requirements for visitors from the 32 participating nations.

This as concern grows that the tourism and commercial spin-offs from South Africa's hosting of the tournament may not be as high as initially predicted.

Zimbabwe's Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi said: "The arrivals have been revised down almost to about 280 000 or so, starting from an all high of 450 000. It affects us here as well".

Zimbabwe calls for special World Cup visa
April 13, 2010

Awkward Timing for Violence and Racial Tension in South Africa

Recent violence and racial tension in South Africa has created a big problem for locals trying to assure international visitors that safety will not be a major concern during the World Cup.

To add to the torture for World Cup officials while the spotlight is fixed on South Africa, municipal workers have declared an indefinite strike over wages, threatening the chaotic scenes seen last year when rubbish was strewn over the streets. South Africa’s biggest labour federation has threatened strikes during the tournament to protest against big hikes in power prices.
All of this illustrates the point that countries or cities staging major world events suddenly become fixed in an often uncomfortable glare of world attention as the big day approaches. But even by these standards, South Africa looks unfortunate. World Cup officials, led by chief organiser Danny Jordaan, have spent literally years fending off suggestions that soccer fans will be in mortal danger in South Africa, which has one of the globe’s highest rates of violent crime. Jordaan and others have repeated a familiar mantra– the country has staged 150 sports and other events since the end of apartheid with little problem, millions of tourists have enjoyed South Africa’s many attractions for years without major criminal attacks and protecting a finite event is a lot less complex than overcoming the national crime wave–especially since 40,000 police have been mobilised to do only that.

Violence and tension come at worst time for World Cup
April 12, 2010

Bombing Threatened During World Cup

Reputed terrorist group al Qaeda has released a statement suggesting it will attack a game at the World Cup.

"How amazing could the match United States vs. Britain be when broadcasted live on air at a stadium packed with spectators when the sound of an explosion rumbles through the stands, the whole stadium is turned upside down and the number of dead bodies are in their dozens and hundreds, Allah willing," reads a statement the group published in a recent issue of the Jihadi online magazine Mushtaqun Lel Jannah (Longing to Paradise).

Qaeda Group Threatens to Attack World Cup
CBS
April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

President Says Deadly Flooding Not an Issue for Brazil's Cup and Olympics

After heavy rainfall that caused the deaths of at least 81 people in Brazil, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tried to assure the world that such disasters would not stand in the way of Brazil hosting the 2014 World Cup or the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Mudslides and severe flooding caused by heavy rain since late Monday claimed at least 81 lives in and around Rio de Janeiro, the authorities said Tuesday.

"It does not rain everyday. Neither are there quakes everyday in Chile and Haiti. Usually, the months of June and July (when the two major sporting events are set to take place) are calmer. Rio is ready to host the Olympic Games and the World Cup, the best the world has ever known," Lula said.

Read more: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/317388,extra-lula-rules-out-rain-related-problems-in-world-cup-olympics.html#ixzz0kNst0Ghm

EXTRA: Lula rules out rain-related problems in World Cup, Olympics
Earth Times
April 6, 2010

Prospective World Cup Host City Atlanta Sees Economic Opportunity

This article from Global Atlanta looks at the economic boom underway in South Africa's World Cup host cities, and sees a similar opportunity for Atlanta, which is among the list of host cities for the United States' 2018/2022 World Cup bid.

Atlanta is one of 18 cities included in the U.S. World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022. Since hosting the Summer Olympics in 1996, the city has solidified its credentials for hosting big sporting events.

But it wasn't always so. Before the Games, many didn't think Atlanta could pull off the event. The city had to improve infrastructure and public safety. Every effort was made to help visitors see the city as a destination for global business.

Similarly, South Africa hopes to use the World Cup to showcase its business opportunities and overcome stereotypes, said Donald Gips, U.S. ambassador to South Africa. Crime and corruption are often cited as hurdles for doing business in the country.

South Africa's Soccer Stimulus: World Cup Boom Keeps Recession at Bay
Global Atlanta
April 2, 2010

Supporters of Slain White Supremacist Back Down on Violence Threat

Supporters of slain white supremacist Eugene Terre'Blanche have called off a pledge to exact violent revenge ahead of the World Cup for their leader's death. Security officials in South Africa had been trying to clam international nerves over the prospect of violence during the Cup.

The far-right Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) movement had initially sworn to avenge the killing of its leader, Eugene Terre'Blanche, on Saturday, warning fans to think twice about visiting "a land of murder".

But today, Pieter Steyn, a general in the AWB, said: "Our membership is very, very shocked, angry and horrified. In the heat of the moment, certain statements were made and I would like to retract those statements.

"It is the philosophy of the AWB that no member will engage in any form of violence, intimidation, racial slandering or anything of that matter. It is, however, very difficult to contain our members and keep them calm."

Eugene Terre'Blanche supporters withdraw threat of violence ahead of World Cup
Guardian
April 5, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Officials Say Murder of White Supremacist is No Concern for World Cup

The murder of right-wing leader and noted white supremacist Eugene Terre'Blanche should not cause any concern about the safety of the World Cup, according to officials and event organizers.

Lawrence Schlemmer, vice president of the SA Institute of Race Relations, told The Associated Press on Monday that the tournament can help ease tensions in the country.

"There is no reason why these things, as tragic as they are, should affect the safety of fans or players at the World Cup," Schlemmer said. "The World Cup and sport, as it is supposed to, channels passions and reconciles conflict."

Murder to have 'little impact on SWC'
News 24
April 5, 2010

Despite Concerns Along the Way, South Africa's Cup Preparations Come Together

This article from The Guardian looks at some of the problems that have plagued South Africa throughout its World Cup preparations, and also some of the successes the country and its event organizers have achieved.

Given the exacting scale of the task set by Fifa to host its landmark tournament, huge progress has been made to produce 10 venues of the required capacity finished on time, a massive road expansion programme, and rail links including new terminals built next to each of the five stadiums specifically built for the tournament. Practically, the competition can definitely go ahead, a prospect that has not always been certain as construction was punctuated by workers striking over pay. Security in a country sporting ugly crime statistics has been a persistent concern which, together with the fears that the infrastructure would not be ready, led to Fifa reportedly preparing contingency plans to move the event.

South Africa has responded with the promise of a blanket deployment of police and security officers – with 41,000 policing the World Cup alone – and the army and Interpol closely involved. Fans will be given precise instructions about which well-trodden paths not to stray from.

World Cup 2010: Will £800m buy positive images of South Africa?
Guardian
April 1, 2010

Cape Town's Poor Outraged Over 'Temporary' Housing Area

Street people displaced from Cape Town streets are calling their forced relocation like living in a concentration camp. The temporary housing area was built in 2008 to temporarily house the homeless, but residents say the makeshift township is little more than a bandage on an endemic problem in the city. Upwards of 15,000 people are estimated to live in this grouping of shacks, which the city says was designed to house only about 1,600 people.

This is Tin Can Town, or Blikkiesdorp, described by the mayor of Cape Town as a "temporary relocation area" (TRA), but by its residents as a concentration camp. Many say they were forcibly evicted from their former homes and moved here against their will. And for this they blame one thing: the football World Cup.

"It's a dumping place," said Jane Roberts, who lives in the sparsely furnished structure known as M49. "They took people from the streets because they don't want them in the city for the World Cup. Now we are living in a concentration camp."

Life in 'Tin Can Town' for the South Africans evicted ahead of World Cup
Guardian
April 1, 2010

Domestic Tourism to Drop During Cup

While foreign tourism is expected to boom during the World Cup, economists and tourism experts say domestic tourism in South Africa will see a lull during the event.

Domestic tourism might take a back seat during the soccer tournament, however. Advisory and research firm Grant Thornton, which recently conducted a study commissioned by the government into accommodation prices during the World Cup, said last month that domestic tourism was likely to be softer over this winter, as foreign fans displaced local visitors during the soccer tournament.

It said business travellers were likely to postpone their domestic travel plans until after the World Cup and families were likely to stay at home during the school holidays, scheduled during the game.

The firm said it expected between 300 000 and 480 000 foreign fans - 151 000 from Africa - to arrive in SA for the tournament, and spend R8,5bn. Early forecasts of up to 750 000 visitors at the World Cup are now considered unrealistic.

South Africa: World Cup Fans Are Doing Some Tourist Research
Business Day
April 1, 2010

Durban Hopes Stadium Arch Will Pay Long-Term Dividends

Officials in Durban are hoping the arch over the new Moses Mabhida Stadium will be a long-standing tourist attraction -- one that will help pay off the $450 million stadium.

If they take the car ride rather than the 520 steps, fans can stand on a walkway high above the stadium and, although they can see little of the field, the view is breathtaking, if not a little scary.

Months before the World Cup arrives in Durban on June 13, the arch is being put to use as a tourist attraction and is likely to be a money maker long after the tournament finishes on July 11 as organisers aim to make up the $450 million cost of building the stadium.

Giants arch is Durban's tourist attraction
Independent Online
April 1, 2010