Monday, May 31, 2010

Begging a Major Issue for Host Cities

While much attention has been laid upon human trafficking and sex work, begging is said to be one of the major problems facing South Africa's World Cup host cities.

[C]ity officials, such as City of Johannesburg spokesman Virgil James, say they want "to convey an honest image of SA".

"Begging is not something we think tourists would enjoy, obviously not, but it is a difficult problem to solve and a difficult one to police at any time, not just during a large sports event," James says.

There are no bylaws against begging or loitering.

"It's too difficult for the city to develop some kind of regulation against something that isn't illegal, even if the act of begging can lead to criminal activities," James says.

South Africa: Tackling Begging During the World Cup
Business Day
May 31, 2010

Cruise Ships Pull Out

Luxury cruise ships that had initially planned to dock in Port Elizabeth and other coastal World Cup host cities to serve as accommodations have announced that they won't be coming for the Cup.

Some tour operators have been left licking their wounds after the trip was cancelled due to a lack of cabin bookings.

The two cruise ships, the Noordam and the Westerdam, among the most luxurious in the world, were to have docked in Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town and been used as bases for fans.

Africa 4 Real Tours owner Mark Heck said the cancellation was a real blow to the industry, and especially to his company, which had been contracted to provide local transport operations for the tourists.

Luxury liners won’t be docking in PE to serve as Cup hotel
The Herald
May 24, 2010

Measuring Impact of World Cup Will Take Years

The impact of the World Cup on South Africa will take many years to fully comprehend, according to this piece form Sports Illustrated.

Historian Peter Alegi views the whole thing as "a very expensive -- and very expansive -- branding operation. The World Cup is an opportunity to show that South Africa is a modern democracy, technologically advanced, business friendly and also an attractive tourist destination."

There is much to gain from such visibility. But it also carries risks.

Argentina's tournament in 1978 is an example. The country was ruled at the time by a sinister military junta, who, while murdering some 20,000 of its citizens also wanted to use the World Cup to make propaganda for its achievements. A U.S. PR firm was engaged to broadcast the message. But the junta found it hard to understand that the international press would not act like obedient soldiers. Some of the journalists would go looking for stories -- and an excellent one was the protest organization set up by mothers of the 'disappeared.' As a result of the World Cup, their tale was told all over the planet, bringing home to millions the true nature of the regime. There was no PR triumph, and the regime was not mourned anywhere when it collapsed five years later.

Legacy of South Africa's World Cup will take many years to measure
Sports Illustrated
May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cape Town Accused of Cleaning Poor From Streets Ahead of Cup

Cape Town residents are accusing the city of forcibly moving poor people outside of the city center ahead of the World Cup. Local officials deny that this is a clean-up operation.

Homeless people claim they have been forced off the streets and taken there in an attempt to "clean up" before kick-off next month.

The city denies this, saying it is part of general policy.

"There has not and will not be a concerted clean-up campaign," said city spokesperson Kylie Hatton.

Cape Town's clean-up
Mail & Guardian
May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Making South Africa's World Cup More South African

This piece from The New York Times looks at how South Africans have pushed against the corporate bent of the FIFA World Cup to make it a little more accessible to its people.

“This is not our World Cup,” explained Greg Fredericks, a senior manager for South Africa’s World Cup organizing committee. He noted the dominant role of FIFA, soccer’s Zurich-based world governing body. “It is FIFA’s World Cup. We are just the organizers. We are the stage.”

That might have been the end of the story, except that this is South Africa, the country that ended a vicious system of racial segregation 16 years ago to create a noisy, fractious, vibrant democracy. Poking a finger in the eye of authority is part of the national DNA.

And so South Africans have pushed back — to get easier access to tickets, to see their wealth of musicians included in the FIFA concert and to ensure that more World Cup souvenirs were made in South Africa. Along the way, they have won modest victories that will give the slickly marketed, corporate-branded, monthlong sports spectacular splashes of African authenticity.

South Africa Pushes to Make the Cup Its Own
The New York Times
May 23, 2010

Russia Proposes $340 Million Investment in Stadia for 2018/2022 Cup

Russia is expecting to invest about $340 million on new stadia if it wins the right to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.

"Sufficient funds have been allocated by the government for the reconstruction of existing bases, pitches, and infrastructure," [Russian Football Union head Sergei Fursenko] said. "Around 340 million until 2015 is expected to be spent on these needs."

He added that 13 new stadiums would be built for the tournament, and that even if Russia was unsuccessful in its bid, "we will build six stadiums in any case."

Russia to invest $340 million in football infrastructure
May 18, 2010

Foreign Visitor Expectations Fall Again

South African tourism officials are now estimating that only 300,000 foreign visitors will come to the country during the World Cup. This is down from an initial prediction of 450,000 and a reduced prediction only a month ago of about 375,000.

"It may be a little bit less than what we expected ... but four years ago nobody expected the global recession," [tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk] said, quickly adding: "But it is still a lot of people. Our stadiums are going to be full, it is going to an exceptionally good World Cup."

Of the 230 000 foreign fans who have bought tickets, Van Schalkwyk said just 11 300 are African -- 76% less than originally forecast for the first World Cup on African soil.

SA expects 300 000 World Cup visitors
Mail & Guardian
May 19, 2010

South Africa Asks Visitors to Help Conserve Energy During the Cup

Visitors to South Africa are being asked to help conserve electricity during the World Cup, as power supplies are expected to be pushed to their limits.

Power utility Eskom said in a statement that supplies would very likely be sufficient during the month-long World Cup starting on June 11 but called on the public to use electricity sparingly.

"It is expected that more than 200,000 tourists will arrive in South Africa during the next few weeks and although electricity supply is expected to be sufficient over this period, cold winter temperatures combined with high electricity demand are likely to place Eskom under additional pressure," the utility's Nosipho Maphumulo said.

Foreign visitors will be warned to conserve power through public announcements on flights and notices posted on airline seat tables and in flight magazines.

World Cup fans asked to save electricity
May 18, 2010

Brazil Eyes $20 Billion Investment in 2014 World Cup

Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva has said the country will need to invest moe than $20 billion in stadia, transportation and infrastructure as it prepares to host the 2014 World Cup.

Silva said Wednesday that 53 transportation projects were in the planning stage and some had already been contracted.

Brazil: We must spend $20 billion on World Cup
Associated Press
May 20, 2010

Hawkers Flood Port Elizabeth With Applications to Vend at World Cup

More than 1,200 businesses have applied for licenses to trade wares at World Cup events in Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth).

The municipality said in a statement it was soliciting more applications so traders could “apply for a slice of the 2010 Fifa World Cup cake”.

Municipalities and Fifa had recently come under attack from hawkers and traders who said they had been excluded from conducting business around World Cup events.

More than 1200 trader applications for World Cup
The Herald
May 14, 2010

Township Residents Fuming Over Lack of Participation in Local Events

People in the Johannesburg township of Alexandra are vowing to disrupt any FIFA operations in their area. They're upset over what they say was a lack f coordination between the residents and the city, which they say pulled out of talks to have locals more involved in events.

"If you will not deal with us in good faith, we will also show you that it is our township and nothing will happen in this township, nothing will happen in Alexandra without our participation."

The statement followed a protest last week that resulted in talks with the City of Johannesburg. The businesspeople claimed the city backtracked on a promise made by local councillors to give them contracts for cleaning, catering, printing and providing linen, and called discussions a "smokescreen".

'Fifa have not bought Alexandra'
Independent Online
May 25, 2010

Joburg Officials Try to Dispel Soccer City Congestion Fears

Officials in Johannesburg are trying to allay fears that the World Cup matches in the city will be burdened with the same traffic congestion that hounded the opening of Soccer City Stadium last week.

City officials on Monday promised to fix major traffic problems that disrupted the inaugural match at the World Cup's showpiece stadium in Johannesburg, causing concern about the soccer spectacular.

The problems on Saturday caused fans to miss both the opening ceremony at Soccer City and part of an historic rugby match in Soweto's new Orlando arena.

Huge traffic jam causes World Cup worry
May 24, 2010

Durban Business Owners Losing Out Over Stadium Vending Closures

Small business owners who'd hoped to cash in on their locations within the new Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban are now being told they won't be allowed to work in their vending slots until after the World Cup is over. They had previously thought they'd only have to close for official FIFA-approved vendors on match days.

Security concerns have been blamed for the closure, costing several people their jobs and the businesses millions of rands in lost income.

All activities at the R3.1 billion stadium must stop from Monday until July 14, as world soccer governing body Fifa takes over the facility to prepare for the football extravaganza.

Jobs, millions lost in stadium shutdown

Polokwane Takes World Cup Preparations Beyon Stadium

Polokwane and the Limpopo Provincial government are hoping their preparations for the World Cup will help foster relations between African countries.

These include a newly built tourism and information centre that will be utilized to attract tourists to the City of Stars and upgraded infrastructure such as roads and bridges. City officials have also incorporated a unique feature in the province's world cup fan fare programme by developing what has been named a 'cultural village', aimed at giving the World Cup an African feel. Organisers say the African village will also be used as a tourist attraction site in which 10 different African countries will showcase their heritage and culture. Plans are under way to ensure the idea is used to foster relations among African countries beyond the World Cup.

South Africa: Limpopo Ready for World Cup- Motlanthe
Bua News
May 23, 2010

Port Elizabeth's White Elephant Stadium

People in Port Elizabeth are worried about the long-term viability of its new stadium. Economists are arguing that the stadium won't be able to pay for its maintenance costs after the World Cup is over.

"In the South African case, all the stadiams were either renovated or constructed by the government. That means that the commercial consideration was never primary," said economist Stan du Plessis of Stellenbosch University.

"Some of these stadiums are simply not going to be in a position to cover their running costs. In that sense, they will be loss making."

'South Africans left with white elephants'
Independent Online
May 23, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Host Cities Sweeping Vagrants and Prostitutes Off Streets

Street children, prostitutes and vagrants are being swept from the streets in South Africa's World Cup host cities. They are being relocated to places with services, according to some officials, but other say they are being put in concentration camps. Street vendors and advocates are outraged.

As the continent's biggest economy, South Africa's streets are a magnet for immigrant beggars, who see the country as a step out of poverty.

In the last two months, police in Johannesburg swooped on mainly Zimbabwean blind beggars who roam the busy streets and women who sit with babies at road intersections - much to the anger of rights groups.

"Their presence violates the city bylaws and we arrest them. In many cases those in need, like women with children and disabled people, are referred to places of safety, where they can access welfare services," said Edna Mamonyane, spokeswoman for the Johannesburg Metro Police.

Poor, prostitutes removed from streets
Independent Online
May 18, 2010

Australia Announces Big Infrastructure Investments for Prospective World Cup Bids

With three new stadia and nine renovations planned, Australia is planning to spend nearly $2.5 billion on infrastructure projects if it is chosen to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

Three new stadiums would be built in Perth, Canberra and Blacktown in Sydney's western suburbs, while nine venues in other cities would be upgraded, the FFA said in a statement.

"The infrastructure investment will leave a legacy to all sporting codes in the nation before and after the FIFA World Cup for generations to come," FFA Chairman Frank Lowy said.

Australia World Cup infrastructure to cost $2.48 billion
Reuters via Sports Illustrated
May 16, 2010

Bribe Comments From the Top Hurt England's 2018/2022 Bid

After the release of a secretly recorded tape in which he suggested that Russia and Spain would try to collude and bribe their way into hosting an upcoming World Cup, the leader of England's Football Association and World Cup Bid Team has resigned. He claims the bribe comments were not meant to be taken seriously. England's bid team has issued formal apologies to the bid teams in Russia and Spain, and some now question whether this controversy will hurt England's chances of being selected as host of either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. England was thought to be the favorite to win hosting duties for 2018.

The Mail on Sunday revelations came only two days after former England captain David Beckham had helped the FA submit a 1,752-page bid book as they try to persuade Fifa to award England the 2018 World Cup.

"I have decided to resign as chairman of the FA and the 2018 Bid board," Triesman said in a statement.

"A private conversation with someone whom I thought to be a friend was taped without my knowledge and passed to a national newspaper," he added, referring to former aide Melissa Jacobs, who met Triesman a fortnight ago.

Lord Triesman quits FA and 2018 World Cup bid jobs
May 16, 2010

Japan Emphasizes 3D in its Bid to Host the 2022 World Cup

Citing its predominance in the world of high technology, Japan is bolstering its bid to host the 2022 World Cup through its ability to present matches in 3D. Officials are also touting the nation's recent co-hosting run in 2002, and its financial ability to build the stadia necessary to host the event.

[Japan's soccer chief Motoaki Inukai] insisted there would be no financial barriers to staging the World Cup in 2022 if Japan were named as hosts by FIFA in December.

"If Tokyo had won the (2016) Olympic bid it would have simplified things a lot," he said, referring to the construction of an 80,000 capacity stadium required under FIFA rules.

"Osaka raised their hand and have signed off on the stadium so it will be built. If Japan are chosen as World Cup hosts there will be no (financial) concerns at all."

Japan offers 'Avatar'-style 2022 World Cup
May 17, 2010

Xenophobic Attacks Feared to Rise After World Cup

Migrants from Zimbabwe and other nearby countries who have flooded into South Africa looking for work are being threatened with violence by locals who say the foreigners are stealing their jobs.

This week, two years after the start of the 2008 riots that left scores dead across the country, a consortium of leading migration organisations said it had received reports by foreign nationals that they were being threatened with violence after the tournament.

"These threats are coming from many different people: neighbours, colleagues, taxi drivers, passersby, but also from nurses, social workers and police officers," said Cormsa, whose members include Amnesty International, the South African Red Cross Society, and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation . "Some of those making the threats believe that they have the support of senior political leaders," it said.

Warning of xenophobic violence in South Africa after World Cup
May 17, 2010

Crime an Issue in South Africa, But Not as Bad as it Seems

Crime is one of the big issues facing South Africa as it prepares to host the World Cup. But despite its reputation as one of the world's most dangerous countries, the reality is much less widespread than most media reports suggest.

It's a complicated picture, says Johan Burger, senior researcher in the crime and justice programme at South Africa's Institute for Security Studies.

The first thing is that the South African murder rate is going down and not up.

"Contrary to what many people think, the murder rate, while still extremely high, is down by about 44% since 1995. That's a huge decrease."

The geographical and social spread of murder might also be relevant to visitors.

How dangerous is South Africa?
May 17, 201

Houston Has High Hopes on Hosting

Planners and officials in Houston are hoping that the U.S. bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup is successful, as it could greatly benefit the city.

“We just got done with a successful 2010 NCAA South Regional,” David Tagliarino of Stadium Management Group-Reliant Park said. “We're hosting the NCAA Final Four in 2011 and we'll be hosting the Final Four again in 2016. We've done the All-Star Games. We've done the Super Bowl, and the World Cup would just be icing on the cake.”

An experienced sales pitch
The Houston Chronicle
May 14, 2010

Host City Nelspruit Focuses on Shuttles and Park-and-Ride During Cup

World Cup host city Nelspruit has revealed its public transport plans for the tournament. The plans focus on providing public shuttles and access to fan parks and the city's stadium. The plans also emphasize parking cars away from the venues and taking transit options the rest of the way.

"The transport system is an additional service to the regular day-to-day public transport system already in place. It comprises a public transport hub, six park-and-ride points and one park-and-walk point, all with free and secure parking, as well as an airport pickup point.

"Shuttle services to the stadium, Fan Fest and public transport hub will be operational from the park-and-ride and airport pickup points," he said.

Mogale said 600 branded buses and minibus taxis would provide the shuttle services, with a number of primary and alternative routes that had been developed to ensure the system runs smoothly and traffic congestion is kept to a minimum.

Nelspruit's 2010 transport plans in place
Bua News
May 13, 2010

World Cup Infrastructure Boom Now Over for Cement Makers

A slowdown in infrastructure project building after the World Cup rush has South African Cement makers worried about if and when they'll be able to emerge from the recession.

The government's spending plans envisages R846bn being spent on projects ranging from roads and water works to building schools and clinics in rural areas over the next three years.

Stuiver wondered whether the money would be spent in three years as planned. Speaking after the group's half-year results to March, he said it seemed as though the government's infrastructural projects were taking long to get off the ground.

South Africa: Infrastructure Slowdown Worries PPC
Business Day
May 12, 2010

An Introduction to South Africa's Planned Fan Parks

This post lists and describes the free fan park viewing areas that are going tobe set up throughout the country during the World Cup.

Every host city has set up FIFA Fan Fests, where soccer lovers will be able to watch their favourite teams compete.

The Fan Fest venues will be open on all match-playing days and entrance will be free.

Soweto soccer fans will watch all World Cup matches at the Rockville Fan Fest at Elkah Stadium. The venue is conveniently located next to the Thokoza Park station of Johannesburg's new bus rapid transit system. Up to 40 000 people can be hosted at Elkah Stadium.

FIFA Fan Fests - A Different World Cup Experience
My 12, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

U.S. Pins 2018/2022 World Cup Bid Hopes on Physical Capacity

The United States confidently submitted its bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, boasting its physical capacity to host the games and the crowds.

[Sunil Gulati, chairman of the U.S. Soccer Federation] cited several factors that would help make the U.S. case, including having 5 million tickets available, 18 cities with access to international airports and stadiums ready to host the event tomorrow, plus a wealthy populace.

Alas, numbers alone don't win the bidding, and the U.S. also has to convince the 25 members of FIFA's executive committee it has become a full-bore soccer nation. "They don't understand how big it is in this country," Mr. Gulati said.

Confident U.S. Presents World Cup Bid
The Wall Street Journal
May 14, 2010

Other Sports Threaten Australia's 2018/2022 World Cup Bid

Though Australia has submitted its formal bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, its agreements with rugby and other sport leagues are tenuous and could crack the country's seeming abilities to host the event.

A government-brokered deal fixing a formula for compensation was struck at the eleventh hour this week, allowing Australia to hand its bid book to FIFA by the deadline on Friday with a semblance of cooperation [nSGE6490I1].

However, the Memorandum of Understanding merely papers over the cracks, and allows the rival codes to schedule matches in direct competition with the tournament, opening up the embarrassing possibility of half-empty stadiums as local fans vote with their feet.

"Not negotiable for us, if you wanted to articulate it as a deal-breaker, was that we had to have the ability for our season to play through," Gillon McLachlan, chief operating officer of the Australian Football League (AFL), told Reuters.

Australia W.Cup bid papers over home game cracks
May 14, 2010

Durban Waterfront Renovation To Complete Ahead of Schedule

Durban expects to finish upgrades to its Golden Mile of beachfront by May 30, ahead of previous deadlines it had set to be ready in time for the World Cup. The 200 million Rand (~$26.4 million USD) upgrade plan includes new restaurants along the shore and a new 6km pedestrian promenade.

On Friday, workers were busy putting the final touches to four restaurants decorated in yellow, red and green stones.

Grass and trees were also being planted along the promenade, which stretches from uShaka Marine World to the Suncoast Casino near the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The only thing that makes the beach area still look like a construction site are workers still busy with paving, drilling or final touches.

Durban's R200m beach upgrade
News 24
May 14, 2010

Green Cup With Bikes A-Plenty for Belgium and Netherlands Bid

Belgium and the Netherlands have submitted their joint bid for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, highlighting their commitment to creating a "green" World Cup. Their plan includes free public transit and 2 million free bikes for fans to use during the event.

"It will be the greenest World Cup ever with an environment protection plan the world has never seen before," said [Ruud] Gullit, who is president of the bid.

"The games will be played in 14 truly green stadiums. The compactness of our countries is a great asset, due to the short distance the next game is never far away and we will offer the fans a network of free public transport and 2 million free bikes.

"In the Low Countries, everyone can go to the stadiums by bike, just like we arrived this morning."

Gullit goes green as FIFA receives World Cup bid books
May 14, 2010

Trade Unions Say Counterfeit 2010 Merchandise Hurts Local Workers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is blasting counterfeit World Cup merchandise, arguing that it hurts local jobs.

"Since November 2009 alone, the SA Revenue Service has seized more than R88 million worth of fake goods at airports and harbours, with weekly reports of more seizures," Cosatu said in a statement.

"These fake imports threaten the jobs of people in factories in Durban, Cape Town and many other cities and towns."

Cosatu and the Fifa Organising Committee in South Africa have been working together to ensure that World Cup merchandise was produced locally to create job opportunities within the country.

SA jobs hurt by illegal World Cup goods
Independent Onlinr
May 14, 2010

England's 2018/2022 Bid is In

England has submitted its bid to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup, touting its success as host of the 1996 Euro championship and the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.

"He said that this country has great infrastructure and facilities and has a history of delivering great major sporting events like Euro 96; he said people in England were fully behind the bid," [said a FIFA spokesperson about a call FIFA President Sepp Blatter had received from new British Prime Minister David Cameron.]

England bid organisers believe that one of their trump cards is the ability to drive up the commercial revenues of the event.

Fifa is expected to net £2.1bn in TV and sponsorship from the 2010 World Cup, and England estimates it can increase that income by a third, taking it near the £3bn mark.

Beckham hands over England 2018 World Cup bid
May 14, 2010

Zuma Boasts Cup's Long-Term Impact on Nation

South African President Jacob Zuma is touting the long-term impact of the World Cup on his country and its national attitude.

Investment in additional resources for the police, disaster management, health and the immigration system would have a lasting impact on the delivery of services to the people.

Also important was the vibrant national mood and the positive response of the world.

"Domestically, the World Cup is generating high levels of patriotism and national pride. Our colourful flag is more visible at this time than ever before."

Cup 'will change SA forever'
May 12, 2010

Stadium Maintenance A New Budgetary Headache For Host Cities

Maintaining World Cup stadia could cost host cities between 10 million Rand and 70 million Rand (~$1.3 million USD - $9.2 million USD) per year, leaving some cities scrambling to find ways to afford the costs.

Host cities are toying with ideas to make sure ratepayers do not end up forking out a fortune to cover these costs.

The new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane would need between R10 million and R70 million for maintenance a year, said the city's 2010 director, Ndahve Ramakuela.

He said they would appoint a private company to manage the stadium.

Maintenance of 2010 stadiums to be costly
Independent Online
May 12, 2010

LOC Says FIFA Cash 'Not a Bailout'

Local organizing committee chief Danny Jordaan is claiming that FIFA's recent injection of $100 million into the country's World Cup preparation fund was not a "bailout".

Fifa signed off the 25 percent increase at an executive committee meeting held in March, its secretary general Jerome Valcke told BBC Sport.

Valcke said the extra money was needed to help South Africa ensure that team training camps would be ready on time.

Fifa's R750m 'no bailout'
Independent Online
May 11, 2010

Cape Town's Plan To Clean Up Homeless

The city of Cape Town has released a plan to address its homelessness, focusing on providing housing, supplying jobs and reuniting homeless people with their families. This plan was announced with just 34 days left before the start of the World Cup.

Armed with more than 1 000 disposable razors, 6 000 bars of soap, 6 000 toothbrushes, 4 000 tubes of toothpaste and 1 000 blankets, the city is also to make sure the people are clean and well groomed for the duration of the programme. It will also create 600 temporary jobs to assist vulnerable people with the reintegration process, paying them R40 a shift. And for the first time, the city has set up a homeless people operation centre that will co-ordinate all activities and function after normal working hours.

City unveils 2010 for homeless
Cape Times
May 7, 2010

Durban's New Stadium Already Driving Revenue

The brand new Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban has already proved itself a viable revenue source for the city, generating more than 4 billion Rand (~$528 million USD) since opening just a few months ago. The stadium's arch and sky car are seen as a major pull for the stadium, which has already seen more than 80,000 people ascend the arch.

"This proves that our stadium will never be a white elephant. The over R4 million does not include money generated by businesses at the stadium,” said city manager, Mike Sutcliffe.

The stadium, which was completed months before the World Cup, had become one of South Africa’s tourist attractions, he said.

Durban's stadium generates R4m
News 24
May 6, 2010

Cape Town Stadium's High Lighting Costs

It costs roughly 350,000 Rand a month (~$46,000 USD) to light Cape Town Stadium.

City spokesman Pieter Cronje said the city would be responsible for the operating cost of the stadium - including electricity - until it is handed over to the operator, Sail Stadefrance, in November.

While acknowledging that the electricity charges were high, Cronje said they had been budgeted for.

The bill shows that the stadium is an energy-guzzler, with R272 000 worth of electricity used in the September-October billing period, R352 000 in November, R312 000 in December and R308 000 in January.

Shocking cost of lighting up CT stadium
Cape Argus
April 29, 2010

Disasters Outside of World Cup Areas Could Take Harder Toll

World Cup disaster preparedness and personnel allocation could leave non-World Cup areas high and dry during the Cup.

We have not seen the cities’ disaster management plans, but it is almost guaranteed cities will place the majority of their emergency personnel in and around the designated sporting venues. In addition, most of the equipment, such as emergency motor vehicles, will also be deployed there.

This means few resources would be available to be deployed if any non-soccer World Cup emergencies were to occur. Therefore ordinary citizens’ access to emergency services is likely to be drastically curtailed for the duration of the soccer spectacular.

Fewer emergency resources for SA public during Cup
The Herald
May 6, 2010

First Phase of Gautrain Ready Before Cup

The first leg of Gauteng Province's Gautrain will be up and running by June 8, according to transit officials.

French construction giant Bouygues said the train's first segment, linking OR Tambo International Airport and the posh Johannesburg suburb of Sandton, will open in time for the June 11 kick-off of Africa's first World Cup.

The segment "will be handed over on June 8, three weeks ahead of our original schedule," said Christian Gazaignes, Bouygues' executive director.

Africa's first high-speed train to open ahead of World Cup
Agence France Presse
May 7, 2010

Town in Southern Cape Hopes to Make Impact as Team Base

The small town of Knysna in the Southern Cape will be the home base for the French and Danish national teams, and it's hoping to use the opportunity to put its name on French and Danish lists of South African cities to see.

Knysna Municipality mayor Eleanore Bouw-Spies sees this as an opportunity for the town to make a lasting impression on the French and Danish visitors. Bouw-Spies says this is a great opportunity for the town to put itself on the map, to open up opportunities as they are looking for more exposure post the World Cup in terms of cultural, social and other engagements.

Knysna looks to cash in on World Cup
April 30, 2010

Cape Town's Baboon Robbery Threat to Increase During Cup

Baboon-jacking is expected to increase in Cape Town during the World Cup, where visitors in unlocked cars are likely to become victims to Fred, the alpha male leader of a 26-member troop of protected baboons that routinely enters and robs cars.

"Every day, it happens," said Mark Duffell, leader of a team that tracks Fred's 26 member troop as they forage between Cape Point and the outskirts of the picturesque Simon's Town naval base and penguin colony.

"He'll hit four or five cars in like five minutes. Fred's
operation is to open car doors. He leaves normally with a handbag. Until he's satisfied he's got all the food, don't try get the bag back."

Cape Town on alert for baboon-jackers
Mail & Guardian
May 4, 2010

German World Cup Success Lessons for 2010 Host South Africa

Germany is still seeing an economic benefit from its World Cup hosting duties back in 2006, according to this article, which looks at the lessons 2006 host Germany has for 2010 host South Africa.

Horst R. Schmidt, now treasurer of the German Football Federation (DFB), was also on the organizing committee, and is now advising South Africa as it gears up to host the first World Cup final on African soil.

Schmidt said the benefits of hosting the event were tangible, with Germany's economy still benefiting from the tournament four years on.

"A lot of Italian tourists go to the stadium in Berlin and look where their team won the World Cup, or in cities like Cologne the number of visitors are seven to 10 percent higher than before," he said.

Germany's World Cup legacy: What can South Africa learn?
May 10, 2010

Australia Submits 2018/2022 World Cup Bid

Australia has completed its formal bid to host either the 018 or 2022 World Cup, and submitted its documents to FIFA after securing cooperative statements from rugby officials.

The Bid contains unified Australian Government support and the unified support of the other major sporting codes after the final agreements required by FIFA were signed over the weekend.

It is a welcome announcement for the game in Australia just a day after AFL boss Andrew Demetriou threw his belated support behind the bid after his code and two others (Rugby Union and League) signed a binding agreement that resolved outstanding issues surrounding stadium use and the possible suspension of other codes during a World Cup year.

Australia's World Cup Bid Finalized With Support From All Rival Codes
May 10, 2010

World Cup to Bring Sex Work Boom

Sex work is expected to boom during the World Cup in South Africa. Officials are calling for increased shipments of condoms, and police forces are bolstering themselves for much sex work-related law enforcement.

Arguably, the soccer World Cup is to the sex industry what the holiday season is to candy shops. A temporary surge of excited people feeling collectively festive, willing to pay for a bit of extra indulgence.

South Africa's Drug Central Authority estimates 40,000 sex workers will trickle in for the event from as far as Russia, the Congo and Nigeria to cater to the wide taste spectrum of some 400,000, mostly male, visitors and their apres-soccer needs.

World Cup Welcome: A Billion Condoms and 40,000 Sex Workers
Global Post
May 7, 2010

Live from South Africa

Just a note to say that I'm now in South Africa, and will be for the next two-and-a-half months or so.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bringing World Cup in On Budget May Be Challenge for LOC

Pulling off the World Cup without overspending is going to be a challenge, according to officials in the Local Organizing Committee.

"We are under a lot of pressure right now in terms of budget," said Greg Fredericks, a top aide to committee chief executive Danny Jordaan. "We believe at this stage we are within budget. (But) I think it's tight."

LOC: SWC budget is tight
News 24
May 5, 2010

Taxi Industry Vows to Violently Disrupt Cape Town's Transit Plans

Taxi officials in the Western Cape have vowed to violently disrupt the implementation of Cape Town's Integrated Rapid Transit system. This is despite efforts by officials to bring taxis into the Integrated Rapid Transit system planning. Taxi leaders say those efforts have not been enough.

The Western Cape National Taxi Alliance (WC-NTA) made the threat after the city announced that it had appointed a company to operate the buses, bringing it one step closer to launching the project's first phase.

A report by Mike Marsden, executive director of the major projects department, said the city had signed a contract with TransPeninsula, a company formed by inner-city taxi associations, to provide vehicle operator services until October. This will include transport during the World Cup. According to the report, the agreement is the first in SA to incorporate the taxi industry into the IRT.

Cape taxi body threatens to thwart IRT
Cape Times
May 5, 2010

FIFA President Commends Russia's 2018 World Cup Bid

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has called Russia's bid to hos the 2018 World Cup "remarkable".

"I was there recently and what they presented is remarkable," he told the London Evening Standard. "Russia is not a country but a continent and Russia has big plans to expand."

Blatter impressed by Russia 2018 bid
May 5, 2010

Government Admits Fault in Lack of Public Transport to New Durban Airport

Durban has a new airport, but unless you have a car, it'll be tough to reach. The government has acknowledged mistakes in planning the new King Shaka airport 30km outside of Durban without including public transport links to and from the city.

The oversight was the result of silo planning without proper consultation. It had been assumed that everyone in Durban possessed a car, [Transport deputy director-general Lanfranc Situma] said during the presentation of the Department of Transport’s national transport master plan up to 2050.

Govt admits King Shaka mistake
Fin 24
May 5, 2010

Transport Minister Vows Role for Taxis During Cup

In an effort to quell strong emotions from the taxi industry about feeling left out of the World Cup transportation menu, Transport Minister Subusiso Ndebele tried to assure taxi leaders that taxis would play an important role in transporting visitors during the event.

Taxis would be relied on to transport fans between airports to match venues, accommodation nodes, transport hubs and Fan Fests, Ndebele said addressing the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) national conference at Sun City.

Ndebele promises taxis SWC role
Nws 24
May 4, 2010

Transport Department Proposes $98 Billion Transit Plan

The transport department has presented a 750 billion Rand (~$98 billion USD) plan to parliament that would drastically renovate the rail systems of South Africa. Major links proposed in the plan would expand the regional rail service Gautrain to connect Johannesburg with Durban and Polokwane.

The plan's project manager, Lanfranc Situma, told the portfolio committee for transport that the department needed urgent approval from MPs so that the cabinet-initiated National Transport Master Plan (Natmap) could "get moving".

Natmap transport planning consultant Paul Lombard recommended to the committee that studies be done on whether it was feasible to extend the Gautrain project to the Durban-Johannesburg and Pretoria-Polokwane lines.

R750bn transport plan pitched
Fin 24
May 4, 2010

Homeless and Poor Relocated Ahead of World Cup

Thousands of poor and homeless residents in South Africa's World Cup host cities are allegedly being relocated from the streets and out of sight of cameras and tourists during the tournament.

The country's three major cities - Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban - have already started relocation programs, while six remaining host cities are set to follow suit.

Reports allege that more than 800 people have been taken from the derelict area surrounding Ellis Park in Johannesburg, the venue of seven matches including a quarter-final, and moved to shelters away from the inner city. There are also reported plans in place to see another 1,500 people, mostly street children, moved to alternate housing.

South Africa street clean-up begins
May 4, 2010

Small Companies to Jointly Offer Inter-City Bus Transport During Cup

Two small companies have secured a contract to jointly operate extra bus services between World Cup host cities during the tournament.

African Experience Tours and ESC Events have formed a consortium to manage long-distance bus services for general spectators between match cities.

Extra bus services are needed between host cities as existing services and schedules may not be adequate for the volume of visitors expected during the World Cup.

The tender was awarded just two weeks ago, although transport consultants had previously warned that the project was a complex one as the winning bidder would need to obtain vehicles, recruit and train drivers, and sell tickets.

South Africa: Little-Known Companies Win World Cup Bus Tender
Business Day
May 4, 2010

FIFA Blasts Brazil Over 2014 Deadlines

FIFA is criticizing Brazil for already being behind on some 2014 World Cup preparation deadlines.

"It's incredible how late Brazil is, and I'm talking about all the stadiums. A lot of deadlines have passed and nothing has happened. Brazil is not on the right path," [said FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke].

..."It's necessary to make the most of the time available. We don't want a rushed World Cup, with everything done at the last minute."

Will we have to wait for Carnival? FIFA asks Brazil
May 3, 2010

'Fan Embassies' Offer Help and Guidance to England Fans

English fans following their team's run to the World Cup in South Africa will have some extra help navigating the country. "Fan embassies" will be set up in cities hosting England's matches and will assist the roughly 25,000 expected English fans as they explore South Africa.

Manned by 10 volunteers from the Football Supporters Federation (FSF), the fan embassies will be supported by a text message service giving up-to-date information from official supporters' group Englandfans, the Football Association and local organisers.

The embassies will operate in the cities where England are playing their group matches for a day either side of the games and in hubs such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, where fans may gather.

An FSF team will also produce a dedicated fanzine, Free Lions, for each England match, with logistical information and travel advice, alongside other football-related content. England's group matches will kick off on 12 June against the USA in Rustenburg, followed by Algeria in Cape Town and Slovenia in Port Elizabeth.

'Fan embassies' to help England supporters at World Cup
May 3, 2010

Violence on Johannesburg's New BRT Routes Puts Some Commuters on Edge

Recent violent attacks on Johannesburg's new Rea Vaya bus rapid transit line has some commuters worried about the safety of the system, and possible further revenge attacks from the taxi industry. Two attacks took place on the first day of new routes through Soweto. One person dies and eight others were injured.

A small group of commuters gathered at a rainy Protea Boulevard to catch a bus that would drive right past the local taxi rank.

"With these taxi people, anything can happen," said Morgan Masango, a Protea Glen resident who was escorting his wife to the city, "but hopefully the police will protect us."

And there was a heavy police presence - each Rea Vaya bus was accompanied by a police vehicle, blue-lights flashing as a warning to would-be attackers.

Some jitters, but commuters board BRT buses
The Star
May 4, 2010

Thanks to Morgan Boyco for the link!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Section of Johannesburg BRT Won't Be Ready in Time for Cup

One of the most important stretches of bus rapid transit route in Johannesburg will not be complete in time for the World Cup.

"Unfortunately, the very vital route along Oxford Road to Sandton will now not be ready in time (and) the Department of Transport has yet to announce the alternative transport plan between Sandton and Park Station (in the city centre) along Oxford Road," said DA spokesperson on transport in the city, Nico de Jager.

The BRT was implemented between Johannesburg central and Soweto in August last year. On Monday, further extensions of feeder routes to Protea Glen and Eldorado Park were launched.

BRT won't be on time for SWC
News 24
May 3, 2010

SAFA Distances Itself from Bonus Controversy

The South African Football Association is trying to repair its image after being accused of being a part of a plan to award bonuses to government and soccer officials from the proceeds of the 2010 World Cup. Officials have not denied the bonus plan, but say they won't be able to look into the matter until after the tournament.

The row broke out this week when it was reported that certain officials would pocket millions of rands from an estimated windfall of about R1 billion that Safa could receive from world controlling soccer body Fifa for hosting the World Cup.

In a statement on Friday, Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe said the issue of bonuses had not been discussed by his executive and they would only look into the matter after the event.

Sedibe said the cost of running the event had over-run the budget by "hundreds of millions of rands".

World Cup bonuses on hold - Safa
Independent Online
April 30, 2010