13 August 2008
In exactly 666 days, thousands of football fans from across the world will descend on South Africa to witness the very first FIFA World Cup™ to be hosted on the African continent.
Since the day FIFA awarded South Africa the rights to host this prestigious soccer showpiece, the nation has been hard at work, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in preparing for what we believe will be the best World Cup ever.
Various components tasked with organizing this event, particularly the government and the Organising Committee, have formed seamless partnerships that aim to ensure that no area critical to the success of the World Cup is left unattended.
The government of the Republic of South Africa is pleased with the progress being made so far and remains confident that all deadlines will be met.
The 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee met a fortnight ago. The meeting received a progress report from the 2010 Technical Coordinating Committee.
The report indicated that preparations were proceeding well and most projects were still within targeted completion timeframes.
The meeting was briefed about progress being made in the construction of stadiums. The report indicated that all stadiums, both for Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup, will be completed in time to meet the FIFA deadlines.
The meeting was also briefed about the decision to exclude Nelson Mandela Bay as one of the hosts of the 2009 Confederations Cup.
It was noted that the decision was a result of technical reasons related to the construction of the roof. The decision doesn’t exclude Nelson Mandela Bay from hosting the 2010 World Cup and the stadium would be completed in time for the 2010 tournament.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting also received a report from the Department of Transport which details the country’s 2010 Transport Operational Plan including commuter rail, aviation and road transport.
Transport Minister Jeff Radebe told the meeting that the complete National Transport Plan which includes the Host Cities plans was submitted to FIFA on 30 June 2008.
Government is also pleased with preparations on other areas central to delivering a successful World Cup such as safety and security.
As part of its routine exercises, the South African Police Service jointly with the SA National Defence Force and other agencies and Government departments conducted “Operation Shield” in Bloemfontein between 3 August and 9 August 2008.
The exercise is aimed at honing our security-related skills to ensure a safe environment in host cities during major events, including securing the national airspace and other strategic key points. Some of the most elite members and units within the security forces will engage in simulated scenarios and enact certain aspects of law enforcement agencies’ emergency contingency plans in order to neutralize any form of airborne and land-borne threat.
This operation is considered to be an excellent training opportunity for the security personnel to be deployed during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which is less than two years away.
The government continues to believe that the country is on course to deliver on the guarantees we made to FIFA as part of our bid to stage this historic World Cup.
Government calls on all South Africans to rally their efforts behind the 2010 project in their various areas of expertise to ensure that come 2010, we deliver the best world cup ever.
South Africans have proven to be capable of hosting major global events such as the 1995 Rugby World Cup™, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Racism Conference, among others. Guided by the same spirit that saw us deliver the mentioned events, the government believes that South Africans will spare no effort in their endeavors to deliver to the world the most successful world cup.
We will continue to monitor the work being done by the various sectors involved in the 2010 World Cup project.
The challenges associated with organising an event of this magnitude can at times appear to be overwhelming. However because of the commitment that the people of South Africa have made to FIFA and the rest of the football community, we believe that no challenge is bigger than the will to deliver a successful event.
Ordinary South Africans have shown great interest in the event in many ways. Since the launch of the volunteers programme for 2009 Confederations Cup, the Organising Committee has received over 20 thousand applications from South Africans who want to be part of the making of this history at no cost.
This is just one of the many examples that the citizens of this country share a common responsibility of ensuring that the 2010 FIFA World Cup becomes a memorable event that would leave a lasting legacy.
Ke nako! Celebrate Africa’s Humanity
Tiyani Rikhotso (2010 World Cup Government spokesperson)
Tel: 012 314 2834 /2297
Cell: 076 034 2661
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)