14 August 2008
|Date:||Thursday, 14 August 2008|
|Venue:||Room 153, Union Buildings, Pretoria|
|Chair:||Tiyani Rikshotso, 2010 World Cup Government spokesperson|
|Panel:||Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi and Chairperson of the 2010 Technical Coordination Committee|
|Rosie Sekise, Deputy Director-General Department of Communications|
|Lusanda Madikizela, Department of Transport’s Senior Manager for 2010|
|Andre Pruis, Deputy National Commissioner, South African Police Service|
Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi: Thank you. The starting point is to basically reflect on the critical dates, and how we as South Africa have basically been able to meet the timeline. We said in December 2006 that by that time we should have the plans for the infrastructure and the financing packages complete, that was done in December 2006. We said by the first quarter of 2007 we must begin to see the construction of the major infrastructure that includes the stadia that happened. We were able to ensure that that work begins to happen.
We also said by October 2007 we must see the beginning of the construction, particularly of the upgraded stadia, because we’re building five new stadia and at the same time we are upgrading the existing facilities and exactly that happened on that time. And I think it’s important also to indicate that the timelines and the deadlines have been met, that we set ourselves, and that are also in-keeping in ensuring that we are indeed ready to host 2010.
We said by June 2008 the areas of preparation for Confederations Cup we ought to be ready, both as all the partners sitting around the table, yes indeed that is ready. And we’ll indicate also what sort of plans has been submitted to this point to indicate the levels of readiness for the Confederations Cup. We all know that the Confederations Cup will be hosted by South Africa starting as from June 2009. So this is seen as a dress rehearsal that gives an indication of the levels of preparation. That also allows us as the hosts to basically cross our T’s and dot our I’s in areas that we believe needs more attention. That will allow the different entities of government ranging from transport, from safety and security, to basically test the capacity to meet the magnitude and the challenges of 2010. And that to a large extent are some of the areas that we have covered, and indeed we have submitted the necessary plans to FIFA.
In December 2009 we said we want to see the completion of the 2010 stadia. That is in fact on track and I think what is important is that most of the stadia will be completed with a lot of left time. Most of them will be ready by around June 2009.
By 2009 most of the new stadia would be ready, you know, and by December 2009 we’ll see that. There we will have all the stadia for 2010 that are new, that we talk about the Soccer City, we talk about the Moses Mabhida stadium and by December 2009 we talk about Green Point. Those are some of the stadia; the new stadia that are being constructed that we believe indeed are on time to be ready at that point.
December 2008 all the stadia for the Confederations Cup ought to be ready. We are on track for that. But I will talk about. I’m sure that there is quite a lot of interest around Nelson Mandela; these people still need some clarification around that. And I think that begins to give you an indication that from the infrastructure point of view all the doubt about our ability to deliver on infrastructure is just a to tour… a very, very brief tour to visit those facilities that we begin to tell you the levels of preparations around that. In as far as transport and the improvements of the road, and also the plans of the metro, I think things are there to be seen. (These are) ranging from the widening of our roads, work that is taking place around certain of the facilities. You must just go to Ellis Park to begin to see what is happening, Nelson Mandela, everywhere where there is a facility that is being built quite a lot of precinct work is taking place. That begins to indicate that yes indeed we are in time and South Africa is working to get us ready for the hosting of 2010.
The other areas that I need to highlight, one of them is the information and communications technology, the issues around the last mile, the availability of broadband, to support the transmission of images from the facilities to the rest of the world. That is taking place. A number of contracts led by the Department of Communications have already been put in place with the different service providers most of whom are within what we think broadly the public sector, ranging from Sentech, the contract is ready for signature. Telkom, there is a draft and currently there is to a large extent negotiations around that, and also that includes the need for us to begin to source some of the critical equipment and material to ensure that we are able to meet the deadline.
When it comes to the electrical power supply we know that there is a provision that all stadia and some of the critical facilities ought to be powered by generators, and that the national grid is a backup source. The sourcing of those generators to those facilities through both the municipalities and also assisted by our Department of Minerals and Energy is in place. And as we speak the issues of around the relationship with the LOC in terms of we source these generators but the issue of ensuring that the operations of those generators that talk to ensuring that there is diesel in those generators, ensuring that they function, that is the task that the LOC has to fund. And I think it’s important that we are at a point where we begin to understand who the role players are, where does each party begin, and where does the other party take over? So those are some of the things that are in place, and yes indeed that when it comes to issues of power supply, I remember in the previous briefing there were issues that were raised about our capacity to ensure that yes we are able to indicate with certainty around the issues of power supply. We stand here today and we are indicating that yes indeed we’ll be able to do that.
Safety and security and issues around disaster management, the media has been covering some of the operations of our security services, ranging from exercises that have been taken in a number of cities in a number of areas around South Africa, to ensure that there is… the levels of combat readiness are heightened. That has taken place. And I think we have (Deputy National) Commissioner Pruis here if people have more details around that, he would basically be able to field questions. And in short, ladies and gentlemen, quite clearly South Africa is indeed ready. We have covered a lot of ground. We have basically spent not just in rand terms but time in terms of resource terms, skilled persons that are focused on this area. Just to give you an indication that as we speak now in as far as the stadia is concerned, you know, we are basically close to six billion rands that have been spent as we speak, you know? Or that the bulk of that goes to the actual contractors, but also around 700 million rand goes to professional services. Any contract of this magnitude, we have both the professional services and the actual contractor, your professional services range from your architects, your project managers, your quantity surveyors and all that. They also we say in the context of South Africa have benefited from this, and that they project managers to give you an indication that we are able also to monitor where each and every rand is going to, and to a large extent where the bulk of the investment is going to. Whether or not the money that is spent is also proportional to the levels of progress that is registered on the ground! The last point I’m sure is going to emerge, in fact two last points. One is around whether or not are we anticipating certain overruns and I think that has been a measure of speculation. Yes indeed we are, and that is a function of an increase in the input costs, that is one thing. That range as everyone knows that to a large extent we have faced price increases that are completely independent from whatever we do with our [unclear], ranging from the prices of oil to prices of materials still that is sourced, and also to prices of imports. Because some of the equipment for some of this infrastructure that is an import and that also is affected by the exchange rates. The changes in the exchange rate has an impact on the import component that goes into the… what were we going to say… into the delivery of some of this infrastructure. There are push pressure, we are managing it. The question would be how we are beginning to deal with that. We have been engaging with the host cities around that.
Quite clearly there has to be a commitment from the national fiscus around contributing to these overruns, but over and above that is also a commitment from the host cities, you know, because we should not create an environment that says ours is to spend with national fiscus it’s basically to fund. There ought to be a commitment from the host cities also so that the costs are managed to ensure that at least we all together meet the challenge of the overrun. And I think that is on the case of the overrun.
The other one is on Nelson Mandela. There has been a lot of speculation around it, you know. Just to clear the matter, this was a decision of the board of the Local Organising Committee. As you know that I’m one of the ministers that are also directors on that board. And the reason for taking Nelson Mandela off the Confederations Cup was a simple one, it had nothing to do with whether Nelson Mandela will have a stadium in June, it had to do with a measure of uncertainty around the delivery and the construction of certain elements within that stadia. I’m talking here about the roof. The roof as we know it’s quite a complex structure that was designed, the designers of that stadium gave the host city a very, very complex structure. And the construction of that roof is taking place in Kuwait. That’s [unclear], very complex, you know. So it’s a huge, it’s basically hundreds of tons of steel that is put together and it has to be transported, shipped from Kuwait to South Africa and then from South Africa to the venue and assembled and erected. And we’re looking at a timeline to say as we speak, you know, the first consignment has not landed, it is very, very difficult to plan accurately, particularly when you talk about the sales of tickets, to make a commitment when to a large extent the timelines are so tight. And the decision was taken on the basis of it’s important on such a project of the magnitude of the project itself necessitates that you eliminate areas where there is risk, and that is where the issues of risk was. It was taken on the basis of the fact that there are too many unknowns particularly around the roof. The big work will be completed, but the issue was just that component, that to a large extent had a lot of uncertainties. And on the basis of that a business decision was taken. That is on Nelson Mandela.
It has nothing to do with the competency of the city to deliver the infrastructure, it has all to do with to a large extent the other role players that are involved in ensuring that the entire material are on time and in place for it to be part and parcel of the Confederations Cup. But when it comes to 2010 obviously Nelson Mandela will be ready ahead of time for the 2010. With that, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention. I think a number of us would look forward to engagement and your questions, thank you.
- Question and answers -
Tiyani Rikhotso: I will take questions in sets of four. I will start here in Pretoria and then you’ll indicate in Cape Town if there’s anybody who wants to ask a question.
Journalist: With regards to the ICT development you spoke of, specifically the Sentech contract which is ready to be signed, and the Telkom contract which is being finalised I believe… just I can’t find those [unclear]. Can you please run us through the scope of those contracts, the value and specifically the cost escalation you’ve seen there, as well as the timelines for delivery on those contracts? Thank you very much.
Journalist: Just on the overruns in particular, what are they expected at, at the moment? And can you tell us now how much we’re overrunning as at the moment?
Journalist: Will the transport plans be ready for the time for the Confederations Cup, or…
Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi: Thank you for the questions. They are welcome. I will deal with one question and then the other question I’ll hand over to the managers, both the IT questions and the transport question. No, I’ll tell you what, they always tell me what to say. You rather hear it from the horse’s mouth than from me in terms of the IT and also in terms of the readiness for transport.
When it comes to overruns the question has been raised that what exactly… how much are we talking about. And I’ve been trying as much as possible to answer this question, to say once you are engaged in an environment where there is an escalation, and that escalation is driven to a large extent by components that are a function of the economic activity, ranging from steel, ranging from import… the issues of the exchange rates and the implication of the imports on the different stadia and facilities, and a whole range of others. And I say you know once you put a number the next day things change, the gentleman there will say but remember deputy minister on the 13th of August 2008 you gave us this number but obviously what is coming out it’s a different number, you know? And I think that would basically begin to raise issues. We are talking about something that is to the north of two billion rand, you know, as we speak, you know? So that is the figure, you know. And we are working in ensuring that we deal with that challenge, like I indicated that we are talking to the host cities that are building the facilities.
South Africa as we speak in terms of the fiscus there are a lot of pressures on the fiscus. We are finding mechanisms of ensuring that there isn’t just a dependence on the fiscus but also the host cities. We are looking together with the host cities on their capacity to generate loans, and their commitments. Because it shouldn’t be just the type of credit engagement that crowds out expenditure on other items. So it’s quite an involved process, and we’re also talking to the Development Bank of South Africa to begin the process, because it’s also involved with the municipality of looking at what sort of packages can be put together to ensure that we assist local governments and the host cities to meet some of these funding obligations. When you talk about the fiscus among the things that we are looking at is that we create a window period for the host cities where the burden of servicing the loan or the debt is basically taken by the national fiscus, you know?
But those are some of the mechanisms that begins to indicate that to a large extent it’s not something that we’re not thinking about, it’s something that we’re working on and once there’s been agreement across board, because this is an issue that ought to be embraced by all the parties to say yes indeed we commit to this and to a large extent they factor it into their own budget. Once that has happened quite obviously the individual host cities will be able to give a clear answer in terms of how they’re dealing with these challenges.
But there are three components. National fiscus will have to make a contribution, the host cities will have to make a contribution, we have to involve an institution like the Development Bank of South Africa, and it’s not known to give grant funding on such massive scale, so it means you have to talk about the package with them, and also the commitment of the fiscus to ensure that at least we soften the obligations by creating a window period where we’d be able to engage with in servicing the loans on behalf of the host city.
Rosie Sekise, Deputy Director-General Department of Communications: In terms of the ICT maybe let me try to explain the guarantees. What we have guaranteed to provide is the infrastructure from the 10 stadiums to the IBC. In terms of the infrastructure it will be the primary fibre optic link which would be backed up by the second narrow fibre optic link and then the second backup would be via satellite. I think that’s the question that she was asking.
Now the normal provisioning of Telkom from an infrastructure point of view is that you would do the fibre… the big capacities in the core, the backbone, and when you do the last mile normally Telkom would do copper. It’s only in customer specific solutions that you would roll out a fibre from Telkom’s point of presence; that is exchange, into the stadia. Now because it’s a guarantee from government to ensure that FIFA… we would be able to provide the capacity in terms of what FIFA requires from the stadium into the IBC, so as government we are doing the last mile. Telkom as part of the network evolution they were already going to upgrade their call, so we’re not going to be paying anything as government in terms upgrading Telkom’s call network. What we are doing as government as government is to provide fibre optic. That is the primary and the secondary link from Telkom’s exchange; that is the nearest exchange, into the stadium. So what we will be doing, we will be terminating the fibre inside. Now in terms of the timelines, the timelines for the stadia... for the ICT is very much aligned with the timelines that the chair was talking about. That is the Confederations Cup stadia is December 2008 and then for the World Cup it’s December 2009. But what we said with Telkom is because we wouldn’t have enough capacity to have to redo the stadium the Confederations stadia ICT rollout is done in such a way that it will be 2010 ready. It would just be a matter of, you know, doing smaller [unclear] like additional equipment, but the fibre optic for the Confederations Cup will be 2010 compliant. So now what Telkom is doing is prioritising at this point in time the stadia that are needed for the Confederations Cup. From then we would then roll into the 2010 World Cup.
Now in terms of the cost overrun, I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding about the cost overrun. We don’t have an issue with cost overrun. I think what we did, I think the last media briefing…I don’t remember when it was, there was a question I think from IT Web about what has been allocated, what hasn’t been allocated. We as government said the discussions about the funding of the ICT it’s a discussion that we’re engaging with now [unclear]. And there are certain things that we are guided by National Treasury in terms of what would be allocated, what wouldn’t be allocated. And all the requirements have been catered for in terms of what we need. But also I think the challenge is because technology always evolves, you don’t want to [unclear] out certain things because of… you always need to cater for specification changes based on what FIFA could require. Which I think sometimes can be misinterpreted as an element of cost overrun. Thank you.
Lusanda Madikizela, Department of Transport’s Senior Manager 2010: Okay, thank you. The question was around the readiness of the 2010 transport plan for the Confederations Cup. With the construction of transport infrastructure projects this is usually done in phases. So what will happen for the Confederations Cup is that most of the projects, the phase one of that project will be complete. An example would be that for Johannesburg they have the [unclear] BRT project which has phase one, and then phase one A of that will be complete by 2009 in time for the Confederation Cup. And then the complete phase one will be complete by June 2010.
In Mangaung currently the stadium precinct upgrade projects around the actual stadium are largely complete. There’s a few works that are being done but that is outside the stadium precinct, and then for the Royal Bafokeng Stadium the Pukeng [ph] ring road system as well as the Pukeng link road straight into the stadium will be complete by June 2009 as well.
In terms of the Loftus stadium precinct, about 30% of the contracts are already out on tender, and that work will be completed as well by June 2009 and the rest of the work will be complete in time for 2010. So in conclusion the phasing has been done such that part of the infrastructure will be ready for 2009 and the rest will be for June 2010.
Journalist: There have been a lot of worries expressed in Parliament about the legacy projects, particularly the transport legacy projects. I wondered if you could comment on that. And tell us where the disasters and why they’re occurring.
Journalist: Sorry, also on the transport project, just to back up my colleague’s question, we’ve just had an outline of infrastructure, the roads and stuff. What we’d like to know about the BRTs is do we have the key elements such as taxi organisations signing on as shareholders, and what model do you want to sign on? Have the buses been ordered, and when are they expected to be delivered? That kind of detail for the various cities that are using BRTs, Jo'burg, Tshwane, Mangaung and Cape Town. That’s the kind of detail we’d like on transport.
Journalist: Could you give us some idea on government guarantees on getting the broadcast signals out of the country, that’s from the international broadcasting centre to around the rest of the world, the implications if this does not happen properly, such as penalties that may have to be paid or something. And what routes is the… are you claiming to use to take the signal out such as satellite, undersea cables, that sort of thing?
Lusanda Madikizela, Department of Transport’s Senior Manager 2010: Okay, with regard to transport legacy projects, from the transport perspective projects that are being undertaken for 2010 are legacy projects. We went through a rigorous selection process for what kind of projects we were going to support as the National Department of Transport. And the conditions there were that for instance the project had to be already part of the integrated transport plan of that local municipality, and that it was something that had to… you know, a plan that the municipality had in any event for its city and its future growth. So there are really no projects that are happening specifically for the World Cup. So in terms of that, transport projects, when we report on progress for transport projects we’re reporting on transport legacy already.
And then in terms of BRT and participation of the taxi industry, the taxi industry is onboard in all the cities that are discussing BRT projects and that are implementing BRT projects. An example would be that in Johannesburg they’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with the taxi industry. The taxi industry has already been on various study tours with the city, and that goes for the Nelson Mandela as well as Cape Town. So the taxi industry is definitely onboard. In terms of the participation I would not be able to give you details in terms of the participation, which organisation… taxi organisation is going to have participation in which route. That will be subject to the detailed business plan of each BRT project. But the taxi industry is onboard and the understanding is that whatever BRT projects are implemented they will have full involvement of the taxi industry and that was also the condition of funding.
And then in terms of bus orders, the city of Johannesburg has already got a tender [unclear]… I think it’s going out this Friday if it didn’t go out last Friday, but it’s a tender for bus orders specifically that is going out. These are this Friday or the next one, I’m not too sure of the dates, but it’s imminent. As well as the City of Cape Town has got a number of about 800 buses that they will be ordering for… specifically for 2010. So those plans are already underway.
Rosie Sekise, Deputy Director-General Department of Communications: In terms of the guarantees, the guarantees are twofold. It’s from the national point of view and the international. What the Minister of Communication has guaranteed is that there would be enough capacity to ensure that the signal is transmitted from the IBC to the international community. The IBC will be in Nasrec. Now… so the signal will be transported from Johannesburg twofold via either Durban or via Cape Town, because the [unclear] cable with Telkom has got a point of presence from Durban or Cape Town. The current capacity of [unclear] three will not be adequate to carry what FIFA requires. What the [unclear] three consortia or the investors have done is they’ve both agreed to upgrade the [unclear] capacity so that we have enough capacity, not only for FIFA but for all the other activities around 2010. The plans and the upgrade have started in terms of upgrading that. That is the fibre. In terms of the satellite, the provision of the satellite uplink will result in Sentech constructing a second [unclear] port which will be based at Nasrec, but also [unclear] conclude that Telkom even though it provides the cables, Telkom has got a satellite point of presence. But what I want to emphasise is that the securing of capacity in terms of what the broadcasters would be paying and how much they would want, that becomes a commercial process. What we are doing as government we’re just ensuring that there is capacity for the broadcasters to say that they want capacity from one place to another. That process would be done with Telkom or Sentech or whoever would be providing this capacity.
Journalist: On safety and security, has there been an analysis or intelligence gathering [unclear]… crime syndicates or crime escalation occur and consult next year or 2010… I mean, obviously because we know that criminals are also getting ready, you know, to… you know, to do whatever they want to do. And what are the results of that analysis or intelligence gathering. What is the response to that?
Journalist: Could you tell us what is the latest on your interactions with FIFA around the ICT solutions relating for example, to transport schedules, tourism updates, those kinds of cutting-edge technologies that they’re bringing in. How far advanced are you on working with those solutions and incorporating them into the South African solution?
Journalist: I’m not too sure if you responded to this question, but does FIFA have any reason to have a Plan B?
Journalist: Just on accommodation – how many beds are we short of, for what FIFA has asked for and where do you plan to get them?
Deputy National Commissioner Andre Pruis: Thank you. Firstly, on the organised crime, the analysis of organised crime syndicates is an ongoing process. As you will remember, government announced already in 2000 that we’re following the two-pronged approach in relation to crime. Firstly a concentration on 169 priority stations, which are the stations which are the stations where most of our violent crime occurs. Secondly, is the organised crime approach where we analyse these syndicates on a day to day basis. Currently we are dealing with a number of syndicates relating to drugs, stock theft, vehicle related crime, etc.
We are also focusing on syndicates which may get involved in the Confederation Cup or 2010 World Cup-type of crimes. That can relate to tickets and various others. However, the second intelligence assessment has already been completed and in this intelligence assessment there is no intelligence or evidence of any of the syndicates specifically focusing on either the Confederation Cup or preparing for 2010. So (there is) no specific intelligence or evidence, but we are dealing with the organised crime syndicates, whether its drugs, vehicles etc on a continuous basis. I think that was about the safety and security.
Rosie Sekise, Deputy Director-General Department of Communications: In terms of the ticketing solution for the match, just to clarify, it’s an entity that is handled by FIFA and HBS. We don’t get involved. Those are the guarantees. What FIFA is currently doing, they’ve got a commercial agreement with Telkom which is supporting them in terms of provider net. We are providing FIFA up to the stadia. The issues like your servers, your local area networks, your [Unclear} and all that in terms of what FIFA would require for the ticketing solution, is what FIFA would be doing with both Match and HBS using the commercial agreement with Telkom, but also with the AFC going through a tender process in terms of using South African companies. As government we don’t get involved, but we are aware of is that there aren’t any challenges or problems [Unclear].
Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi: Plan B and accommodation. I can’t speak on behalf of FIFA, but what we know through my interactions as a director in the LOC and also as basically leading government’s preparations as the chairperson of the TCC, is that the Confederation Cup will take place in South Africa in June 2009 and the FIFA World Cup will take place in South Africa in 2010 from June to July. That bit is certain. As I stand here there’s no doubt in my mind. That is going to happen. [Unclear] about the level of preparation. That’s what we’re talking about. This is not something new for South Africa. We have hosted a number of other international events ranging from sporting events – we talk about Rugby World Cup, you talk about the Confederation Cup, the South African Confederation Cup, cricket and all that and also other multi-national entities like the Non-aligned Movement. That brings able states and a whole range of individuals, VIPs into South Africa and our possibilities of hosting are not in doubt.
The difference between what we’ve hosted and the 2010 World Cup, is the scale and I think the question should be ‘are we able to upgrade the scale of the levels of our preparation to meet the demands of 2010’ and I’m saying yes and hence all the questions that we are fielding, the things that we are doing to ensure that we up the scale. To us as we sit here, both from the LOC and government there isn’t any doubt that we’ll be able to host it. That I think is clear. And that has been said. The message that was sent by the FIFA president Mr Sepp Blatter on the birthday of the former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, was that Happy Birthday, I’ll see you in 2010. And I don’t think he can say such remarks flippantly. That message was basically also beginning to deal with all the sceptics across the globe.
There will always be sceptics across the globe, around South Africa and that scepticism is driven by a subjective sector, not objective reality. We’re talking to you about objective reality but we can’t talk about people’s subjective perception, ranging from Afro-pessimism and a whole range of other things. And we’re saying we are ready. South Africa will be able to do it and we’re going to do it in a way that will basically up the [Unclear] in as far as the whole thing of such a competition like the World Cup. The other issue is around beds. It’s important to understand that in South Africa per annum more than a million tourists come to South Africa. I think we
should understand that. As we speak now, without the World Cup, South Africa is capable of catering to that number of people. I think it’s around 1.2 to 1.3 million. And soccer fans are but tourists in another name because they use the same type of facilities. It’s only that they all here gathered amongst other things, the primary objective is to participate in the soccer festivities. But their demands and their needs are similar to those of tourists that we’ve been catering for in South Africa. So it’s nothing new. Whether or not we have the number of beds – when you look at what MATCH has done, accrediting and registering the different entities and the people who will provide hospitality, that is an ongoing process.
The opportunities that arise are the incorporation of the bed and breakfasts which are the small and micro enterprises. That is all the innovation led by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to ensure that more people benefit beyond to establish hospitality players. And that is one of the opportunities. And then (if we are) talking about the issues of standard, the grading of these bed and breakfasts and all that, and to a large extent that is one of the things that we are able to provide in South Africa – an experience. People will be residing in the game parks, by day they will be watching elephants and lions, by evening they will be watching a soccer match. Where else can you get that anywhere in the world? The will stay in Soweto or in Guguletu, by day they will be experiencing the culture and the vibrancy of our people, by evening they will basically be watching a soccer match. We are going to give them a variety of experiences to ensure that at the end of the day when they leave South Africa, they leave South Africa to come back. And that is one of the chief things. They leave South Africa with a positive experience and they leave South Africa to come back. And this is what all of us as South Africans must commit ourselves to, because these are the people [Unclear] around us, it means South Africans also must be welcoming to ensure that we give people a positive experience.
Journalist: I’d just like some clarity. You said the cost overruns we’re talking about are north of R2 billion. Does that refer specifically to just the stadiums and is that R2 billion over and above what was provided for in the February budget and if you could just remind us what that figure was for the stadiums alone, please.
Journalist: Just on the issue of security. How far has [Unclear] gone in terms of obtaining or assisting the [Unclear] from the countries that keep [Unclear]
Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi: When one reflects on the overruns, quite clearly we are reflecting on new money that ought to go into our expenditure as South Africa. And that’s why I was saying that its important for us as South Africa, also to reflect on how we deal with this challenge that is north of R2 billion. As far as we are concerned at this point, with the initial information that we have, and the interactions that are taking place between ourselves and the different host cities, that is the figure that primarily we’re looking at. One of the things also, is that it touches on the infrastructure, the stadia that to a large extent a number of stadia are reflecting that there is going to be some cost overrun. I must say it’s basically related to the first thing around the technical design and the costing that occurred by the host cities at the initial point. That’s why we are saying these overruns can’t just be the [Unclear] because everything in turn ranges from the technical design to the costing, was something that was generated from the host cities and referred to us as the National Treasury. National Treasury was not involved in generating these estimates. It was the host cities. That’s one thing.
The second area also just around design, was also to take responsibility around the sophistication of design and I make an example around the construction of very complex roof structures. Its not anybody else but its basically the host cities that came up with this very, very complex and now expensive, technical designs that leads to these escalations and I say, it is therefore the responsibility of the host cities also to bear the [Unclear] of these cost overruns. I think that’s the second point that is quite important.
If we selected to meet the minimum standard of FIFA in terms of a facility, which basically [Unclear] about the roof on the west end, not all these complexities and all that, I think we’d be talking about a different story now. But that’s water under the bridge and as we were saying, its important for people to take responsibility for the design, the complexity of the design that resulted in this overrun, that is also one of the things that we must ensure that they [carry??Unclear] a portion of responsibility as far as that area is concerned.
The third element is around project management, which also is a reflection of a [Unclear] deficit that [Unclear} confront. Hopefully one of the legacies of 2010 is to up our skills because now we’ll have people who have experience of project managing such huge facilities. Project management is also about ensuring that the nature of the time line, ensuring that we have a fixed cost tender that are not variable depending on the changing circumstances like the exchange rate for instance. Those are some of the things that say to us we could have done this whole project better. But it’s where we are now and hence when we talk about the issues we’re beginning to understand and also to apportion the responsibility, we must take that sector also into consideration. They always say hindsight is the bad sight.
Another question would be ‘would you do it differently now than you have done it’ - the answer is yes. But with hindsight it’s basically a bad sight, because there are a number of things we would have done as South Africa, as South Africa I must basically emphasise that, to ensure that to a large extent we manage some of the cost implications.
But the fourth point is that some of the cost escalations are as a result of basically the economic environment globally. Prices of oil, the increase in the price structure across the components. Those are some of the things that I think are unavoidable, that to a large extent we’ll have to deal with. And I hope that question will begin to address the issues around the cost overrun and to a large extent the responsibility for us as South Africa to take with it in a manner that is sustainable and that is not also crowding out other service delivery responsibilities of government. Thank you.
Deputy National Commissioner Andre Pruis: In terms of the list of undesirable persons, I think one must first take into account it’s not only relating to soccer hooliganism. It’s also relating to international crime and its relating to terrorism so there are various categories of people. Secondly, take into account that it’s a dynamic list. You don’t complete the list only one time and then, that’s your list. I said jokingly before and I really mean it as a joke, a person currently on your list of undesirable persons from a hooligan point of view, maybe in the VIP box in 2010. There’s still some time to 2010. So some of them may change their ways and may be important people in 2010.
We co-operate not only with various countries. We do have very close co-operation with various countries. We’ve set up joint task teams with some of the countries. We conduct regular visits. Some of these countries are visiting us. We are visiting them in October for example and there’s going to be a visit to various countries in Europe in relation to the list but also other types of co-operation that we do have. I think the fortunate part in relation to co-operation is that we are learning a lot from the rest of the world, but there’s possibly something that we can also teach the world in terms of major events.
Take into account that after the WSSD that the Minister has referred to, the United Nations decided that the security concept applicable to all UN events will be the South African concept, which was applicable to the WSSD. So there are certain things that we are also exporting to the world. I think one of the things that we’ve tested in Bloemfontein was the utilisation of an integrated reaction force during major events, where you have an anti-terrorism capacity, bomb squad, the bomb dogs, crowd management personnel, hostage negotiators, people responsible for disaster management, ambulance personnel, paramedics etc, in one group and if there’s an incident, that they should react. I think it showed excellent results in Bloemfontein and it’s one of the things that we’ve already been contacted about by some other countries because they took notice of it during Operation Shield and they would like to learn from us how we are using the reaction force type of concept.
One thing which Operation Shield told me Minister in Bloemfontein, that some of the criminals do not read newspapers, because there was an attempted cash-in-transit robbery near Petrusburg – that’s not far from Bloemfontein – and in Bloemfontein we had the special task force, the intervention unit deployed with helicopters from the police and the SANDF and unfortunately for the robbers it didn’t take us long to get to Petrusburg and we had a live exercise. Unfortunately for some of the robbers they are not with us anymore and they will never conduct any cash-in-transit robberies. So Operation Shield also had a very live part in Bloemfontein. In November we’re going to be in Gauteng with the same exercise and I think one of the issues, taking into account regarding the list, we already have pilot projects on the facial recognition project. Its been implemented at some of our ports of entry so what we would like to know, some of the people already on our list, whether they do attempt to enter South Africa and whether there is any movement especially in preparation for the Confederation Cup but also the World Cup. So yes, the list is already there. It’s a very active list. Also take into account the active co-operation with Interpol. We’re going to have another session with Interpol in October. Interpol has given a lot of assistance and they’ve given assistance during other major events. I think the concept that Interpol implemented during the World Cup cricket in the West Indies where we supported the Caribbean with the World Cup is the type of concept that we want also in South Africa, to have an active Interpol office in the country as part of your structures for the World Cup, so that you can have immediate access to any part of the world, to any police service. Interpol can do that type of liaison. So yes, the list is very active and the list is running.
The hooligans? Yes, I’ve seen the hooligans operating during the World Cup in Germany. Maybe they are far more impressive during club matches, in Germany not so very impressive. I’ve think we’ve dealt with worse incidents in our country which required far more public order skills than I’ve seen with the hooligans, but they are welcome to visit us. Minister we spoke just now, other type of equipment – body armour for our members. It makes them more mobile during those types of incidents so yes, the Public Order Police personnel are also looking forward to test the body armour if there are any problems that we could experience.
Journalist: Deputy Minister, just a reminder on how much the budget was for the stadiums and whether this is all stadium money.
Deputy Minister Jabu Moleketi: The question from Cape Town – I think when you talk about the number for both the stadia infrastructure and the surrounding infrastructure, I think it as around R9.2 billion and I hope that settles that question.
Tiyani Rikhotso (2010 World Cup Government spokesperson)
Cell: 076 034 2661
Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)