Deputy President on state of readiness to host 2010 World Cup


04 Feb 2010

The Inter-Ministerial Committee briefed the media on the government’s plans and state of readiness to host a successful world cup tournament.


Q: The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) threatened to disrupt the World Cup; there are claims that 40% of World Cup merchandise is being manufactured in China. Surely it’s a missed opportunity to revive the economy in the country?


A: The Minister of Sport replied that government was aware of the threats to disrupt the World Cup, whether they came from COSATU or the Congress of South African Schools (COSAS) in the Eastern Cape. The government believed that South African citizens, whether they be members of COSATU or any other group would not go and disrupt an event that was theirs. In South Africa there was leeway for negotiations between employers and employees. Employers and the trade unions would be able to resolve the issues before the World Cup. Therefore there will be no need for the security personnel to protect our own assets from our own people. There was confidence that COSAS in the Eastern Cape would not carry out their threats. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) was in agreement concerning the issue of the textile industry. The ADIDAS logo on the Bafana Bafana jersey indicated that from 2002 to 2014 they had exclusive manufacturing rights. The manufacturing of some merchandise was negotiated so that it would be domestic, for example all the clothing worn by the volunteers would be manufactured locally. Other contractual arrangements could not be reversed.


Q: The Competition Commission (CC) announced last week that they would be investigating collusion by certain airlines regarding the pricing of airfares for the period of the World Cup. Did the discussion by the IMC include this and what will be done on this matter?


A: The Minister of Sport replied that government had no verification as yet regarding collusion. Many of the airlines were denying collusion. The government would await a report, in the mean time it would like to urge the airlines not to milk the people of South Africa and foreigners. No arrests would be made, as there were no known perpetrators, but when found they would probably be arrested.


Q: My question is regarding the negative reports from the international media about ticket prices, safety and security. Is the government worried about these reports and what is it doing to counteract them?


A: The Minister of Sport replied that government was concerned regarding negative reports about crime and South Africa’s ability to host a successful World Cup. They started during the bidding phase and continued in 2004 and seemed to escalate. All these reports had been proven to be hogwash. The recent negative reports would also be proven to be hogwash. The South African government was confident that South Africa was ready to host a memorable World Cup free from any incidents and that everybody would enjoy.


A: Mr Maseko replied that the President had written a letter in November 2009 to the CC to monitor and report on collusion by airlines. Airlines that arrived in South Africa would be allowed to transport their teams around the country instead of docking at OR Tambo. This was an African World Cup and the government was coordinating closely with the whole continent.


Q: The Minister said that the OR Tambo – Sandton section of the Gautrain is expected to be ready by the time of the World Cup, is there any confirmation that can be given regarding this.


A: The Minister of Transport responded that there was confirmation that the Gautrain would be ready even though it had not been constructed with the World Cup in mind. The section leading to the airport would be completed before the World Cup began. The first flight from King Shaka Airport is scheduled to take place on 2 May 2010. There will also be buses available moving from city to city. There will be more than 500 buses transporting supporters. After the World Cup theses buses will form part off the transport network.


Q: On the issue of pricing, we are starting to see exorbitant prices in accommodation and restaurants. Is this a concern for government and are we going to chase tourists away?


A: The Minister of Sport responded that the issue of pricing in the hospitality industry had been a concern since 2004. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism as it was called at the time initiated a process of agreement with the hospitality industry by having a limit as to how much could be charged. There was an agreed upon provision with respect to this. A number of hotels and Bed and Breakfast facilities came into existence after this. These subsequent establishments had upped their prices and felt that they were not in violation of any laws. The government pleaded with South Africans not to fall into the short-term temptation trap. This practice chased people away and was a serious threat to the tourism industry. The government continued to explain that they must desist from this practice.


Q: Is there an estimate as to how many jobs the World Cup has created in South Africa. Granted, the construction sector and public transport sector have improved but to say that we are not in control of the horse when it comes to the manufacturing sector is cold comfort to many workers who don’t have jobs?


A: The Minister of Sport replied that when the bid process was initiated in 2003, the government estimated the contribution the World Cup would make to the economy. This had been underestimated and the 2003 figures had been surpassed. The World Cup had created more jobs than was previously estimated. The government will compile an audit on all legacy issues that have arisen because of the World Cup, i.e. how much was invested in infrastructure, how many jobs were created etc. This audit must be compiled A service provider was being currently sought for this process, as it would not fall under a government department.


A: Mr Maseko added that road shows were being conducted for the purposes of marketing the World Cup across the African continent. This World Cup had been marketed as an African World Cup and the government would love to have the majority of fans come from Africa. Media, both local and foreign had been monitored and negative statements had been made on the readiness of South Africa to host the World Cup. The government was ready and its actions spoke volumes. The fact that all stadia were ready, a full 125 days before the World Cup was testament of South Africa’s readiness. South Africa’s crime plan was submitted to FIFA and was approved. This would be a safe tournament as South Africa had already hosted a number of international events without incident.


The briefing was adjourned.

Statement on the outcomes of the 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) chaired by the Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe

5 February 2010

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe today, 5 February 2010, convened the monthly 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting to assess government plans and state of readiness to host a successfully world cup tournament.

We are pleased to announce that it is all systems go for the world cup. All reports submitted to the Inter-Ministerial Committee confirmed that all plans are on track. These included reports on the management and training of protocol officials who will be involved in the management of guests and heads of states and governments attending the tournament. This commitment is now going to be intensified given the number of people requiring training.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation was asked to tightly manage handling of national flags and the national anthems of all participating nations in order to avoid confusion and the hosting of wrong flags. It was also agreed that a mass education campaign is necessary to raise awareness among South Africans on how to posture when the national anthem is sung.

As a sign of respect, all South Africans are expected to stand still or in attention when the national anthems are sung. “My Country” book has been published and will be distributed to communities and schools as part of the education drive to educate the public about the national symbols. The meeting also noted and urged all departments, provinces and host cities to intensify public awareness of the 2010 dividend. This includes all aspect of medium and long term legacy of the hosting the tournament.

The security cluster also confirmed that the security plan for the world cup is complete. All visitors coming to attend the world will enjoy a safe and secure tournament. Most significantly, the meeting welcomed the report that all stadiums have been completed on time. This means no spectator will seat on wet cement come June 11 kick-off! No other country has achieved this in all recent world cup finals.

On transport, upgrades at all major airports such as OR Tambo, Cape Town and Mangaung have been completed. The airport in Durban is scheduled for completion before June this year. The Department of Transport will be issuing temporary event licence to facilitate broader participation and to facilitate the movement of fans.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee also noted reports the OR Tambo to Sandton section of the Gautrain is expected to be ready for you before the kick-off. This will be a significant development given the ease with which visitors will travel between the airport and various destinations in Johannesburg. Progress in finalising plans to operate public viewing areas and fan parks was noted.

As far as energy security is concerned, government urged all institutions involved to fast track the installation and testing of backup generators.
It is encouraging to note that six stadiums have been fitted with fibre optic broadcasting infrastructure. Remaining four stadiums will be completed by end of March. Installation of signage in host cities is being finalised using experience gained from the 2009 Confederations Cup. The national Department of Transport is taking charge of provincial and national signage.

In conclusion, the Inter-Ministerial Committee is satisfied with the preparations for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. All the bricks and motar are in now in place. The next key task is to focus on mobilising South Africans to get ready to host the world, to support Bafana-Bafana and to buy tickets for the biggest soccer tournament on African soil.

Its all systems go and we are ready for the world. In the remaining 125 days, all South Africans are urged to open their arms and give a warm welcome the world! This being Friday, we wish to thank those flying the flag by wearing Bafana-Bafana jerseys. We urge all South Africans to do this every Friday. Companies should allow their workers to wear national team apparel as a sign of national pride and national unity.

Ke Nako, let us Celebrate Africa’s Humanity!

Issued by: The Presidency
5 February 2010


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