The Local Organising Committee spoke about the country’s state of readiness with regard to the influx of tourists expected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Danny Jordaan, explained ticket sales, accommodation requirements as well as infrastructural improvements still taking place. Members were informed of the five phases of ticket sales and the four categories of tickets which were available. He also clarified the various programs in place to ensure the benefits of this event would be spread out throughout South Africa and its residents. Plans were in place to avoid crime such as ticket fraud.
Current state of readiness for the 2010 World Cup: Local Organising Committee (LOC) briefing:
Mr Danny Jordaan, Chief Executive Officer, 2010 Local Organising Committee, commented that when he had left Parliament as an Member of Parliament in 1997, it was with the idea that one day South Africa would host the FIFA World Cup, adding that, they were very close to delivering on that promise.
Mr Jordaan stated that one of the key outcomes of the 2010 World Cup was to achieve the tourism goal of moving beyond 10 million tourists per annum by 2010. The year-on-year growth in tourism had raised questions as to whether this event would be able to provide accommodation, transportation, safety and information to the 450 000 visitors expected during this event.
Mr Jordaan reflected on the global distribution of mega-events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, usually dominated by European countries. He pointed out that recently there had been an awarding of these events to developing countries, mentioning Rio de Janeiro which had been recently named the host city of the Olympic Games 2016. He said that, after South Africa’s successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup, developing countries stand more of a chance of hosting these mega-events. He added that the successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup would put pressure on the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to award, for the first time since 1896, the Olympics to Africa.
Mr Jordaan listed other outcomes of the successful hosting of this event which would strengthen the sports industry. He mentioned the increase in revenue of sports marketing, sports sponsorship and broadcast which not only meant that sports tourism was being strengthened but that sport was also a job creator. On infrastructure, Mr Jordaan said that, as a result of the FIFA World Cup, there had been an improvement to infrastructure which included road works, airport expansion and the building of 25 new hotels all of which were on track for the world cup.
On ticketing, Mr Jordaan said that there were just over 3 million tickets being sold for the event. He explained the distribution of matches over the nine host cities and ten venues adding that the larger stadiums would host more games to increase the capacity for ticket sales. He identified four categories of ticket sales, stating that Category 4 was reserved for South African citizens and would be sold for a lesser amount than tickets sold internationally. These tickets were aimed at the “poor” and currently stood at R140 for group stage matches and R1050 for the final and semi-final. There was also a ticketing fund of 120 000 tickets (including the 40 000 tickets which would go to the construction workers) which would be distributed freely to ensure that those supporters who could not afford to pay for the tickets, would be able to attend. Category 4 tickets would also be available to wheelchair users allowing the person pushing the wheelchair to enter free of charge. The Category 4 tickets were at least 100% cheaper than those sold at the FIFA World Cup in Japan, 2002 as well as Germany, 2006. Mr Jordaan identified the 5 phases of ticket sales.
Sales phase one had started on 20 February 2009 and ran until 31 March 2009 as a random draw or ‘lotto’. Phase two began on 4 May and ran until 16 November, tickets were sold on a “first come first served basis.” The ‘big rush’ of sales would happen between 5 December 2009 and 22 January 2010. This was because the draw which revealed the 32 participating teams would be held on the 4 December 2009 and supporters would be able to purchase tickets against actual fixtures knowing which teams were playing in which cities. Sales phase four and five consisted mainly of tickets that had “come back into the pot” in situations where a team had fallen out of the competition resulting in their tickets no longer being needed or where a teams allocated supporter tickets would not be used by the team. Phase four ran from the 9 February through to 18 March. The last minute sales for sales five would begin on 15 April. Ticket applications could be completed via the internet or at a First National Bank. Ticket sales were restricted to a maximum of four tickets per person for a maximum of seven games. There would be ticketing centres in each of the host cities where people could collect their tickets. Mr Jordaan said that, to date, 680 501 tickets had been sold.
Speaking on accommodation, Mr Jordaan said that while cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg were hosting the largest number of people, there were cities such as Bloemfontein which had a shortage in accommodation. These shortages would be overcome by hosting tourists and fans in neighbouring towns and countries in which case transport would be needed to take the supporters to and from games. This problem would be further discussed when it was known what teams would be playing at these venues and how many visitors they could anticipate. These neighbouring towns and countries would not only serve as a solution to the problem but would also share the benefits of the tourist trade. He would like the room rates to be published so that those who were planning their trip from outside of South Africa would know what to expect to pay when they arrived.
Mr Jordaan said that the stadia were all on track to be completed by their deadlines, adding that the stadiums in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth would “surprise the world in terms of quality.”
In closing Mr Jordaan said the current focus of the LOC was the draw which took place in Cape Town on 4 December 2009.
Mr D Gumede thanked Mr Jordaan and expressed his excitement about the upcoming draw on 4 December.
Mr L Khorai (ANC) expressed his concern on road works and safety as well as crime, and whether the LOC felt that they would be able to control the levels of crime taking place during the event.
Ms T Tshivhase (ANC) said that her concern was for the people who lived in rural areas and who were at a disadvantage. She questioned whether they, who were also soccer supporters, would also be able to enjoy the event. She questioned the transport and accommodation which favoured the cities and asked whether and how those who did not live in cities would benefit from the increase in the tourist trade.
Ms M Shinn (ANC) questioned the logistics of moving people around. How did the LOC plan to get enough air traffic controllers, buses and taxis and what measures would be put in place to ensure that fans got to the matches?
Ms J Maluleke (ANC) asked Mr Jordaan what strategies he had in place to avoid ticket fraud and corruption.
Next was Ms V Bam-Mugwanya who expressed her gratitude for having the opportunity to talk with Mr Jordaan. She enquired as to whether the stadia were constructed for multi purposes or whether new stadia would need to be constructed if South Africa were to host another event such as the Olympic Games. She asked how the funds gained from the FIFA World Cup would be monitored and used by the government for the improvement of infrastructure or any other government demands.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) asked Mr Jordaan what his anxieties were around the 2010 FIFA World Cup. She asked if the accommodation for the event included South African citizens who would travel around the country to watch the matches, and if smaller industries would be able to benefit from the tourism trade.
Mr Leslie Sedibe, Head of the Legal Department (LOC), spoke of the meaningful role the government had played in the delivery of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In response to the questions raised by Ms Tshivhase he said that the LOC planned to have Fan Parks in all of the host cities where supporters who could not attend the matches would be able to congregate to watch the matches. Other than these Fan Parks there would also be Public Viewing Areas which would ensure that those communities who do not have access to viewing these matches, would be catered for in the area where they live. In excess of R100 million would be invested in infrastructure and upgrading facilities. There were 46 district municipalities that had already been targeted for this investment.
In reference to spread of benefits among smaller towns and industries, Mr Sedibe said that there was a lot of indigenous knowledge which needed to be exploited. There would be room for “our people” to exhibit their trade and that they should approach their local municipality for further information.
Regarding ticket touts and ticket fraud, Mr Sedibe said that he had seen a sample of the tickets to be used during the event and they had many security features and looked very South African. Also, there would be a prohibition of resale on all tickets and they would work together with the South African Police Service.
Mr Jordaan reminded all to be patient with the road works, he ensured that they would be completed by the event and he was also working to provide more and clearer road signs so as to make travelling safer and easier. He added that indeed the accommodation plans included visitors from South Africa as well as internationally.
The meeting was adjourned.
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