Briefing by Local Organising Committee on preparations for 2013 AFCON

Sports, Arts and Culture

13 November 2012
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Local Organisation Committee went to the Committee to present their readiness for the 2013 African Cup of Nation to be hosted by South Africa. Despite the last minute selection for the honour because of the Libyan Civil War, they seemed to be ready for the upcoming games. The stadiums and infrastructure provided by the 2010 World Cup had given them a very big advantage for the upcoming tournament.

Safety, accommodation and travel had almost all been sorted out for and the LOC seemed confident in their plans. The LOC explained the ways in which tickets were available to the citizens of the country which included SuperSpar’s, a website, and a ticket hotline. They were selling about 1500 tickets per day and had heard no real complaints about the prices of the tickets. They also unveiled the tournaments slogans and it’s mascot.

There was however a bit of anger in the Committee because of the LOC’s absence at a scheduled Committee meeting last week and their non-sending of their presentation to the Committee. The Committee overall was happy about the presentation but wanted more buzz in the country about the event. They felt like there was much more excitement before the World Cup and wanted to get the country and the confident excited for a truly African Tournament.


Meeting report

Briefing by 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Local Organising Committee (LOC)
Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, Chairperson of 2013 AFCON LOC and Vice President of South African Football Association (SAFA), thanked the Committee and the Chairperson for inviting the organisation to present. He apologised for the late arrival of the documents to the Committee.

Mr Mvuso Mbebe, CEO of 2013 AFCON LOC, explained that the purpose of the report was to show the level of preparations being made for the tournament. The objectives of the LOC included providing a high quality event to the continent and enhancing brand South Africa.

Mr Mbebe outlined the success factors, the legacy for SAFA, the governance structure and the composition of the board. The budget showed that the total income was R335,201,860 with a surplus of R534,139. The Confederations of African Football (CAF) ceded merchandise, commercial hospitality and food and beverages to the LOC. The LOC hoped to generate R17 million from ticket sales with 25% of that being disbursed to the host cities.

The ticket sales would occur in phases and there had been no talk by the public of the tickets being overpriced. SA Tourism had been engaged to offer travel packages for foreigners and South Africans alike. Tickets could be bought at Superspar Outlets, online and through a call center. There were 62 staff members working at the headquarters and another 142 interns spread across the different host cities.  The procurement policy was approved by the LOC board and complied with legislative and regulatory framework on BBBE.

Each team would have their own training facility that met the set requirements. There would be at least one training venue in a township in each city. All of the match venues complied fully with tournament and international standards. Soccer City, Durban Stadium, Royal Bafokeng, and Mbombela Stadium would be the sites of the matches. All South African based constituencies’ had to be accredited by October 31. These included LOC staff, Host City and Province staff, national departments and state agencies and service providers.

Safety of all of the stakeholders involved with the tournament had been guaranteed. All of the participating members would receive protection upon their arrival in the country. All accommodation had been settled including a remote location for the referees to curb any attempts to influence them.  Delegates and Referees would have dedicated drivers during the event. All teams would be supplied with a luxury coach, luggage vehicle and a send for the head of the delegation.  Air travel was at an advanced stage of implementation. CAF and LOC VVIP’s would be taken to each match in a 52 seat private jet for cost reasons.

Each host hotel world have a medical treatment room and an ambulance ready on standby equipped with a full life support system.  Each venue would have medical treatment rooms, stretcher bearers and ambulances on stands by. Each host city would have an average of 500 volunteers to help with the festivities.

There would be a dedicated Africa Cup of Nations South Africa website fully up and running by the end of November. There would also be marketing on mass media, social media and other mediums.  The theme would be “Celebrate Africa” and “The Beat at Africa’s feet.” There would also be a unique mascot for the tournament.

Discussion
The Chairperson thanked the delegation for their presentation.

Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) noted the LOCs claim that it was a “well oiled” organisation but pointed out that it had failed to attend the meeting last week and had only submitted the presentation document this morning. He further said that it was not enough for the LOC to have a call center and sell tickets at Spar stores. The LOC should publicise the event on the radio because there was no buzz like there was around 2010. The number of board members was excessive and there were not enough women represented at that level. The remuneration of the board members was unclear. He was curious how the country was going to benefit from the tournament and how the private sector was involved. It was unclear if they had a database of volunteers who were previously trained in 2010 to be used for this tournament.

Chief Nonkonyana replied that he would try to address some of the tougher issues. The board had to be that big because they needed all of the sectors to be represented there. The LOC also did not have the luxury of time and could tap into a lot of the expertise on the board. The LOC was concerned with the inadequate female representation but this was had to do with transformation in SAFA. The allowance of the board members would not be provided because there was no money. It was important for the tournament to leave a legacy and create a good image of the country.  The tournament would help the country be proud Africans. He again said that they were sorry about the documents and not being able to make it the previous week’s engagement.

Mr Mbebe said that the LOC was on the radio stations every week talking about the tickets. The LOC was currently creating an advert for the tickets to be put on the radio. The volunteers would be a combination of new and old volunteers.

Ms G Sindani (ANC) wanted to know what opportunities the LOC had for ordinary South African citizens.

Mr G Mackenzie (COPE) emphasised that the Committee needed the documents earlier so that it could be effective. He wanted to know if the event would be under the auspices of the new Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act. He wanted to know if there was money coming from the cities in the final budget. The budget for the event was a huge part of the Department’s annual budget so there needed to be a real sense of financial management. He wanted to know what the impact on ticket sales would be if Bafana Bafana did not make the knockout stages. Remuneration according to their budget was R39 million which was a big number so he wanted to know where those funds were going.

Chief Nonkonyana said that this was the first time that he had heard some of these concerns. He confirmed that the tournament was under the auspices of the new safety Act.

Mr Mbebe stated that the LOC had given opportunities to black companies. The tickets were made by a black owned company. At the provincial level, there was preference given to the local companies in the cities where the games were being held. The teams would be based in cities for two weeks so the city could engage with them and their fans to create hospitality opportunities. That was all it could do as the LOC. There was a very big diaspora of certain countries participating in the matches in South Africa. That meant there would be a travelling troop of fans going across the country. The LOC was optimistic that that Bafana Bafana would not be eliminated early. It had packaged the tickets and marketed the games in a certain way so that the focus was not only on Bafana Bafana. The LOC encouraged people to buy tickets for their local city. He understood that the budget was high but it was much smaller then the 2010 FIF World Cup and the LOC did not have any help from CAF like it did from FIFA. The LOC had kept the budget very tight.

Mr M Rabotapi (DA) repeated his colleagues comments about the late arrival of documents. He also wanted to know what role disabled people would have in the tournament. He also was curious about the details of the surplus reported in the budget.

Mr T Lee (DA) queried about the buses that would be used for the event. He expressed concern about the safety of spectators after the incident at the Linkin Park concert in Cape Town last week. The LOC could not be careful enough with the safety of their guests. He explained that he would be in PE later that day and was going to check out one of the practice fields.

Mr Dikgacwi said he was glad that remuneration was brought up and he did not want to hear that there would be a bonus of R7 million per person. Money must go to development and this was why the Committee wanted a breakdown. He was very concerned about the make up of the board.

Mr Mbebe explained that there was a R15.5 million sponsorship received from the private sector. He had no doubt about the integrity on CAF and that it would pay its allocation in time. The LOC had done everything on time up until this point. The LOC would use buses that were used during the World Cup that had not been sold.

Chief Nonkonyana said that a stadium could not host an event unless it met requirements involving safety. All the facilities were new or recently renovated. All temporary structures had to be certified for safety.

Mr Mbebe said there would be someone to meet Mr Lee at the practice field. He explained that any surplus would be used for a tournament that SAFA had to host after AFCON. He did not want to promise things in terms of profit when the LOC was on such a tight budget.

Mr Rabotapi wanted to know who would be paying the loss if it occurred.

Mr Mbebe said that a bad CEO answered the question of a loss. He did not want to create the impression that there was room for a loss so he could not answer it. It would be bad for the staff and the media was present.

Chief Nonkonyana said that the LOC had made a point about opening up opportunities and access for people with disabilities. They should not be discriminated against. Mr Lee had brought up some very good points. He wanted to thank the Chairperson and the Committee and hoped that they had accepted their apologies.

The Chairperson thanked the delegation and hoped that the country would soon feel the vibe of the tournament.

The meeting was adjourned.


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