Briefing by the United Cricket Board on preparations for the 2003 Cricket World Cup

Sports, Arts and Culture

05 November 2002
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Meeting report

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE

SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
5 November 2002
BRIEFING BY THE UNITED CRICKET BOARD ON PREPARATIONS FOR 2003 CRICKET WORLD CUP

Chair:
Ms N Bhengu (ANC)

Documents Handed Out:
None

SUMMARY
The organising committee of the Cricket World Cup briefed the Committee on the state of preparations for the 2003 event. It emerged that several arrangements were already in place. This included the selection of various venues in the outlying areas for the various World Cup teams to play practice matches against local opposition. Marketing strategies for the tournament include road shows across the country as well as media educational campaigns to 'teach' the public about the nature of the sport. Concerns were raised about the tournament's ticket prices which many felt would exclude the disadvantaged and about black economic empowerment ventures in the merchandising side of the tournament.

MINUTES

Dr Ali Bacher, Chairperson of the United Cricket Board, introduced his delegation, which included Justice Chali, Director Van Deventer, Professor Van Vuuren, Mr Ian Smith, Ms Nomsa Chabeli and Mr Bongi Masisi. There were apologies from Advocate Percy Sonn and Mr Gerald Majola.

Ten venues in disadvantaged areas were chosen to host the various pre-world cup warm-up matches. Dr Bacher noted that future benefits of the World Cup would be to enhance the tourism industry in South Africa. As a start, the UCB has struck a deal with an overseas television company to show positive tourism images of the country during the intervals of the World Cup Matches' broadcasts. For the opening ceremony, to be held in Newlands, Cape Town in February 2003, the budgeted amount is R 26 million with R10 million coming from Tourism South Africa.
As part of President Mbeki's volunteer year programme, the United Cricket Board has started a process to allow the use of 3500 volunteers in every World Cup Match.

Forty one South African and non-South African sporting ambassadors were awarded blazers as part of recognising their outstanding achievements in their various sporting fields and during the course of the tournament they would be promoting the image of the country to the visitors expected.

In all there are 54 matches and the tossing coin will be specially provided by the gold mining industry; one side will sport the image of the President. These would be framed after the tournament and be presented to the government to be put in a museum as a reminder of the tournament in years to come. He then handed over to Mr Justice Chali, a member of the organising committee who occupies the communications manager slot.

Justice Chali pointed out that communication channels include a newsletter circulated locally and internationally to update governments, sponsors, federations and the public in general about the World Cup. They have also put together a crisis communications plan which will serve to address challenges which might arise during the tournament.

Director Ben van Deventer from the South African Police service (SAPS) pointed out that safety and security will be under the direct control of the joint security and intelligence directorate of the government in conjunction with the UCB's security division. There would be support from other Departments, including Health, Justice, Home Affairs as well as the various provincial control centres in liaison with the national control centre.

Professor Eugene Van Vuuren, responsible for the venues, pointed out that an important issue is that the venues, unlike elsewhere are quite small, so addressing the needs of the media, the spectators and ensuring security is a big challenge. Making these venues accessible for the disabled spectators has proved to be a challenge since most, if not all, of the venues were built a while back when such considerations were not on the agenda as they are today.

On the issue of contracts, he pointed out that these were very strict and specific: local people should get priority first where building or alterations for the tournament are taking place. This is in the interests of black economic empowerment.

Mr Ian Smith, Commercial Director, pointed out that his division is concerned about the financial and administrative side of the tournament. This includes the handling of ticket sales both locally and internationally. At present sales were at a very advanced stage with only a few tickets left for sale; these were mainly for the less important matches.

Ms Nomsa Chabeli, Marketing Director, pointed out that the marketing of the tournament is focused on the image of the Cricket World Cup as well as the country. In this regard, she pointed out that they have been working with four advertising agencies, two of them being black. She also pointed out that the marketing campaign was a five-stage process, including the awareness advertisements about the tournament and also welcoming the world to the country for the tournament. As from November, local road shows will be introduced in order to bring the South African community into the World Cup spirit and local artists will be used to entice the public.

As a marketing strategy, they will also be emphasising city names instead of venue names to further project a positive image of the country. A theme song has also been prepared for the tournament using a local jazz musician. A special achievement here has been the securing of a special welcome message by former president Nelson Mandela. There will also be jazz tournaments in outlying areas of the city such as Mamelodi (Pretoria) have been arranged for the dates closer to the events, featuring the likes of Hugh Masekela and many others.

Lastly, Ms Bongi Masisi, Public Relations Manager, pointed out that public relations for this tournament will largely be concerned with the hosting of the VIP's who will be attending the various matches in the different cities and towns. Civic functions to welcome the various teams have been arranged with the mayors of relevant cities and towns for the tournament. Charity banquets have also been arranged in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban. These will serve to gather funds to be donated to various charity organisations. Former cricket players will be invited to speak and cricket memorabilia will also be on sale at the venues.

The Chair thanked the Committee for their informative presentation but noted that a written presentation is of more benefit since Members can also refer to it afterwards. She then invited Members to comment or ask questions about the presentation.

Discussion
Mr Mlangeni (ANC) thanked the organising committee for their very educative presentation. He hoped that the tournament would be a success not only in South Africa but for Southern Africa as a whole as well.

Mr Frolick (UDM) thanked the World Cup committee for the sterling work that they have done so far. He raised concern about security around the various venues, especially with the supporters. What communications strategies are in place to tell supporters what is expected of them? Secondly, would supporters who did not hold match tickets be allowed into the carnival area after the match?

Dr Bacher pointed out that for security reasons , only ticket holders would be allowed into the areas. On the issue of spectator awareness, Mr Ben Van Deventer pointed out that programmes are in place and as time goes by people who will be attending these matches will be made well aware of expectations they should adhere to.

Mr Mzondeki (ANC) asked what venues are user-friendly for the disabled. He also highlighted that security personnel are not well trained to handle people with disabilities. He felt that personal assistants should be provided to help the disabled during tournaments like these.

Mr Van Deventer pointed out that volunteers will, as part of their programme, be trained on this aspect. So this area is covered as well. On the issue of access for the disabled, Professor Van Vuuren, responsible for the venues, pointed out that they have arranged with the affiliations to ensure that adequate space for the disabled is provided on match day.

Mr Lucas (IFP) highlighted two problems. One was the issue of scholars. The prices of tickets this far outstrips what the scholars and indeed their parents can afford and this at a time when the priority is to recruit as much talent as possible from the previously disadvantaged. He also expressed concern that these prices might benefit tourists at the expense of locals.

On the issue of scholars, Dr Ali Bacher agreed that the future is indeed the youth market (scholars) and they have arranged that any unused tickets will be returned and will be given to scholars so as to nurture a liking of the sport from a young age.

Mr Morkel (NNP) noted that there were newspaper reports that the organising committee's ticket sales expected figure was R 15 million. He felt that this was too little. Surely there must be a few more tickets left for sale at discounted prices for those who cannot afford mainstream prices?

Mr Mcinane (ANC) asked if there is any reason for comparing the rurality of some areas in relation to others. Secondly, he also asked what are the criteria for selecting the volunteers, thirdly, what is the real version on widespread reports of ticket sales shortage?

Mr Lee (DP) asked on Black Economic Empowerment issues, he pointed out that there should at the end of the tournament be a list of all the companies who rendered services during the tournament so that they can have an audit of BEE issues at the end of the day.

Ms Lamani (ANC) asked if the road shows will go to the rural areas as well. She also asked how the vendor selection procedure is determined.

Regarding road shows, Ms Chabeli pointed out that this will focus on both rural and urban areas.

Mr Chauke (ANC) asked who has the broadcast rights for the tournament. Secondly, with regard to tickets for the disadvantaged areas, how is the allocation process going to work? He also expressed concern that the UCB must in future have a written presentation for the benefit of the committee and the public.

The Chair pointed out that due to time constraints, the outstanding questions would be answered in writing.

The meeting was adjourned.

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