The Committee heard progress reports from the 2010 World Cup host cities of Mbombela, Ethekwini, Mangaung and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality as well as South Africa’s 2010 Local Organising Committee. The reports focussed on construction progress and the challenges faced by the cities. Members raised questions about the poor cooperation by taxi operators, National Treasury’s budget allocation to cities not being transparent, the escalation of costs and the allocation of contracts to BEE companies.
Mr C Frolick (ANC) made it clear to the media at the meeting that the Committee was not part of the discussion between the Minister of Sport and the South African Rugby Union on national symbols. He emphasised that the Committee was looking forward to seeing the report on the matter.
2010 Local Organising Committee Briefing
Dr Danny Jordan, CEO: 2010 Local Organising Committee, showed a short DVD featuring Zakumi, the 2010 Soccer World Cup Mascot, and comments from the public about the mascot. Very briefly, before having to leave the meeting, Dr Jordaan made a couple of points. He mentioned that on 10 May 2008 the Schools Campaign had been launched. Media events were held in New York, Berlin, China and Italy. He pointed out that in Europe only five countries had hosted the World Cup. South Africa was among 18 countries that could successfully host the biggest sporting event on earth. According to the FIFA constitution, continents were forbidden to host the tournament consecutively. He emphasised that there had never been a second option such as Australia.
Dr Jordan said that he was pleased to announce that the Confederations Cup Preliminary draw would be held in Sandton Johannesburg on 22 November 2008. Security and accommodation was well organised for the event. Support from the population was of paramount importance and visitors should feel welcome in this wonderful country during the Confederations Cup. He would not like to see empty stadiums in matches where perhaps Iraq was playing with New Zealand. That would be because the two were not popular soccer playing nations. Statistics had shown that tourism was steadily increasing. It was very difficult to find seats from London on incoming flights to South Africa. He noted that 37 000 volunteers had applied to work during the Confederations Cup.
The Chairperson asked for clarity on cost escalation.
Mr Luyanda Mpahlwa, Executive Member: LOC technical team, replied that the building industry had raised the prices of building material at an alarming rate. Some of the building materials were manufactured overseas. The glass panels for the Cape Town stadium were manufactured in Germany and the roof of the Port Elizabeth stadium was manufactured in Kuwait and these were affected by the rand to dollar rate. He cited the example of the seats that were to be replaced in the Tshwane Stadium. The Tshwane Municipality could not put out a tender because the Treasury had not yet released the money. By the time the money was released, the price of seats had gone up by 150%.
Mr L Reid (ANC) asked whether the prices were fixed when tenders were issued.
Mr Mpahlwa replied that funds were released bit by bit, as a result by the time the funds were released, the prices of materials had gone up.
Mr B Dlamini asked the reason that the Inyathi taxis were deemed unfit to ferry people during the World Cup.
Dr Jordan replied that discussions were continuing with the taxi operators on how they would complement the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) System.
Mr R Bhoola (Minority Front) asked whether the Schools Campaign had been taken to rural schools.
Dr Jordan replied that the LOC would bring the report from the Department of Education because that Department had coordinated the Schools Campaign.
Mr B Solo (ANC) asked for reasons why the Port Elizabeth Stadium roof and the Cape Town glass panels were not manufactured in South Africa to provide local jobs. He wanted to know whether tickets would be affordable enough for locals.
Dr Jordan replied that FIFA rules stipulated that tickets should be split on a 50:50 basis. The cheapest ticket for locals would cost 70 Rands. The decision of where building materials were purchased depended on building contractors
Mr M Dijgacwi (ANC) commented that he was puzzled that the richer host cities were given more money than the smaller cities.
The Chairperson asked for clarity on the reasons why the Nelson Mandela Metro was not awarded the Confederations Cup matches.
Dr Jordan replied that the construction of the Nelson Mandela Metro was running behind because the roof was not ready. The 2010 World Cup board then sent a delegation to evaluate the progress of the roof in Kuwait. The former Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Jabu Moleketi, and a technical team submitted a report on the roof progress to the board. The LOC was told to deliver the sad news that Nelson Mandela Metro would not host the Confederations Cup due to delays in construction. FIFA regarded the Confederations Cup as a dress rehearsal for the World Cup.
The Chairperson asked for clarity on fan parks and public viewing places. He felt that the fan parks should be left to local communities rather than (FIFA) to organise and to sell local cuisine.
Dr Jordan replied that during the two previous World Cups, fan parks were spontaneous. Fifa had now formalised the fan parks with rules for advertisers and retailers. All host cities would have public viewing areas for people who could not afford the tickets.
Mr Mpahlwa said that the National Treasury and the host cities would best answer some of the questions asked by the Committee.
Mr M Nonkonyana (ANC) said that the LOC should continually engage the media around World Cup and Confederation Cup issues. He wished the National Soccer Team good luck in their match against Cameroon.
Ethekwini/Durban 2010 Preparation Update
Ms Julie-May Ellingson, Head: 2010 Strategic Projects, gave a progress report and noted the benefits to and the challenges faced by her city. The building of the Moses Mabhida stadium would be completed in October 2009. The challenges included price escalation, exchange rate fluctuations, lack of transparency on budget allocations and funding shortfalls. The city was busy building the People Mover BRT system and the new King Shaka Airport north of the City. Three existing stadiums would be used as training venues. Fan Parks would be situated along the beachfront. The city had made provisions for health, safety and communication needs for the event.
Mr Michael Sutcliffe, City Manager, said that the Government had signed certain guarantees with FIFA. However, the budget for those guarantees was not visible, and so the host cities were left to foot the bill. He said that Durban had spent more than they budgeted for. If the host cities had to keep on borrowing then they would be left with debts that they would pay with interest for years to come.
Ms Ntuli asked whether host cities had integrated their security plans.
Ms Ellingson replied that Metro Police and the South African Police Service would be deployed throughout the municipality during the tournament. CCTV cameras would be used and a 24-hour call centre would be operational.
Mr Bhoola (Minority Front) asked whether unemployed graduates were employed during the construction of the stadiums. How many local companies had benefited from the construction of the stadiums.
Ms Ellingson replied that engineering graduates were in short supply throughout the country. A list of the BEE companies would be forwarded to the Committee
The Chairperson and Mr Frolick asked what would happen to the ABSA stadium and whether it belonged to the municipality or a private operator.
Mr Sutcliffe replied that the ABSA and Moses Mabhida stadiums belonged to the Municipality and they would be contracted to a management company.
The Chairperson informed the Durban delegation that he would arrange a meeting with the SABC and host cities to clarify the position of local traders in fan parks.
Mangaung / Bloemfontein 2010 Preparation Update
Mr Thabo Manyoni, City Manager, said that almost all the work on the revamping of the stadium was finished. The construction of the training venues was progressing steadily. He then went on to look at the challenges that were facing the Municipality. There were problems with the payment cycles for the contracts. Contractors expected to be paid within seven days, while the council had been using the 21 day payment cycle. The Stadium was owned by the municipality but it was contracted to Free State Rugby Union. They were claiming that it had lost revenue due to the construction of the main stand and were claiming R7 million for lost revenue. The Municipality expected to get money from the Lottery Fund. Other challenges included the fact that the taxi operators were not co-operative. They did not want the construction of a new taxi rank. Further, Airports Company South Africa did not want to contribute towards the upgrading of an airport access road.
The Chairperson commented that the money problems were mainly related to money transfer delays.
Ms Ntuli asked whether the contractors were from the Free State Province or not.
Mr Manyoni replied that all the contractors and labour were sourced from the province.
Mbombela / Nelspruit 2010 Preparation Update
Mr Neil Fourie, Mbombela 2010 Project Manager, said that the stadium would be smaller than other host city stadiums. The construction work was almost finished. The stadium would also be used as fan park once all the scheduled matches had been played. Challenges included the building of new schools that were relocated to make way for the construction of the Mbombela Stadium, the continuing labour strikes and the sour community relations.
Mr Dikgancwi asked whether Black contractors were involved in the construction. He commented that when the Sports Portfolio Committee had visited the area, there was a contractors meeting and it was lily white.
Mr Fourie replied that Black contractors had benefited from the construction.
Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Municipality 2010 Preparation Update
Adv Graham Richards, Municipal Manager, said the stadium was almost finished and that a trial match would be held in May 2009. In June 2009 the stadium would be able to be used at its full capacity. The suites would be let to interested businesses. The Nelson Mandela University and the Westbourne Oval stadiums would be used as training venues. The St Georges Cricket Oval would be used as a fan park which FIFA had already approved.
On the city’s challenges, he said that he could not understand why certain cities were getting more than others. He reiterated Mr Sutcliffe’s position on the funding processes. The City had spent more than it had budgeted for. The problem was that the NMB Municipality had a smaller tax base than Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg or Tshwane. Most of the money had to be spent on upgrading the poor communities of the city. Mr Richards mentioned that the City would utilise a 2000 strong taxi fleet with the People Mover Bus Rapid Transport System and the existing municipal bus system. He was troubled by the non co-operation of the taxi operators. The delays caused by the taxi operators were causing the city more than R25 million a month. This was because the City could not proceed with building the infrastructure that would be used by the taxi operators and the BRT system.
The Chairperson asked the reason why the Motherwell stadium was not used as a training venue.
Mr Richards replied FIFA had stipulated that training venues should be within easy reach of hotels and the airport.
Mr Frolick mentioned that the Portfolio Committee on Transport would be visiting the Port Elizabeth area over the weekend of 22 November 2008. He asked how far the Municipality was in allocating the tender for the stadium operator.
Mr Richards replied that three bidders had been short-listed and the final selection would be made in December 2008.
The Chairperson said that he was satisfied with the progress made by the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Council.
The meeting was adjourned.
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