Reliable public transport in SA to be lasting legacy of 2010 World Cup

South Africa is ramping up preparations for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

South Africa is ramping up preparations for the 2010 World Cup to be staged here in a way that will not only ensure a success of the tournament but will ensure greater social cohesion in the country, with a legacy of improved public infrastructure.

Addressing the media following a two-day mid-year cabinet lekogtla, President Thabo Mbeki said that R3 billion had been set aside for improving public transport during the tournament, with a view to leaving a lasting legacy of the World Cup in the form of an efficient and reliable and affordable public transport system that would benefit commuters in the years following the event.

"We are of the view that this [efficient, reliable and affordable] should be one of the lasting legacies of the World Cup," said President Mbeki. "We are quite convinced that we are very much on course with regard to preparations for the World Cup."

Indicating the importance of the event to government and the country, it had been decided that the presidency would hold a meeting every month with the cabinet ministers dealing with the event.

Already, there are a number of ministers who serve on the FIFA Local Organising Committee for 2010, and in addition to that there is an interministerial committee with about 17 ministers who focus on "all elements" related to the event, from transport to security, tourism and finance and so on. It would be these ministers who would be meeting with the presidency once a month.

The president has long held a concern over the development of social cohesion in what has been a divided society for many years, and sees an important benefit of South Africa hosting the major sports event in the development of a more cohesive national identity and of greater national pride.

Referring again to the World Cup, he said: "We should find a way, in the preparations for the FIFA World Cup, to use that, to improve that sense of social cohesion, of national pride, of the unity of our people around positive values."

This was work in progress, he added, saying that youth in particular would receive a focus in terms of the building of positive, constructive values as the country moved to harness the excitement for the event towards achieving a positive social outcome.

(Source: 30-07-06 / BuaNews / Shaun Benton)

The German state of Bavaria is encouraging South African companies to attend a real estate trade fair in October 2006, saying it will attract investors in the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Hans Spitzner, Bavaria's deputy minister for economic affairs said that SA could benefit from experience Germany was gaining in staging the 2006 Football World Cup.

Specific areas of opportunity that could be triggered by the event included the development of shopping malls, entertainment venues and residential developments, he said. The 2010 Football World Cup is expected to generate billions of rands.

Australia is keen as well to share the experience gained in hosting the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

(source: Business Day / Chris Van Gass / 17 February 2005)

The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup should boost tourism in Southern Africa, which is currently handicapped by its image as a war zone and the difficulties of travel within the region.

Shepherd Nyaruwata, the executive director of the Regional Tourism Organisation for Southern Africa, said: "There is a need to spruce up the image of the region."

Nyaruwata expected tourist numbers to peak from 14 million last year to 20 million during 2010, with some World Cup soccer fans going on from the soccer tournament in South Africa to visit neighbouring states such as Mozambique and Namibia.

(source: Business Report / Alfonce Mbizwo / 17 March 2005)

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