World Cup fever hots up for Cape Town
Party time as city hosts 2010 draw
THE City of Cape Town is ready to host the final draw for the 2010 World Cup next month, mayor Dan Plato said.
“The city will be pulling out all the stops to demonstrate its professionalism, creativity and expertise through this once in-a lifetime opportunity,” he said yesterday. The event was a “dream becoming a reality”.
The draw takes place on December 4 and will determine the match schedule for the 32 teams participating.
It will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and be broadcast to 200 countries. Plato said a series of celebratory events leading up to it had been planned.
On November 29, the traditional switching on of festival lights in Adderley Street in the city centre would take place. About 100 000 locals and visitors are expected to attend the event. The street would be turned into a pedestrian zone, Plato said.
Two days later, Plato will hold a welcoming ceremony for Fifa delegates at the Noon Gun on Signal Hill.
A street party, themed “Cape Town Loves Football” will be held in Long Street in central Cape Town at the same time as the draw.
On December 5 500 international journalists get to continue the party, as a beach function is held in their honour at Maiden’s Cove.
Meanwhile, the government has promised a truly “African” World Cup, reassuring that security, event management and other logistical arrangements were in place.
An inter-ministerial committee, according to government spokesman Themba Maseko, met yesterday after evaluating the country’s security arrangements, protocol services, and national disaster management.
The committee was chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Security preparations were under way in all provinces and host cities.
“These include training of officers responsible for command and control centres, general policing, crowd control and specialised units responsible for airspace control, organised crime, counter-terrorism and human trafficking,” said Maseko.
National guidelines for disaster management would be distributed to all provinces to prepare for “any eventuality”, said Maseko.
Motlanthe said he had also visited Mpumalanga host city, the Mbombela municipality, to help solve problems such as two schools shut down by stadium constructors.
“Two schools were taken over by construction companies to serve as a storage facility for documentation, equipment and so on.
“The students ( from the schools) were moved elsewhere in the area. New schools will be built and they will be ready by, March 31, at the latest,” said Motlanthe.
His visit came as disgruntled Matsafeni residents protested against the government not keeping its promises to build the schools.
Motlanthe said it was still “early days” to quantify the amount of money to be generated for hosting the tournament.
The government would also ensure that the multibillionrand stadiums built for the event would not become “white elephants” after the World Cup.
A multi-pronged security plan, which has been endorsed by Fifa, would also address hooliganism.
The SA Police Service was spending R640 million to deploy 41 000 trained police officers including 10 000 police reservists.
Countries competing in the showpiece would bring at least two of their own police officers to guard players and assist in translations.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said earlier this week that Interpol, the international police organisation, would also set up offices in the country.
READY: Mayor Dan Plato