Mbete urges South Africans to buy Confeds Cup tickets

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Johannesburg - Deputy President Baleka Mbete has urged South Africans to take ownership of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup by buying tickets to attend the games and buying them early rather than later.

She was speaking during a road trip in Johannesburg on Tuesday as part of government and the Local Organising Committee's (LOC) efforts to promote the Confederations Cup which kicks off in June.

Ms Mbete told residents in Soweto that while much has been done to promote the Confederations Cup, South Africans needed to rise up to the occasion and get their tickets on time.

According to the LOC, only 300 000 of the 640 000 Confederations Cup tickets have been sold so far.

Deputy President Mbete said South Africans should count themselves lucky and should be thankful the world has chosen this country to host the tournament.

Purchasing her ticket at the FNB branch in Soweto, the deputy president applauded the LOC for a "job well-done" in its work to prepare for the tournament.

She further said a ministerial task team would be meeting soon to map out ways to strengthen the campaign before the Confederations Cup.

Safety and Security Deputy Minister Susan Shabangu said her department was ready to provide security for all the fans, players and officials who will be descending in the country for the event.

"We have made sure that we learnt something from Germany and trained our police accordingly," Ms Shabangu said.

LOC Chief Executive Officer Dr Danny Jordaan said the LOC viewed the Confederations Cup and the World Cup in South Africa as part of nation building.

"Through this cup, we are building this nation and the country," Dr Jordaan said, citing the infrastructure developments such as the building of new stadia, the refurbishment of OR Tambo International Airport and the restructuring of the public transport system ahead of 2010.

He further said that there were three million tickets for 2010 and of these, 743 000 had been sold.

"It will be very sad if only 4 000 South Africans show up at a 90 000-seater stadium, it will be very sad indeed," Dr Jordan said.