Committee positive of 2010 preparations

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pretoria - The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) tasked to oversee government's preparation for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup has expressed satisfaction at the progress made ahead of the tournament.

The committee, chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, met on Friday for its last meeting of the year and concluded that South Africa will be ready to host the world come June next year.

There are just over 200 days left before the official kick-off.

"The IMC's overall impression about the state of readiness for the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup is that commitment levels are high and many of the guarantees are being delivered on time," government spokesperson Themba Maseko said.

He said a report on security arrangements indicated that plans were at an advance stage in all provinces and host cities. These include training of officers responsible for command and control centres, general policing, crowd control and specialized units responsible for airspace control.

On shared protocol services, Maseko said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation had been encouraged to fast-track the training of all Local Organising Committee and government personnel who will provide protocol support during the tournament.

A number of legacy projects were already being rolled out including participation of schools and communities on world cup related projects.

An estimated 11 000 youth have participated in 135 five-aside tournaments aimed at encouraging young people to rally behind event.

Meanwhile, the IMC has mandated the Department of Public Works to assist the Mpumalanga provincial government to speed up the process of building two schools that were suppose to occupy the space where the Mbombela Stadium had been built.

The community of Matsafeni has been at loggerheads with authorities after it emerged that the site of the stadium had originally been earmarked for two schools.