Deputy President visits Mbombela stadium

Monday, March 2, 2009

Nelspruit - Deputy President Baleka Mbete is confident that the Mbombela Local Municipality will deliver on its 2010 FIFA World Cup commitments within the set deadline.

Ms Mbete visited Nelspruit on Saturday to assess the municipality's readiness to host some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches as well as receive a progress report from the municipality's Executive Mayor Lassy Chiwayo and his 2010 project team.

"We go from here encouraged by the progress, clear about the challenges faced in this area and in a position to be able to work with the municipality to meet their target in the remaining time that has been given to get ready," the Deputy President said.

Ms Mbete and the municipality held fruitful discussions, she said, adding that it was important for all to get involved in the 2010 project, joining forces and combining resources.

"We are happy that work is beyond 70 percent complete with the construction of the stadium.

"South Africa has the responsibility to deliver on the commitments made to FIFA and the world. We were given the responsibility to host the World Cup and we made certain undertakings.

"If we do not fulfil those, we will embarrass not only the Mpumalanga province and South Africa, but the entire continent of Africa," she said.

On her site-visit, the deputy president was accompanied by several cabinet members, including the Ministers of Minerals and Energy Buyelwa Sonjica, Provincial and Local Government Sicelo Shiceka, Intelligence Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Agriculture and Land Affairs Lulu Xingwana, Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba and Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation Gert Oosthuizen.

Mr Chiwayo indicated that the municipality would be ready to hand over the stadium to FIFA in September 2009.

The 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan said he was particularly pleased that the Deputy President had been involved in the visit.

"She has taken the responsibility, not just to get paper reports, but actually to visit and come and see and make sure that we do not lose sight of the fact that there are other venues that are equally important to the delivery of the World Cup." -