SA marches towards fulfilling FIFA guarantees

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Parliament - South Africa is marching towards the successful fulfilment of the 17 guarantees given to FIFA to host the 2010 World Cup, says Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

"Starting from the first guarantee to the last guarantee, government and the Local Organising Committee [LOC] have been working together for the successful implementation of these," said Mr Motlanthe.

Some of the guarantees include the issuing of entry, the exit permits and the availability of comprehensive medical services.

Mr Motlanthe was responding to a question on the matter by the African National Congress' Butana Komphela in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Deputy President said many of the projects emanating from the 17 guarantees were put to the test during the recent FIFA Confederations Cup. "As we are all aware, this 'test tournament' was delivered with great success," said Mr Motlanthe.

He listed the achievements during the tournament as the Department of Home Affairs launching and implementing an Event Specific Visa in November 2008; the finalisation and implementation of the Security Plan and the delivery of elements of the Information and Telecommunications Technology infrastructure.

He further reported that transport operational plans were developed and tested and that there has been a steady growth in the number of accommodation establishments signed up to host visitors during the event.

Mr Motlanthe said that while "the mile ahead is steep" in delivering on all of the guarantees, he had no doubt that all those gathered in the National Assembly would that government was making progress.

"Even on the side of the national team, we are making progress. Their performance is not part of the 17 guarantees, but is part of the social compact we have with society," joked the Deputy President.

However, he conceded that there were some areas that required improvement, particularly in transport and accommodation, and that through the 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), departments were being helped to overcome their challenges.

"The IMC will soon audit the 2010 dividend for our country, in particular small and medium sized enterprises," he said.

Mr Kompela had also questioned whether a monitoring mechanism had been put in place to ensure that government procurement policies were adhered to in all processes related to the tournament.

Mr Motlanthe said this formed part of the agreements with FIFA.

He explained that the procurement of goods and services for the World Cup had to comply with policies and procedures applied in the public sector and this applied not only to government departments and Host Cities, but to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) as well.

"We do not expect any department, Host City or the Local Organising Committee to depart from these commitments," he said.

He said where public funds were involved, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Municipality Finance Management Act (MFMA) applied.

"In brief, procurement processes must be fair, competitive, open and above board," he said.

He said that if there were cases where the PFMA, the MFMA and the Employment Equity Act were not followed, transactions would be reviewed during normal internal audit processes as well as during the audit processes of the Auditor-General.

The relevant authority will need to take action commensurate with the severity of the transgression, he added/

"We continue to encourage institutions of government as well as the LOC to comply and deliver their respective guarantees within the parameters of all applicable legislation, policies and regulations," said Mr Motlanthe.