Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe today, 5 February 2010, convened the monthly 2010 Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) meeting to assess government plans and state of readiness to host a successfully World Cup tournament.
We are pleased to announce that it is all systems go for the World Cup. All reports submitted to the IMC confirmed that all plans are on track. These included reports on the management and training of protocol officials who will be involved in the management of guests and heads of states and governments attending the tournament. This commitment is now going to be intensified given the number of people requiring training.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) was asked to tightly manage handling of National Flags and the National Anthems of all participating nations in order to avoid confusion and the hosting of wrong flags. It was also agreed that a mass education campaign is necessary to raise awareness among South Africans on how to posture when the National Anthem is sung. As a sign of respect, all South Africans are expected to stand still or in attention when the National Anthems are sung. "My Country" book has been published and will be distributed to communities and schools as part of the education drive to educate the public about the national symbols.
The meeting also noted and urged all departments, provinces and host cities to intensify public awareness of the 2010 Dividend. This includes all aspect of medium and long-term legacy of the hosting the tournament.
The security cluster also confirmed that the security plan for the World Cup is complete. All visitors coming to attend the world will enjoy a safe and secure tournament.
Most significantly, the meeting welcomed the report that all stadiums have been completed on time. This means no spectator will seat on wet cement come June 11 kickoff! No other country has achieved this in all recent world cup finals.
On transport, upgrades at all major airports such as OR Tambo, Cape Town and Mangaung have been completed. The airport in Durban is scheduled for completion before June this year. The Department of Transport will be issuing temporary event licence to facilitate broader participation and to facilitate the movement of fans.
The IMC also noted reports the OR Tambo-Sandton section of the Gautrain is expected to be ready for you before the kickoff. This will be a significant development given the ease with which visitors will travel between the airport and various destinations in Johannesburg.
Progress in finalising plans to operate Public Viewing Areas and Fan Parks was noted.
As far as energy security is concerned, government urged all institutions involved to fast-track the installation and testing of backup generators.
It is encouraging to note that 6 stadiums have been fitted with fibre optic broadcasting infrastructure. Remaining 4 stadiums will be completed by end of March.
Installation of signage in Host Cities is being finalised using experience gained from the Confederations Cup. The National Department of Transport is taking charge of provincial and national signage.
In conclusion, the IMC is satisfied with the preparations for the FIFA 2010 World Cup. All the bricks and motar are in now in place. The next key task is to focus on mobilising South Africans to get ready to host the World, to support Bafana Bafana and to buy tickets for the biggest soccer tournament on African soil.
Its all systems go and we are ready for the world.
In the remaining 125 days, all South Africans are urged to open their arms and give a warm welcome the world!
This being Friday, we wish to thank those Flying the Flag by wearing Bafana Bafana jerseys. We urge all South Africans to do this every Friday. Companies should allow their workers to wear national team apparel as a sign of national pride and national unity.
Ke Nako - let us celebrate Africa's Humanity!