World Cup preparations running smoothly - IMC

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pretoria - The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) tasked to oversee government's preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has confirmed that all plans for the spectacle are running smoothly.

"The IMC is satisfied with the preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. All the bricks and motar are in now in place," said the chair of the IMC, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.

He said the committee was satisfied with all the reports submitted to them. 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.

"Most significantly, the meeting welcomed the report that all stadiums have been completed on time. This means no spectator will sit on wet cement come June 11 kick off! No other country has achieved this in all recent world cup finals," said Motlanthe.

Additional to the reports received, a "My Country " book has been published and will be distributed to communities and schools as part of an education drive to educate people about the country's national symbols.

The IMC agreed that a mass education campaign is necessary to raise awareness among South Africans on their posture when the national anthem is sung. "Citizens as a sign of respect are expected to stand still at attention when the national anthems are sung."

The monthly meeting also tasked the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to manage the handling of national flags and national anthems of all participating nations. This is in order to avoid confusion and the hosting of wrong flags.

The IMC said the security cluster (which is made up of ministries that include the correctional services and defence) confirmed that the security plan for the World Cup is complete. All who will be attending the tournament will be safe.

When coming to transport, all upgrades at all major airports like OR Tambo, Cape Town and Mangaung have been completed.

The Committee said it noted reports stating that the OR Tambo-Sandton section of the Gautrain will be ready before kick-off.

"This will be a significant development given the ease with which visitors will travel between the airport and various destinations in Johannesburg," Motlanthe said.

When coming to electricity matters, the IMC said it was encouraging to see that six stadiums have been fitted with fibre optic broadcasting infrastructure while the remaining four stadiums fittings will be completed next month.