Zuma tackles SA 2010 scepticism

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has dispelled misconceptions about South Africa not being in a position to host a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup and assured Britons that South Africa has stringent safety and security measures in place for the tournament.

Zuma, who is on a state visit to the United Kingdom, announced that part of the plan involves the deployment of 41 000 police officers during the football spectacle.

In addition, he said, the 32 participating teams will also be provided with specially trained police escorts to and from matches.

"Amongst other measures, we will provide route security, state-of-the-art information and communications technology for security, as well as courts that will be in operation 24 hours a day to ensure quick access to justice," Zuma said, addressing the 100 days countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup celebrations in central London.

He also announced a special dispensation for the estimated 450 000 ticket holders attending the games, saying visas will be issued to people travelling from non-visa exempt countries, who are able to provide proof of purchase of a FIFA match ticket.

"We will not compromise on security, as applicants will still have to comply with the normal visa requirements," the president said.

Zuma said the World Cup has enabled South Africa to lay the foundations for an economic future with a massive investment in transport, energy, telecommunications and other infrastructure.

"Our investment in infrastructure goes far beyond football. We are not only investing in bridges and roads. We are also investing in our people."

Zuma also unveiled South Africa's new international marketing logo which he said was guided by the national flag which symbolises the spirit of ubuntu and resilience.

"The logo emphasizes our message that indeed working together we can do more to build a great country."