25 June 2009
South Africa will meet its infrastructure deadlines well ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told Parliament in Cape Town this week.
He pointed out that oversight visits conducted by members of the inter-ministerial committee had helped to ensure that the government and other stakeholders met their deadlines on infrastructure programmes.
“Working with other stakeholders such as the 2010 Local Organising Committee, we are glad to announce that we have made significant progress in pursuit of our goal to host a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Motlanthe said.
South Africa ‘on course’
Motlanthe said that if anything was needed to confirm South Africa’s readiness to host world soccer’s showpiece event, the Confederations Cup under way had demonstrated that the country was on course to meet its objectives.
There are only three matches left before the curtain is drawn on Fifa’s “Festival of Continental Champions” – a test run for staging the World Cup – and no major incidents have been reported.
The tournament “has also helped us identify areas that require improvement to deliver the best World Cup ever,” Motlanthe said, adding that the government was convinced that Bafana Bafana would continue improving ahead of 2010.
Motlanthe cautioned, however, that budget overruns by some host cities, especially in light of the current economic difficulties, needed to be addressed urgently so as to ensure that their expenditure was within budget.
“We are, however, confident that the economic benefits flowing from the 2010 Fifa World Cup competition will soften some of the cutting effects of this economic crisis,” he said.
The government had also noted concerns over delays in the construction of the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, and discussions with the affected parties were taking place to resolve all outstanding matters.
“We have also started to pay focused attention to all the 2010 legacy projects, so that the facilities are used for the maximum benefit of our people and our country beyond 2010,” he said.