30 November 2009
South African host cities and organisers have pledged to ensure that the upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup™ is a “green event”, by supporting initiatives that addressed waste minimisation, emissions reduction, energy efficiency and water conservation.
Speaking in Johannesburg last week, 2010 local organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan said the Green Goal 2010 programme would see organisers adhering to sustainable principles and to promote environmental responsibility in organising and hosting the tournament.
He said the green initiative would not only focus on the World Cup’s impact on the environment, but on how to improve it by planting trees, managing waste and conserving water.
Preserving a greening culture
Meanwhile, Deputy Enviornmental Affairs Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said the World Cup was a relevant platform to be used to preserve the culture of greening the country’s environment.
“It is relevant to use the 2010 Fifa World Cup platform to nurture the culture of greening our environment,” Mabudafhasi said.
“The 2010 Fifa World Cup is not just a razzmatazz event characterised by pageantry, pomp, merriment and excitement, but it is an event of significant and far-reaching economic impact.”
Mabudafhasi said these greening initiatives go beyond the week, month or so of sporting activity and include concerns for post-event, environmental and the social and economic impact of the event on the immediate and extended environment.
The greening of the World Cup, she said, was also about striking a balance between the economic, social and ecological sustainable development elements.
Event greening could also be expanded to other activities since the country has become a popular sporting venue and regularly hosts major international events.
“It needs to include a world-class greening effort. The challenge is not only to host a successful event from a logistical and organisational point of view, but also to host an event which will significantly improve the greening profile of the country,” she said.
Leaving a lasting legacy
Mabudafhasi said the greening of the 2010 games would be implemented in all the ten host cities stadiums. These are Soccer City, Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg, Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein, Peter Mokaba in Polokwane, Mbombela in Nelspruit, Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria and Green Point in Cape Town.
In order to ensure a lasting legacy, the department has developed a national greening programme to provide practical considerations in energy supply and consumption, water usage efficiency, conservation measures and non-motorised transportation.
“We are proudly committed to building a partnership and a coordinated network of actions that would ensure that we score green during the 2010 Fifa World Cup,” she said.