Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour for me to be invited by the distinguished Hopewell Institute to address all present here today on behalf of the Embassy and Government of the Republic of South Africa about a global showpiece that is about seize the attention of the entire global community come June next year! That global showpiece ladies and gentlemen is the FIFA 2010 World Cup and South Africa will be the theatre where this international football spectacle will be performed and thus unite the peoples of the world. Even our former President Nelson Mandela once acknowledged that sport is critical force that can foster global unity and harmony.
All present here today will recall that in 2004 South Africa was awarded the bid to host the 2010 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. The World Cup in 2010 will be the first in more than 100 years of FIFA’s existence to be staged on the African continent. From the beginning of the bid process, South Africa committed that the 2010 World Cup would be an African World Cup. This is an opportunity to build African solidarity and to foster a climate that contributes to African growth and development. As the current FIFA President, Joseph Sepp Blatter, correctly pointed out “the enthusiasm in South Africa is phenomenal. I am absolutely convinced that, all together, we will deliver the best FIFA World Cup ever because it will be played in Africa.”
The commitment to making the 2010 World Cup an African event has been strongly supported by the African Union (AU). In a declaration of the Eighth Assembly of the AU heads of state and government, the AU reaffirmed its pledge to make 2010 a truly African tournament, committing its countries to “full and substantive involvement in the preparation leading to the 2010 World Cup”. The AU also urged its member states to develop national programmes and identify AU sports ambassadors to help implement the International Year of African Football, “Sports for All” programmes and the African Legacy Programme.
The South African Government is committed to making the event “the best World Cup ever”, and will deliver on all the commitments to FIFA. The South African Government is also using the hosting of the World Cup to contribute to the growth and development of the country. Moreover, the United Nations (UN) recognises participation in sport and recreation as a fundamental human right which all governments should make available to their people. The excitement is palpable-every day, in anticipation of the first “African” World Cup, new and exciting steps are being taken on the journey to 2010. The 2010 World Cup will also showcase South African and African hospitality and humanity (ubuntu) and change once and for all perceptions of our country and our continent within the international community.
Ladies and gentlemen, in November 2006, the African Legacy Programme for the World Cup – a joint responsibility of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee (Organising Committee) and the Government – was devised. The programme aims to:
The programme includes collaboration with four key stakeholders – FIFA, the Confederations of African Football (CAF), the United Nations (UN) and the AU – linking in with a number of existing initiatives.
The South African Government therefore continues to collaborate with African countries on a number of projects that will contribute to the African legacy. These fall in the areas of:
As we gather here today, virtually all the projects and plans for the 2010 World Cup are completed or nearing completion-from stadia, transport infrastructure, security measures, issues of accommodation, to health and most importantly immigration plans-confirming the confidence of the global soccer fraternity that the 2010 World Cup will be a truly successful tournament.
The South African Embassy in Algeria also intends utilising various platforms such as its official events in Algeria. On 11 June 2009, the South African Ambassador, HE Ambassador Mzuvukile Maqetuka and the Embassy staff will be at the Houari Boumedienne International Airport to bid farewell to the Algerian football senior national team on their way to play an important 2010 World Cup qualifying match against Zambia. Prior to their match against Zambia the Algerian team will have a training camp in hospitable South Africa. The fact that Algeria chose to have a training camp in South Africa before their match in Zambia, is indication of the strong historical ties that connect the two countries. The Algerian Football Federation has also pledged to leave no stone unturned in its support for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
We also intend utilising the 2nd African Union Pan African Cultural Festival that will take place from 5-20 July 2009, to inform the general Algerian public about South Africa’s state of readiness for the event. The Embassy will also use its visits to the different Wilayas in Algeria to publicise and market the World cup amongst the Algeria people within the context of promoting South Africa as a viable and attractive tourism and investment destination.
It is in this context that during its Freedom Day celebrations the South African Embassy launched a French translation of its FIFA 2010 World Cup information booklet titled Ke Nako (Now is the Time) Celebrate Africa’s Humanity, in a bid to reach out to the Algerian public and communicate all the fundamental information about the event.
The South African Government has assured the millions of fans who will be coming to watch the 2010 World Cup that they will be safe in South Africa. There are a number of prongs to South Africa’s safety and security plan:
• South Africa will be working closely with international agencies to gather intelligence
• there will be a focus on border security at ports of entry – including South Africa’s land, sea and air borders
• route security, specifically those leading from airports into the cities, will be a priority
• police are to divide the host cities into sections, with teams patrolling sections and focusing on FIFA headquarters, hotels, other accommodation establishments, the stadiums, fan parks, restaurants and tourist venues
• State-of-the-art information and communication military technology will be used as well as a fleet of nearly 40 helicopters
• a dedicated force of 41 000 officers will be deployed. Some R665-million will be spent on procuring special equipment, including crowd-control equipment, crime scene trainers, unmanned aircraft, helicopters, 10 water cannons, 100 BMWs for highway patrol and up-to-date body armour.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) is on a massive recruitment drive to increase general police numbers by 55 000 to over 190 000 by 2009. The number of police reservists will also double before the FIFA World Cup, from 45 000 members to 100 000. So, by 2010 South Africa will have a significantly larger and well-trained police service. In addition, countries competing in the event will send their own specially trained police officers to assist with languages and cultural differences and to support the SAPS.
South Africa will have dedicated 2010 police stations within close proximity to each of the stadiums, as well as dedicated crime-investigation teams and special courts to investigate and deal with all event-related crimes 24/7.
A 24-hour multilingual hotline will assist visitors requiring police or medical services. The Regional (SADC) Security Plan has been finalised and cooperation with several countries has been initiated. Border security and sea and air security strategies are in place.
South Africa submitted the comprehensive security plan for the 2010 World Cup to FIFA on 30 June 2008 – on schedule.
Ladies and gentlemen, in order to ensure a fair and transparent allocation of tickets, the procedure for ticket allocation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa has been divided into five phases. These phases are intended to allow periods when tickets are allocated based on random selection draws and periods when tickets are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. This system was designed to address the fact that demand for tickets to many matches will exceed ticket supply, and to provide as many fans as possible with tickets. We are currently in the second phase of the ticket sales which concludes on 16 November 2009. The final sales phase for the tickets concludes on 11 July 2010.
Interested individuals can apply online on the official FIFA website where the application form is downloadable. There are generally two types of tickets available for the World Cup. Firstly the match tickets which are individual match tickets that are available for all matches. Secondly, the Team Specific Tickets Services (TST) which is essential to purchase if you want to follow the national team of your choice.
South Africa will issue the first ever Event Visa for an international event in support of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The issuing of such a visa is in keeping up with the guarantee that the South African government made to FIFA when the 2010 FIFA World Cup was awarded to South Africa in 2004. The Visa will make South Africa the first country to ever issue such a Visa for an international event. The Event Visa will be issued free of charge to visitors to South Africa in 2010. The Event Visa has been finalised and will be tested by eligible visitors coming to South Africa for the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. The Visa will enable visitors for both events to enter South Africa conveniently at various ports of entries.
On 14 June 2009 South Africa will also be hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup. This event will demonstrate to the entire global community that come 2010 South Africa will deliver a masterpiece event. This view was amplified by the South African President, HE Jacob Zuma who mentioned in his State of the Nation Address delivered yesterday that “we are putting all systems in place to make the Confederations Cup…a huge success”.
President Zuma further added that, “We have as a government and the nation at large, pledged that the World Cup will leave a proud legacy from which our children and our communities will benefit for many years to come. We are on track to meet all our obligations and are determined to give the world the best World Cup ever”.
The FIFA 2010 World Cup promises to be a true African spectacle that will send waves of confidence from Cape to Cairo and beams of hope around the world.
Africa’s time has come! Let’s support the realisation of the African Renaissance!
Come and be part of the legacy!
I thank you!