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Stadium delay can't slow Free State

By unknown | Oct 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Free State is four months ahead of schedule in preparations for the 2010 World Cup, the provincial government has announced.

This is despite the delay in the awarding of a contract worth R305,5 million for the upgrading of the Free State Stadium.

The delay was caused by construction companies that wanted to charge exorbitant fees to renovate the stadium, which will also be used for the 2009 Confederations Cup.

The company that will upgrade the venue was announced last month. Smaller Free State companies will also be subcontracted to provide services.

"We are more than ready for both the 2009 Confederations Cup and World Cup," said Joe Mafereka, the Free State 2010 political champion.

"Naturally from now on, every step we take and every effort we make towards 2010 will serve as an important hallmark that will determine the success of this global tournament in our province.

"Challenges of infrastructure, which include the construction and refurbishment of stadiums, our road and rail networks, telecommunication, accommodation and so on, continue to be addressed."

Mafereka said they have also formed partnerships with the Northern Cape government, adding that a similar arrangement with Lesotho was being handled by the national government.

"The Free State province, especially Mangaung [Bloemfontein], is generally not known as a tourist destination. This must change. We must put the central region on the tourist map.

"Places such as Kimberley, Mangaung, Lesotho and Thabo Mofutsanyane must work as a collective to ensure they attract more tourists.

"The upgrading of public transport infrastructure such as the railway network, road network and airport will also enhance public transport mobility to ensure sustainable communities."

There will be a railway line connecting Mangaung with Lesotho.

Mafereka said they will soon start training people in the province for 2010.


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