Fielding a plan to score in 2010

President Thabo Mbeki has made a clarion call: it's all hands on deck for the country's preparations for hosting the 2010 World Cup Soccer finals.

President Thabo Mbeki has made a clarion call: it's all hands on deck for the country's preparations for hosting the 2010 World Cup Soccer finals.

The timing of his call in Cape Town on Tuesday was as appropriate as it was reassuring of the unwavering government support for the massive project.

Mbeki told a meeting also attended by Fifa representatives that South Africa would spare no effort to ensure that everything necessary for a successful tournament was completed on time.

A presidential assurance to the international community was just what was needed to stem disingenuous, alarmist reports seeking to create doubt about South Africa's capacity to host the finals. The persistent false reports had even suggested that Australia was on standby to host the event.

With yesterday's announcement of the government's commitment to spend R14,9 billion on major capital projects for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, there should now be fewer doubting Thomases about the country's will to ensure that the games are a resounding success.

All we need now is hard work to make sure that all our ducks are in a row during our preparations.

We need a positive national hype to affirm the continent's capacity to rise to the occasion in its finest hour.

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