Let the real work begin

After what seemed a long wait, it's good that the first sod was finally turned in Mpumalanga this week, marking the beginning of preparations for the 2010 World Cup soccer finals.

After what seemed a long wait, it's good that the first sod was finally turned in Mpumalanga this week, marking the beginning of preparations for the 2010 World Cup soccer finals.

The building of the R850million Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga, which starts next month, is the first real sign of the mammoth responsibility that rests on our collective shoulders.

Before then the 2010 Local Organising Committee bosses had to parry the usual sniping from Afro-pessimists geared at creating doubt about the continent's capacity to host its first World Cup.

Such scepticism comes as no surprise, though there is always danger of self-fulfilling prophesy and the prospect of repeated lies eventually being perceived as truth.

But there's no reason to entertain any doubts now that the work to lay the foundation for the 45 000-capacity venue is under way.

A commendable feature of the Mbombela Stadium project, as pointed out by LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan, is the involvement of neighbouring countries such as Swaziland and Mozambique.

Their involvement recognises the fact the 2010 event is a continental showpiece rather than a single-handed South African effort.

The challenge therefore is to ensure that the preparations are hassle-free - unencumbered by petty politics.

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