High-powered SA group visits China
The Deputy Minister of Finance, Jabu Moleketi, is leading a high-powered South African delegation currently in China on a 2010 World Cup learning tour.
Joe Phaahla, the World Cup government unit director-general, said they were invited by the Chinese government to see the progress made for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Other members of the delegation include Dennis Mumble, Linda Mti, Inmba Thumbiran, Malcolm Simpson and Mathabathe Mokonyane.
Mumble is the LOC general manager of operations, Mti (LOC safety director), Thumbiran (government's unit head of stadiums), Mokonyane (chief of 2010 for the Department of Transport and Simpson (2010 head of treasury).
"The aim of the tour is to share the experiences with our brothers and sisters in China. We hope we can learn a lot from them," said Phaahla.
"It is a known fact that China will be hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, and have been preparing themselves for seven to eight years.
"We will deal with a variety of issues in China, from infrastructure, transport planning, security, cultural programmes to operations in general.
"As part of our tour, we will also see how they are involving Chinese citizens in terms of mobilising support for the Olympics."
l With the process of preparing for the 2010 World Cup now in full swing, the challenge facing South Africa now is to meet all the deadlines set by Fifa.
"We are quite happy that the process is unfolding in most parts of the country, specifically in the five cities where new stadiums are being built," said Phaahla.
"We have met all the deadlines set to date. We thank the Local Organising Committee, municipalities and the technical committee for their cooperation. All the major projects are now on course, and we will soon be starting with the process of upgrading the existing stadiums.
"That process will take between 12 to 18 months to renovate them to meet the Fifa requirements," said Phaahla.
"The challenge facing us is to stay within deadlines."