Free State reaches out to neighbours

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Free State government is living up to its earlier promise of roping in the neighbouring Lesotho in their preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

Joe Mafereka, Free State 2010 World Cup political champion, will lead a high- powered delegation to Maseru on May 23 to speak to Basotho.

Other executive members going to Lesotho are Tate Makgoe, Neo Masithela, Seeiso Mohai, France Morule and Susan Mnumzana.

Makgoe is the MEC for finance, Masithela of tourism and economic affairs, Mohai of public works, Morule of safety and liaison and Mnumzana is MEC for sports and culture.

"When we bid for the World Cup, we made it loud and clear that it will be an African World Cup, that is why we have brought Lesotho on board," said Mafereka.

"The same applies to Northern Cape; we have been having a series of discussions with representatives of Lesotho and Northern Cape.

"The aim is to make sure we form a partnership with the governments of Northern Cape towards the 2010 World Cup.

"The people of Northern Cape and Lesotho want us to include them on our 2010 World Cup and tourism brochure."

Mafereka, who is also the Free State MEC for local government and housing, said the provincial government was impressed by the pace of World Cup preparations.

"Everything is going according to plan."

Yesterday, the Free State government was scheduled to meet their counterparts from Northern Cape to discuss tourism and accommodation partnerships.

"There are major developments in the Northern Cape. As the Free State, we will have an indaba late in June to deal with the World Cup issues," said Mafereka.

"We will come up with a whole-stick [comprehensive] approach with all the other stakeholders, including the media and soccer legends."