But roads must be improved

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Maruthalane Kanono is excited about the prospects of the 2010 World Cup, saying having one or more teams setting up base in Lesotho will help boost their economy.

Kanono operates a small business at the popular flea market of Butha Buthe in the Mountain Kingdom.

From his tiny but crammed stall, Kanono does all sorts of trendy haircuts and also sells DVDs, CDs and cassettes.

"Business is not that bad at all. We get a lot of tourists from South Africa, England, China, Swaziland and other countries buying our items," said Kanono.

"For me music is doing well, they want the music of Basotho singers such as Bhudaza Malefane, Talima and the 'Village Pope' [Tshepo Tshola].

"The business in Lesotho will boom when we have one or more participating countries based here, but at this stage we need to start improving our roads.

"I love soccer, there is no doubt that the sport will get a major boost if we host one or more countries because Lesotho will get massive international media coverage."

The terrible state of the Lesotho roads is a cause for concern for many motorists, especially those who spend the better part of the day behind the steering wheel.

A Sowetan crew travelled to the capital Maseru last Wednesday, going through one of the ever busy Butha Buthe border gates where we started our journey to Maseru on a road full of potholes.

Motlalepula Sepamo, a taxi driver operating between Butha Buthe and Maseru, said it remains a mystery that there are not so many accidents on their roads.

"Our roads are in such a terrible state, you can't even overtake because of the pot- holes. It's also problematic to park on the side of the road because there is no space.

"I hope one of the legacies of the World Cup will see better and maintained roads as well as an upgraded Setsoto Stadium," said Sepamo.

A source in the Lesotho government said they were planning to improve the facilities, with the emphasis on the roads and Setsoto Stadium.

For the record, Setsoto is the only recognisable football venue in Lesotho. This does not seem to augur well for a country with such abundant talent and passionate soccer followers, some of whom support South African clubs such as Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs.