Locals optimistic of hosting successful cup

South Africa is ready for the 2010 World Cup, a research and survey body announced yesterday.

South Africa is ready for the 2010 World Cup, a research and survey body announced yesterday.

TNS Research Surveys conducted a study in May and June this year on 2000 adults to determine what their views on the 2010 Soccer World Cup were.

The analysis was done in seven major metropolitan areas in the country - 1261 blacks, 384 whites, 240 coloureds and 115 Indians or Asians took part in the study.

TNS spokesman Neil Higgs said 63 percent of South Africans showed optimism about "our readiness for the World Cup".

This was an increase from August last year when only 59 percent of people thought that South Africa would be ready.

"There has been an increasingly positive trend over the past 21 months.

"In September 2005, only 40 percent felt we would be ready," said Higgs.

Gauteng was the most optimistic province - 67 percent of people believed that the country was ready for the World Cup.

Cape Town was the least optimistic - 52 percent of people did not think the country was ready for the World Cup.

Despite the dispute and controversy over the refurbishment and use of Cape Town's Green Point Stadium for the event, 63 percent of people were in favour of the stadium being built.

Higgs said: "In the 2005 study 90 percent of people felt that making a success of the event is vital to South Africans, in terms of job creation and economic growth to alleviate poverty."

TNS urged the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to dispel negativity around South Africa hosting the soccer event.

"The LOC needs to send out strong positive signals to the public, businesses, tourism industry and all policy makers," said Higgs.

"Every South African stands to benefit from this event."

Despite the positive outcome of the study, one in four people still had doubts about the event and this was a concern, he said. - Sapa

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