LOC focuses on stadiums

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

After winning the confidence of the world in preparing for the 2010 World Cup, the Local Organising Committee plans to step up a gear for an even more successful event.

Irvin Khoza, chairman of the committee, said they wanted to thank all the people who contributed in all the preparations this year.

While there were many international events in 2007 related to the 2010 World Cup, the big one was the preliminary draw in Durban last month.

A record 204 countries and an array of high-profile soccer, business and political leaders attended the draw, which was the first official 2010 World Cup event.

"At this stage we are quite happy that we have won the confidence of the country, the continent and the world with the preliminary draw.

"We have just managed to allow the people of the world to witness African operations.

"It now confirms that 'it is our time as Africa - Ke nako'," said Khoza.

"The holidays will also give us a chance to deal with the issue of debriefing for the preliminary draw, which was a resounding success.

"In the new year, we will also be dealing with the outstanding issues pertaining to the construction of stadiums for the tournament.

"We know that there were challenges in Mbombela [Nelspruit], Green Point [Cape Town] and Port Elizabeth [Nelson Mandela Bay]."

There were also labour disputes at Green Point Stadium, Mbombela Stadium and Moses Mabhida Stadium, but those seem to have been sorted out - at least for now.

Following some of the labour disputes, the board of directors for the 2010 World Cup has appointed a task team to ensure the construction of the facilities meets the set deadlines.

"The whole world has confidence in our country that we will deliver world-class facilities and a great tournament," added Khoza.

Also as part of the new year, Khoza told Sowetan that they will step up their preparations for the Confederations Cup.

"We are happy with the preparations for the Confederations Cup. But there is still a lot to be done."