Improving disaster management

CAPACITY: Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 18/02/08. © Sowetan.
CAPACITY: Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 18/02/08. © Sowetan.

The Gauteng provincial government is planning to invest in a mobile centre to deal with disaster management challenges during the 2010 World Cup and beyond.

The Gauteng provincial government is planning to invest in a mobile centre to deal with disaster management challenges during the 2010 World Cup and beyond.

Mbhazima Shilowa, Gauteng premier, said the mobile centre would also help ensure on-site coordination of disaster relief.

In his State of the Province address on Monday, Shilowa said their capacity to respond to major disasters was improved by the completion of the Disaster Management Centre.

He said the centre would deal with challenges posed by disasters such as those caused by chemical spillages, road accidents and problems at match venues.

"This has also bolstered our preparations to ensure the safety of our communities and visitors during the Fifa World Cup in 2010."

Shilowa is also happy with the way Gauteng hosted Soccerex in Johannesburg in November, a soccer expo that attracts soccer and business stakeholders.

He said Soccerex, which is fully endorsed by Fifa, was a great platform for Gauteng to showcase its readiness for the World Cup.

Shilowa was also happy that tourism in the province was growing in leaps and bounds ahead of the World Cup.

"Tourist arrivals to our province continue to grow, creating jobs and other economic opportunities for our people," he said.

"According to the latest report of South African Tourism, foreign tourists visiting Gauteng increased by more than 400 000.

"One in every two foreign visitors in South Africa visits Gauteng, making our province the country's highest earner of tourism income.

"Tourism attractions in and around the Cradle of Humankind have grown to 386, with more than half of these offering graded accommodation.

"Dinokeng continues to grow, with 276 attractions. Together these two destinations now offer 9 179 beds and 15614 seats in 199 restaurants.

"The threefold increase in grading of accommodation at these three sites is a sign that we are already well prepared for the hosting of tourists in the run-up to, during and after the 2010 World Cup."

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