one-stop shop

All reports Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Mpumalanga government has created a provincial "one-stop" 2010 World Cup office to oversee all the projects relating to the competition in the area.

This comes after the provincial government took over control of the Mbombela municipality, which incorporates Nelspruit, the only World Cup host city in Mpumalanga, last Wednesday.

In taking over the affairs of the municipality, the provincial government said Mbombela was unable to keep itself from sliding into anarchy.

The new 2010 office's main responsibility will be to act as a central point of coordination for the quadrennial tournament.

The formation of the new structure was announced by Premier Thabang Makwetla at the state of the province address in Nelspruit last Friday.

His announcement came a day after the Fifa technical team visited Mbombela Stadium to inspect the facility and deal with other things such as road infrastructure, accommodation, media and marketing.

Makwetla said the one-stop 2010 office would incorporate the department of sports and recreation, host city and 2010 directorate in the premier's officer.

Following the visit by the Fifa technical committee, Makwetla said he was pleased with the progress in preparing for the tournament.

"One of the catalytic programmes in government is the 2010 programme," said Makwetla, who also conveyed his condolences to the family of the late Steve "Disco" Makua, himself a former Witbank Black Aces legend.

Makwetla was quick to point out that the provincial government will at all times ensure the World Cup preparations go on without any hindrance.

"Events in the Mbombela municipality have been of concern and the province has monitored them closely over the last 12 months," Makwetla said.

"Sensitive to the imperative not to impinge on the municipality's ability to promote popular participation and mobilisation of its residents for the 2010 build-up, the province was reluctant to take the municipality over.

"But it became more and more evident that the leadership of the municipality was unable to rescue itself from sliding into sheer anarchy."

Makwetla added that the Mbombela municipality's leadership was a threat to the optimum exploitation of the opportunities that come with the 2010 programme and projects for the economic benefit of many deserving constituencies in the province.