Locals not left out in the cold

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Fifa yesterday committed itself to ensuring that South African businesses also benefit from the 2010 World Cup.

Speaking at the World Cup hospitality programme launch, Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said it was good that the launch was in South Africa.

Valcke said it was one of their obligations to the South African government for locals to operate as service providers too.

The commitment came just before two local companies were named as exclusive accommodation and ticketing agents for South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa for the Confederations Cup and World Cup. The hospitality companies were identified as Circa and Warwick.

Yesterday's launch in Johannesburg was also attended by Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the World Cup Local Organising Committee

Jordaan said: "The hospitality programme for the World Cup is vital for two reasons: tourism promotion and investment.

"There was quality service at the A1 Grand Prix in Durban [last month], starting from food, wines, accreditation and ticketing. It is clear those who were there will come back [to South Africa]. The hospitality programme is key to enriching these objectives."

There was a presentation by Match, the official Fifa accommodation and ticketing agent, pertaining to the entire tournament.

Pascal Portes, Match chief operating officer, said: "We are delighted to team up with two leading South African organisations.

"South Africa is one of the global leaders in the hospitality industry and is known for its excellent gastronomy and wines."

Molefi Oliphant, South African Football Association president, also attended the presentation and so did various partners of Fifa.