Working together to make World Cup a success

The mission statement of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organisisng Committee says:

The mission statement of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organisisng Committee says:

"The African Fifa World Cup presents the ideal stage to: rally and mobilise the people of South Africa to organise an African Fifa World Cup with precision, innovation and flair; to extend an unforgettable South African welcome to the world; collaborate with all stakeholders in a dynamic partnership based on integrity and excellence."

Many people in the organisation are living this key objective daily. In our space, where we have to interact with the media, organisations and various public institutions practically daily, a week whizzes by so fast you might miss the number and content of the different engagements.

One thing you cannot miss, though, is the high level of interest and enthusiasm for the project. This is what I experienced over the past week when I appeared on John Perlman's programme on Kaya FM to discuss our volunteer programme.

The questions were incisive and informed. The listeners were clearly very keen to learn more about this programme that will open for registration later this year.

Thanks to the briefing by colleagues Jermaine Craig and Onke Mjo, who is in charge of the volunteer programme, I felt adequately prepared for this engagement.

The next day I accompanied my colleague Tumi Dlamini, who heads our Legacy Projects, to Botswana for a briefing of government officials, sports organisations and members of business there.

The event was organised by the South African High Commissioner, Dikgang Moopeloa, and his staff and was as comprehensive as possible with representatives from the host city Rustenburg, North West government, 2010 Government Unit, SABC and Eskom also taking part.

The CEO of the Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, followed up the next day with high-level meetings with some of Botswana cabinet ministers.

The point that this visit highlighted was that people on the continent, especially our neighbours, are very supportive and keen to take part in the hosting of the World Cup.

Back home I was invited to give an update to senior officials of the Department of Home Affairs, who were having a workshop to discuss improvements in the department.

In frank discussions with the officials I gathered that they too were very keen to make the hosting of the World Cup a success. They, after all, will be responsible for processing the entry of visitors to the country.

Earlier this week, the SABC and Fifa announced the regulations for public viewing areas, thus paving the way for many communities to enjoy the World Cup almost like their counterparts in host cities.

Together with some of my colleagues, we attended workshops with the SABC on the various 2010-related programmes they were working on and I am pleased that a lot of exciting programmes are being planned for the viewers and listeners.

Other activities include coordinating our work with that of South African Tourism, who have done an excellent job of promoting the country as a tourist destination and are currently working hard to make all of us exceptional hosts.

We also are coordinating with the International Marketing Council and the Government Communications Information Systems to better share responsibilities and resources.

There are other institutions that we talk to and work with and we will keep you informed of those. What I have observed, however, is that in order to make the event a success, we have to work together in an open, supportive, collaborative, transformative and empowering manner as evidenced by these different meetings.

The support and spirit are there. The results may not yet be visible in some instances but wait until everything comes together as the A-team would say.

Remember the saying: the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, or the Setswana proverb, Sedikwa ke ntja pedi ga se thata.