All set for the great influx

The government has allocated R497 million to upgrade the country's ports of entry ahead of this year's Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

The government has allocated R497 million to upgrade the country's ports of entry ahead of this year's Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

Dan Moyo, head of the government's World Cup unit, said the refurbishing was done by the Department of Public Works.

"The department is upgrading a number of sites at our ports of entry, it is part of our preparations for the two global competitions," Moyo said.

Upgraded ports of entry include Lebombo, Golela and Skilpadhek, while repair and maintenance is taking place at Beitbridge, Maseru and Mananga.

The Waterkloof Airforce Base runway is also undergoing changes to serve as a landing strip for dignitaries and other high-profile visitors during the World Cup.

Minister of Home Affairs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has already announced that government will introduce the event-specific visa for the World Cup.

Mapisa-Nqakula said new measures were being implemented to ensure that visitors are served quickly on arrival.

Giving an update on the World Cup preparations as part of the 500 days countdown celebrations on Monday, government said the Department of Communications and Sentech have signed an agreement for the installation of the satellite backup system.

The National Treasury has set aside R200 million for this project.

Telkom is upgrading its base networks as part of the fulfilment of the guarantees made to Fifa to secure the tournament.

The department of communications has also set up 112 public emergency centres to provide a single access 24-hour number for emergency service providers.

The Department of Minerals and Energy has allocated R136 million to the nine World Cup host cities to upgrade their electricity networks.

Overall, Moyo said government was happy with the preparations for the Confederations Cup and World Cup and other related activities.

X