Mthatha, Buffalo City lure African teams

TWO Eastern Cape municipalities are pulling out all the stops to lure Nigeria and Ivory Coast to set up base camps in East London and Mthatha.

TWO Eastern Cape municipalities are pulling out all the stops to lure Nigeria and Ivory Coast to set up base camps in East London and Mthatha.

The efforts of Buffalo City (East London) and King Sabata Dalindyebo (Mthatha) to lure the teams have the support of the Eastern Cape provincial government.

Gogo Manqoyi, the Eastern Cape's 2010 World Cup strategic manager, said they wanted other areas in the province to benefit from the tournament.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality is the only region in the Eastern Cape that will host World Cup matches.

"We want to spread the benefits of the World Cup across the province. The provincial cabinet has approved applications by Buffalo City and King Sabata Dalindyebo to serve as team base camps," Manqoyi said.

The provincial government has allocated R220million towards the construction of the Mthatha Stadium, which will be a 17000-seater facility.

Furthermore, R50million has been allocated by the provincial government for the upgrading of the East London Stadium in Southernwood.

Putco Mafani, communications and events manager for the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, said they were working closely with other municipalities in the province.

"We are working as a united front in the Eastern Cape on various issues like accommodation, tourism and transportation."

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