SA provinces promise to be ready on time

GIVE us six weeks. Okay, maybe make it seven weeks.

GIVE us six weeks. Okay, maybe make it seven weeks.

That is the message coming from the Mpumalanga and North West provinces on their readiness to host their allocated Fifa 2010 World Cup games as South Africa begins the 100 days countdown to kick-off on June 11.

And if the provinces are not ready whoever is responsible will face the wrath of the government under the leadership of parliament's portfolio committee on sport's, Butana Komphela.

Komphela at the weekend promised to come down hard on any service providers who will fail to meet their construction deadline.

He was addressing guests at a dinner hosted by Mayor of Mbombela, Lassy Chiwayo, during the 100 days media road show which is touring the 10 World Cup hosting stadiums.

Earlier in the day, North West premier Maureen Modiselle told journalists during a tour of the Royal Bafokeng Sport Palace that she had been assured by her transport MEC that the road to the stadium would be ready by May 21.

But there's still scepticism and the same should be said for Mpumalanga where there is concern over the pitch and also the road leading to the stadium.

A third attempt at laying new grass gets under way today according to Richard Hayden, a Fifa expert.

Hayden and Chiwayo assured the media all will be in order, up and running in six to seven weeks.

With that said, Komphela made it clear in no uncertain terms that he will revisit these areas on the said deadlines to make sure promises have been met or heads will roll.

Jerome Valcke Fifa secretary-general and Danny Jordaan, CEO of the LOC were optimistic that those outstanding issues would be overcome in time.

They were sometimes at pains and clearly frustrated by the barrage of questions from the media.

Meanwhile in Bloemfontein, the mayor Playfair Morule promised people of Mangaung that his council will provide them with 50000 free tickets over the duration of the tournament.

This will be distributed to Bloemfontein Celtic supporters, Siwelele, he later extended the offer to Free State Stars, schools, poor communities and radio stations and newspapers that will run competitions for their readers and listeners.

The road show culminates with a gala dinner at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre in Durban tonight.