fifa honours tickets pledge

MAROPENG Tlhokoe has been working at the Soccer City Stadium for three years.

MAROPENG Tlhokoe has been working at the Soccer City Stadium for three years.

Yesterday Tlhokoe and his colleagues were ecstatic when Fifa and the Local Organising Committee gave them tickets.

"I am excited that I will attend the opening match," said Tlhokoe from Meadowlands, Soweto.

"I am going to bring my little brother along with me to the games. We got paid the whole time we worked here, but the tickets are an even greater payment.

"I could never afford to study but after working at the stadium I was able to do short courses. I am looking forward to the future."

The workers sang and blew vuvuzelas when the LOC handed over a symbolic ticket to National Union of Mineworkers deputy president Piet Matosa.

Matosa said: "We congratulate the LOC for living up to its promises and ensuring that the poor workers will have an opportunity to get a real glimpse of the showpiece.

"The LOC has today showed sincerity to the poor men who live in a shack where TV is a luxury."

Forty-five thousand stadium construction workers will each receive two complimentary tickets from the Fifa 2010 World Cup Ticket Fund.

LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan said: "We are here to fulfil our promise. Last week it was Workers' Day and today is Construction Workers' Day.

"We as a country recognise the effort you made for your country. You not only built the stadium but you built a monument for your country.

"When Fifa president Sepp Blatter addressed you a while back he said: 'I want you to be at the stadium during the opening match' and we are here to fulfil that promise."

The workers will be given letters as proof that they worked at the stadium.