Home Affairs ready for World Cup

SOUTH Africa is on track to issue free visas to thousands of soccer fans expected to visit the country next month for the 2010 Fifa World Cup that kicks off on June 11.

Minister of Home Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma this week said Fifa employees were being awarded visas and since last Sunday the department had already issued 3500 work permits.

Dlamini-Zuma, pictured, said free event visas would be awarded to those with World Cup tickets, while dedicated lanes would be set aside for those coming to the tournament.

Priority treatment would also be given to Fifa delegations and teams. The department was also training volunteers to work at airports in order to assist arriving visitors.

The department had also placed airline liaison officers at various airports to help clear passengers and enable the police to screen visitors long before they arrive.