Exclusions at Ellis Park

WITH all the euphoria surrounding the World Cup comes the promise of business opportunities for many business owners.

But not so for the businesses close to Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

With stadiums being flooded with thousands of soccer fans, for security reasons, exclusion zones have been established in areas surrounding the stadiums.

These measures state that all people living and working in the area should be in possession of permits in order to have access to their homes and workplace.

For some businesses, sales will rise, for others, they will plummet. But, for the owners of petrol stations this could mean no business.

For Shabbeer Osman, who owns a service station on Bertrams Street, the World Cup will affect business badly, he says.

"Service stations operate on traffic, no traffic means no business," says a concerned Osman.

Iqbal Patel, who also owns a service station in the area, knows he will feel the effects of the exclusion zones.

"We have waited for so many years for the World Cup for good business but it is not going to happen," Patel said yesterday.

Having lost R30000 a day during the Confederations Cup last year, Osman has calculated his loss to be about R300000 during the month-long tournament.

"The long-awaited World Cup will affect us negatively."

According to Gaynor Mashamaite-Noyce of the City of Johannesburg, they will not compensate the businesses.

Mashamaite-Noyce said there will only be eight games at Ellis Park, mostly at night.

"As a result the perceived inconvenience to business per se is minimal and the impact on these businesses is minimal.

"Restaurant and bars in the Ellis Park, Doornfontein and Troyville/Bertrams areas stand to make a lot of extra business out of fans, as they did in the Confed Cup. We had no complaints from them in the past."