Afcon viewing areas unveiled

THE Gauteng provincial government has identified seven venues to serve as public viewing areas during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals that kick off at the National Stadium next weekend.

MEC for sport, arts, culture and recreation Lebogang Maile yesterday told Sowetan these venues will be in Orange Farm, Diepsloot, Ivory Park, Diepkloof, Sedibeng, Tshwane and Merafong.

"The Gauteng provincial government went out of its way to ensure the opening and final matches of Afcon are played at the National Stadium on January 19 and February 10.

"Knowing that not everybody in Gauteng, the rest of South Africa and people from the continent will fit into the National Stadium, we have created public viewing areas.

"The public viewing areas were a resounding success during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which is why we have decided to bring them back for the Afcon.

"We are delighted tickets for the tournament are beginning to soar in all five host cities, including here in Gauteng where we know the passion for soccer is awesome."

Maile also announced that training has commenced for informal food traders, who will be allowed to operate within the National Stadium sports precinct during the tournament.

"This drive is aimed at providing conducive conditions for economic growth to local businesses and ensuring that our communities benefit from the biggest African soccer festival.

"The Gauteng province will also support the volunteer programme. These volunteers include those previously trained and operational in previous tournaments, including the 2010 World Cup."