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March 16, 2009

2010 FIFA WORLD CUP™ – all your questions answered

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Green Point Stadium, photo courtesy Green Point by Shine 2010 – 2010 World Cup good news

In the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, people are asking a lot of questions about Cape Town’s readiness to host an event of this scale. Read on for the answers to all your World Cup questions:

When will the 2010 FIFA World Cup take place?
Between June 11 and July 11, 2010.

Where can I find accommodation?
You can contact Cape Town Tourism on info@capetown.travel or keeping checking our site (www.capetown.travel) for updates.

How will I get to the stadium?
In order to avoid traffic congestion, spectators will be advised to take public transport to get to the stadium and fan parks. A major public transport upgrade is planned for the city ahead of 2010.

Will the stadium be finished in time?
Despite tight deadlines, the stadium has to be finished by the end of 2009 in order to comply with FIFA regulations. The tournament starts only six months after that. The construction programme is well on track with the opening of the Green Point Stadium scheduled for the end of 2009.

What impact will the World Cup have on Cape Town’s transportation structure?
The World Cup should have a significant effect on transport and infrastructure. All three spheres of government – national, provincial and local – are co-operating to enhance the transport infrastructure. R890 million has already been allocated for this purpose.

The transport plan for 2010 is based on:

1. new, improved infrastructure
2. operational plans
3. traffic management systems
4. behavioural change (encouraging people to use less private and more public transport)

The plan includes dedicated bus lanes on freeways, park and ride facilities, improved transport corridors, upgraded rail links, rolling stock and systems. The Cape Town International Airport and Cape Town Station are undertaking major upgrades. Accommodation, rental transport, catering, entertainment and the provision of goods and services are all areas which will benefit from the World Cup.

How will the World Cup affect the environment?
FIFA has set “green goals” for host cities to comply with. The City of Cape Town also has a sustainable energy policy, which will guide all preparation work. One legacy benefit is expected to be green community spaces or “dignified places” across the city. Green Point Common (where the stadium will be built) will also benefit, as a major green portion will be retained and upgraded as a sports and recreation precinct with walkways and a landscaped urban park for citizens to enjoy.

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Photo courtesy Danny C. Jackson

How will the World Cup benefit the poor?
The poor will benefit from improved infrastructure, services and job opportunities. FIFA, the SA Government, the Local World Cup Organising Committee and the City of Cape Town all place a strong emphasis on the “legacy benefits” of the World Cup. The general economic improvements mentioned above will have a ripple effect – arts and crafts, entertainment, tourism and the service industry are all likely beneficiaries. Public viewing areas should provide economic opportunities for local people.

Large-scale events such as the World Cup can act as catalysts for major changes in their host countries and cities. Will 2010 act as such for Cape Town? What developments will come about as a result of hosting the World Cup?
Current direct World Cup-related investment by the public sector in Cape Town is estimated to be over R10 billion. More related investment will follow. Cape Town’s goals are to:

1. host a successful event
2. be the party capital of the continent
3. leverage economic and legacy benefits
4. enhance Cape Town’s reputation as an investment and tourism destination

The World Cup is the greatest sporting event in the world with cumulative TV audiences estimated at around 28 billion viewers in 240 countries. Cape Town is visually beautiful, and hosting a semi-final, plus the run-up events, will have huge marketing benefits abroad, focusing the attention of the world on Cape Town as one of the world’s most iconic cities.

In the Special Measures Bill, there is a section about “traffic-free zones”, which vehicles may not enter. Do you anticipate that such zones will adversely affect traffic flow in Cape Town in a significant way?
Cape Town has undertaken Transport Impact Assessments and has traffic management plans for the World Cup. While the unpredictable volumes of such a global event could be disruptive, much will have been invested in better public transport and traffic-easing measures.

During the past several World Cups, there have been broadcasts of large groups of citizens watching games on enormous screens in public squares. Will Cape Town set up such areas?
There will be an official FIFA fan park, two major Cape Town fan parks in the south-eastern and northern part of the city, several smaller fan parks in community spaces and in eight surrounding provincial towns. In addition, shopping malls, restaurants, etc are expected to offer clients big screen entertainment areas. A fan walk will link the FIFA fan park with Green Point Stadium.

What will happen at Green Point Stadium?
Eight World Cup matches will be played in the Green Point Stadium, including a quarter final and semi-final match – more than any other stadium in South Africa.

What will be the cost of building the stadium?
The stadium will cost R2.857-billion. National Government has given R1.93-billion towards the stadium, the Provincial Government R212-million and the city a total of R400-million, plus R100-million for contingency. The money has been set aside out of annual budgets and will not be borrowed.

Why did we have to build a stadium?
Despite widespread support for other venues, none of them met the requirements for a 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-final. In order to harness the economic and global marketing opportunity of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world, a 68 000-seater stadium was needed, and none of the existing stadiums could be upgraded to that capacity. Cape Town also has a legally binding contract with FIFA as a semi-final host to provide a stadium that meets its requirements. The only available option, after much investigation, was to build a new stadium in Green Point.

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Aspiring soccer stars, photo courtesy Maëlis

What are the benefits for Cape Town?
Not only will Cape Town be marketed around the world, which will raise its profile, the city will also benefit from billions of rands of infrastructure spending and investment from the public and private sectors, which will boost the local economy, provide jobs and improve the lives of its citizens. The much-needed public transport upgrades are one of the main benefits.

Will there be enough electricity, and will Cape Town be affected by power cuts?
A new electrical substation is to be built in Green Point for R151-million. This will not only supply the stadium, but areas of the city bowl as well, which will need more electricity as it grows. The stadium will not use much electricity, and then only for limited periods. The stadium will also have its own standby generators.

Would the money not be better spent on houses, hospitals and schools?
National, provincial and local Government have annual budgets for housing, health, education and other vital areas. The funding for the stadium and other 2010-related infrastructure is not coming from these areas, but has been specially set aside. The National Government is spending over R15-billion on stadiums and infrastructure to capitalise on the economic boost it will give to the country. This spending will not only provide jobs and boost the local economy in the short term, but in the long term will attract billions of rands worth of public and private sector investment, which will in turn enable the government to better provide for the poor.

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