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September 11, 2009

2010 FIFA World Cup readiness update

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Green Point Stadium, photo copyright Joanne

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup fast approaching, all eyes are on South Africa as we gear up to host the event. As a host city for the World Cup, Cape Town has attracted its fair share of scepticism regarding its readiness to welcome crowds of soccer fans to its shores. But the Mother City is well on track to welcome the world, as this infrastructure update shows.

Safety and security

The South African Police Service (SAPS) is in overall control of safety and security and will work closely with disaster management to ensure that all World Cup events run smoothly. The SAPS has given its assurances that football hooligans will be dealt with firmly, within the scope of the law.

Transport

The Integrated Rapid Transport system – a key part of the overall public transport plan for the FIFA World Cup – is still being debated with taxi operators at national level. However, the City of Cape Town guarantees that visitors will enjoy an efficient shuttle system from the airport to the new central transport hub outside the Civic Centre, and from there to the stadium and back.

Accommodation

An August 2008 survey commissioned by the Cape Town City Council, Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited revealed that Cape Town will have ample bed capacity for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Cape Town’s accommodation capacity (including accredited and approved temporary accommodation stock) currently stands at 56 000 beds and an estimated total number of 70 000 beds should be on line by June 2010 in the greater Cape Town area. Furthermore, Cape Town is in close proximity to regions like the winelands, the Overberg and the Garden Route, where there is good capacity as well.

Cape Town Tourism, as an industry association, works in close partnership with the Host City and FIFA and coordinates the 2010 Cape Town Accommodation Programme. This programme looks at accredited and non-accredited accommodation options, linking in with MATCH, but also catering for visitors and members of the industry that prefer to do business independently.
 

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Green Point Stadium, photo copyright Joanne

Green Point Stadium

The Green Point Stadium seats 68 000 spectators and will be completed by December 14 this year. The principal architect, 34-year-old Robert Hormes of GMP Architects in Germany, has designed six world-class stadiums around the globe. The Green Point Stadium, situated midway between the icons of Table Mountain and Robben Island in Table Bay, is his favourite.

FIFA officials say the Green Point Stadium is the most beautiful in the world. At this point, the glass roof is almost complete, seats are being installed, the outer facade is being constructed and the pitch area is being prepared for the laying of the grass in October. Two grass pitches are being grown in Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town, one as a back-up.

The surrounding 85ha Green Point Common is being upgraded to accommodate a new golf course, sports facilities and an urban park. Water collected from the stadium roof will be pumped onto the common, thus reducing dependence on potable water. This work is on target for completion in March 2010.

Electricity

South Africa has been plagued by electricity cuts in the past two years, but the supply to the stadium is assured. A new substation is being built and the stadium will draw power from the national grid, with powerful generators as back-up. 

Fan Fest

The official Fan Fest will be on the Grand Parade in the central city. The area can accommodate about 25 000 fans and will remain open throughout the World Cup. Matches will be shown on a giant screen and entertainment will run around the clock.

FIFA sponsors have the branding rights inside the fenced-off area, but there will be many opportunities for small businesses on the periphery and along the Fan Walk to the stadium (about 2,5km). The Fan Walk will run from the central city along Somerset Road and under the newly-raised Green Point traffic circle.

On match nights, walking could well be the quickest and most pleasant way to get to the stadium. No vehicles will be allowed along the Fan Walk on match days and the route will be well secured and well lit. There will be no traffic lights or intersections on the Fan Walk. Apart from the official Fan Fest, public viewing areas will be open across the metropole and beyond.

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Cape Town is ready to welcome the world!

Cape Town Tourism ready to welcome visitors

Visitors will be well looked after by Cape Town Tourism, which will have information kiosks set up,  plus pamphlets and booklets available at the airport, central rail station and media centre, as well as at the Cape Town Tourism office in Burg Street, in the city centre.

There is much to see and do, and Cape Town Tourism is ready to assist. Visit the Cape Town Tourism website for more information.

The 2010 legacy

The city’s planning has been as much for 2011 as for 2010. Government at all levels has pumped more than R11-billion into infrastructure in Cape Town alone, and its people will benefit from a modern transport system when it is completed. Eight new hotels have been built and thousands of jobs created at the stadium and airport, and on the station and road network upgrades.

The Athlone and Philippi stadiums in the less advantaged areas are being extensively upgraded at a cost of R470-million for use as training venues for World Cup teams. There is also a dynamic “Green Goal” programme in place to promote sustainable environmental projects and lifestyles. Responsible tourism and a reduction in the carbon footprint are also important features of this programme.

Ultimately, the success of the World Cup in Cape Town will depend largely on the welcome visitors receive from Capetonians and on the readiness of citizens to embrace them in our football celebrations. With Cape Town’s excellent reputation for hospitality, it’s a welcome Capetonians are sure to provide!

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