Organizers say South Africa will be ready to host the World Cup football finals in 2010, despite worries over security, tickets, stadiums and transportation.
Tumi Makgabo is the Communications Manager for South Africa’s 2010 local World Cup Organizing Committee. From Johannesburg, she spoke with VOA English to Africa Service reporter Sonny Young about South Africa’s preparations for the soccer extravaganza.
“The question of ticketing is a huge one,” said Makgabo. “We all recognize and understand that there will be a limited number of tickets available, approximately three million. That does not account for nearly 50 million South Africans who may want to watch matches.”
She adds, “Construction of the new stadiums is scheduled to begin in the latter part of 2006. Hopefully, the majority of the stadiums will be done by the early part of 2009, which will give us more than a year leading up to the World Cup. Another challenge will be moving the nearly 400 million people who will be traveling to South Africa in a smooth manner. Already, there is construction under way in terms of upgrading various airports in South Africa.”
South Africa is the first African country to be awarded the World Cup. South African organizers say the World Cup is expected to inject billions of rand into Africa’s largest economy and create badly needed jobs. South Africa’s unemployment rate has been estimated at more than 25%.
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