[DEBATE] : Safari, soccer & sod the masses
peter at aidc.org.za
Wed Nov 8 08:28:26 GMT 2006
So safari, sun and soccer, what more could a visitor want? And of
course with 'dedicated roads' from safari to stadium the wealth will
just pour into the pockets of white game farm owners, the big
corporate sponsors, the big stores in the shopping malls for those
visitors 'brave enough' to venture into the 'human safari', throw in
a few BEE concessions, a couple of townships tours here and there and
'laduma' the SA and global rich will have done very well outta the
South Africa urges World Cup fans to stay at safari lodges
Wednesday November 8, 2006
Fans travelling to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are to be
encouraged to stay at game lodges and combine safari holidays with
attending matches, the country's minister of tourism said yesterday.
In an attempt to ensure the safety and security of the 1.3m expected
for the tournament, the government in Pretoria is also recruiting
5,000 railway police to combat high levels of crime.
Marthinus van Schalkwyk, minister of environment affairs and tourism,
dismissed speculation that South Africa is ill-prepared, pointing out
it is ahead of schedule and that a delegation from Fifa, the world
game's governing body, was impressed a fortnight ago. "They will be
ready, no problems they will be ready," its president Sepp Blatter
said. "The Plan B and C in my opinion is still South Africa."
Van Schalkwyk pointed out that South Africa has a reputation for
staging big events, including rugby and cricket world cups, and while
not underestimating the challenge, added that there is no need for
Ten stadiums will be used for Africa's first football World Cup -
five are to be upgraded and five built from scratch. Van Schalkwyk
said plans had been approved and five would be ready and used for the
Confederations Cup in 2009. About R80bn (£5.74bn) is being invested
in the country's infrastructure over the next three years, including
upgrading Johannesburg airport and on a new rail link between there
and Pretoria. The strict regulation of flights has also been relaxed.
Crime and security is a challenge the authorities will not run away
from, Van Schalkwyk claimed. New strategies are beginning to produce
a reduction in violent crime and by 2010 numbers of police would be
increased from 156,000 to 187,000. More than R40bn is also being
invested in improved safety and security.
Organisers are planning to make use of the non-hotel sector to find
the 55,000 rooms it is contracted to provide to Fifa. Game lodges,
guest houses and B&Bs will provide a large quota of accommodation.
The minister said fans staying at game reserves would have dedicated
roads to match venues and special charter flights to get them to the
stadiums within an hour. "Imagine a game drive in the morning
followed by a match that evening," he said. "It will open up the
great experiences of wildlife and scenery, a chance to see the
country. We do not want to be in the position of building new hotels
and infrastructure and having to demolish them after the World Cup."
It is estimated that around 350,000 England fans travelled to Germany
in June. South Africa does not have a precise estimate for 2010 if
England qualify but it will repeat last summer's Fan-Fest big-screen
areas for those without tickets.
Dr Peter Dwyer
129 Rochester Road,
Cape Town, 7705.
TEL: 021 447 5770
FAX: 021 447 5884
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