A chief communications officer will be appointed soon for the 2010 World Cup local organising committee, chief executive Danny Jordaan said yesterday.

Speaking at an Eastern Cape soccer workshop at Mphekweni Beach Resort, Jordaan said more than 14 applications had been received and interviews started on Thursday.

The position was left vacant after the resignation last month of Tim Modise, who returned to the broadcast industry.

Jordaan highlighted that the LOC was working hard under 2010 marketing head Derek Carstens to market the World Cup and the Confederations Cup.

“Zakumi (the 2010 mascot) is a great marketing tool. He has been visiting other countries and doing very well in helping with promoting the tournaments.”

He also said the World Cup would have monetary benefits for towns outside of the host cities.

“We have asked for an economic assessment and are looking at about R11,2-billion nationally which will be spread depending on tourism,” Jordaan said.

“Some of the accommodation will be in places outside of the host cities, so other places will benefit as well. We are expecting many visitors from Africa, Europe and all over the world.”

He also indicated that public viewing areas might be allocated in non-host cities as well as host cities.

Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC Noxolo Abraham-Ntantiso meetings were held in October with the SABC to deal with the issue of public viewing areas.

“We want to bring on board the non-host cities, and the SABC has indicated that it will be targeting remote areas that do not as yet have (access to a) network. This will be very beneficial, especially for legacy purposes,” she said.

Jordaan expressed confidence in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape hosting a successful World Cup and grooming talented soccer players.

“The Mandela Bay stadium will be one of the best, not only in the country but in the world,” he said. “With Bay United now representing the province in top-flight football, we need to keep the fire burning and sustain the team in top football.

“It is important to address and focus on what happens at grassroots level.”

Abraham-Ntantiso said construction of the stadium in the metro was 28 days ahead of schedule.

“Work is far ahead in the building of the stadium and will be finished in time, even before the Confederations Cup. We have made peace with the loss of the Confederations Cup for Nelson Mandela Bay. We have taken it as an opportunity to get ready for 2010,” she said.

PUBLICATION: The Herald Online
AUTHOR: Chumani Bambani
DATED: 11th November 2008