About two million tickets are to be sold to the public worldwide for the 2010 World Cup, the Fifa organising committee has said in Johannesburg.

Head of legal affairs Leslie Sedibe said 120 000 complimentary tickets would be set aside to be given to “nation-builders”. These would likely include people involved in building stadiums and roads in preparation for the World Cup, Sedibe said.

Also, commercial partners of the event would hold competitions in which members of the public could win tickets.

Tickets would go on sale in February on Fifa’s website. Applications for tickets could be made at a number of outlets in South Africa and internationally on request, such as through official tour operators.

There would also be restrictions, such as limiting the number of tickets to four for each household for each match, up to a limit of seven matches, to ensure as many people as possible got to see matches.

South Africans would have exclusive access to the cheapest of four categories of tickets.

Speaking at Safa House, organising committee officials said 55 000 rooms were needed for accommodation, R13,6-billion had been invested in transport, a 30 000m2 international broadcasting centre was being built, and about 10 fan parks would be set up.

Sedibe dismissed the perception that “South Africa will come to a standstill” during the cup. Only construction near stadiums would not be allowed.

Certain businesses whose activities clashed with those of commercial affiliates would be excluded from certain zones, Sedibe said.

It would be decided case by case which businesses would operate during the cup.

Transport and logistics chief officer Skhumbuzo Macozoma said 14 000 new luxury and semi-luxury coaches would be brought in and 10 000 taxis would be contracted. Host cities would arrange extra commuter buses and extend their operating hours.

The organising committee was working as one with the government in arranging transport, Macozoma said.

“Transport upgrades are not solely for the World Cup, but to transform public transport in this country.”

Macozoma said more than 33 000 of the 55 000 rooms required for Fifa staff and spectators from other countries had been found.

The committee was also looking for non-hotel accommodation, such as in guesthouses and bed and breakfast establishments, he said.

Phumlani Moholi, chief of information technology and communications, said broadcasting for the World Cup was sensitive to power fluctuations, but work was being done to ensure a stable supply would be available throughout the tournament.

Construction of the international broadcasting centre here had begun. It would be half the size of Beijing’s 60 000m2 Olympics broadcasting centre.

Derek Carstens, First National Bank’s brand director, who was seconded as the organising committee’s marketing chief officer on September 1, said he would ensure the World Cup would be a commercial success and have a lasting legacy for South Africa.

“It has an enormous role to play in generating national cohesion that we have not seen since the elections in 1994.”

The cup would change the way the continent was viewed, Carstens said.

The organisers are upbeat about Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s four-day visit, beginning on September 14, to World Cup facilities here and in Cape Town.

“We have made tremendous progress and we hope to showcase this progress,” said Danny Jordaan, chief executive officer of the local organising committee. “We also hope he will be very impressed with the progress we have made.”

Jordaan said the committee would need to talk to the government about costs that had gone over budget. The overspending was related to factors in the global economy beyond Fifa’s control, such as the rising price of diesel.

PUBLICATION: iol.co.za
AUTHOR: Mirah Langer
DATED: 5th September 2008