Jordaan: Visitors will be safe

2010-04-05 07:46
Johannesburg - The Soccer World Cup's Local Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Danny Jordaan, tells that the positives outweigh the negatives ahead of the FIFA showpiece.

With just over two months to go, the former SAFA CEO says he rarely gets asked questions relating to crime despite South Africa's reputation as one of the most violent countries in the world.

But Jordaan says the LOC's efforts together with those of government have allayed fears ahead of the world's biggest sporting event.

"No, we don't get asked about the crime anymore," said Jordaan.

"In fact, I was with the President (Jacob Zuma) in the United Kingdom recently and we had the best press conference there.

"They never even raised the question relating to crime. The only questions they asked me were the issues of transport and of the readiness of our stadia."

Police minister Nathi Mthethwa has said 41 000 additional police officers have been recruited to ensure the safety of everyone during the World Cup and estimations suggest R2.4bn has been spent on security alone.

Jordaan is therefore confident crime is no longer an issue ahead of the arrival of some 450 000 visitors.

"The question about crime was not brought forward during that press conference in the UK and that suggest we have sorted it. Together with the UK we have called more security during the tournament and I think that is sorted now. The visitors can feel safe in this country," Jordaan explained.

Jordaan, who was in 2004 voted 44th in the top 100 great South Africans, is also confident the newly-built stadia in the country - like Moses Mabhida in Durban, Green Point in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay - won't become 'white elephants' after the World Cup. The latter stadium has no PSL team in its province, but Jordaan says the stadiums were designed as multi-purpose venues.

"The old stadiums were always used as multipurpose stadiums, in other words we have seen them hosting soccer and rugby games and they also had concerts there and political rallies at Ellis Park for example. Moses Mabhida stadium, for example, there is a restaurant in it, which means people will keep going there, not only for football. The stadiums will keep working long after the World Cup is finished," he concluded. 
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