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Date: 30 May 2010
Title: Tshwane prepares to roll out 2010 red carpet
Pretoria - As a host city of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the City Tshwane says it will use next week's game between Bafana Bafana and Denmark as a test of the City's readiness for the biggest soccer showpiece in the world.
"We have made commendable progress in our preparations and I can now say we are indeed ready and will use the upcoming Bafana match to test our systems," said Mayor Gwen Ramokgopa on Friday.
Last week, the City officially handed over the Loftus Stadium to FIFA following renovations and erection of additional new seats.
Ramokopa said for transportation to the stadium park and ride facilities will be located throughout Pretoria. There will be a park and ride facility at Pretoria Technical High School, on the corner of Wessels and Park Streets with space for 460 vehicles and Pretoria Sport Union, located at the intersection of Totius Street and Queen Wilhelmina Avenue in Lukasrand, with space for 700 vehicles. There will also be a special pedestrian walkway leading to the stadium.
Several building by-laws will also be enforced and there will be no construction allowed for the entire duration of the tournament. "We don't want any disruptions during the World Cup so we have informed people that all construction sites will be sealed during the event and the city will be enforcing certain building by-laws," Ramokgopa said.
The World Cup is the single biggest sporting event in the world and accommodation proves to be a challenge for most cities, but Ramokgopa said Pretoria had enough rooms for all the visitors who will be flocking to the city for the event. "We have confirmed that we have about 5000 non graded rooms and 7000 graded rooms around the city and we will also be using Tshwane University of Technology for accommodation," said Ramokgopa.
The City of Tshwane has already approved a total of seven base camp facilities. One facility is the High Performance Centre in Hatfield, attached to the University of Pretoria, which Argentina inspected on Monday as their potential base camp.
Another one is the Southdown's College used by Italy during the FIFA Confederations Cup last year. HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi, Caledonian Stadium, Pilditch Stadium, Laudium Stadium and Eersterus Sport Stadium are the other five sports facilities that can be used by teams wishing to stay in the City.
Ramogkpa said the City hopes by Monday the Velmore Hotel would comply with all safety requirements before the world cup. The hotel in Erasmia was booked last year as a base camp for the German soccer team. However, there were reports that the team was advised to ditch the booking because the four star hotel has not been approved by the municipality. "We are hoping that by Monday this matter will be resolved and if not we can assure that the Germans will have a home elsewhere in the City, we are confident of that," Ramokgopa said. - BuaNews