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South African Embassy, Berlin
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Tel.: +49-30-22073-0
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Embassy, FIFA World Cup 2010, Press, Topnews

10. March 2010

Press Conference at ITB opening day

Press Conference at ITB 2010

Berlin 10 March 2010. In the evening of the first day of the ITB, the largest tourism fair worldwide, a star-studded press conference took place. The panelists were Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk: Minister of Tourism, Bheki Cele: Police Commissioner, Thandiwe January-McLean: CEO of South Africa Tourism, Horst Schmidt: FIFA advisor and former German national player and Lucas Radebe: football Ambassador and former Bafana Bafana Captain. They answered questions on the topic of safety and security, ticket sales, infrastructure in transport, readiness and the atmosphere in South Africa.
Marthinus van Schalkwyk talked about the World Cup being a Cup for the whole continent by saying: “Africa will be the theater and we will be the stage” and “As Africans we want to stand up on 12 July and say that we are proud to be Africans”.

Many questions addressed the safety and security measures, an issue widely discussed in German media and Police Commissioner Bheki Cele laid out all security measures that were taken by the South African police, for example establishing security zones, 44.000 extra police officers that will be on duty during the World Cup and an invitation to all participating nations to bring a delegation of 6-8 officers from their country to assist their South African counterparts.

A second issue widely discussed in the German media is the sale of tickets. FIFA Advisor Horst Schmidt on this topic: “2.2 million tickets have already been sold, 35.000 tickets to Germans which means that Germany ranks third in ticket buyers and from the 15 April 2010 the tickets can also be bought over the telephone”, this will be another boost in sales since many South Africans do not have access to the internet.

South Africa Tourism CEO, Thandiwe January-McLean is confident that tourists who will come to South Africa for the World Cup will not only be awed by the matches but also by South Africa as a country: “This WC will give us the opportunity to expose our greatest asset: our people”. She is also confident that tourists who have visited South Africa will certainly come back a second time. “The large infrastructural investments that are made in SA are great for tourism in the coming years”, says Ms January-McLean.

Football player Lucas Radebe added that the projects that have come about because of the World Cup in South Africa are already now part of the legacy and children will benefit from them now and in the future. When asked about his expectations for Bafana Bafana he said that the team wants to show that they are playing for their country and in reference to the Rugby World Cup 1995 when the underdog South Africa won against the mighty New Zealanders he added: “We will beat France. We have the home advantage. Like in 1995, I am certain the other team will get scared.”


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