KZN waits on 2010 final draw

2009-11-27 00:00

KWA-ZULU NATAL will wait until after the 2010 Fifa World Cup Final Draw, which will take place in Cape Town on December 4, before luring teams to be based at various municipalities around the province.

The provincial legislature was told yesterday by the provincial 2010 co-ordinator, Phindile Mkwaka, in the office of the Premier.

Mkwakwa was bringing members of the legislature up to speed about the province’s state of readiness.

She said nations that will be taking part in the World Cup have until December 15 to confirm their base camps, adding that the province will launch an “adopt a country” campaign once teams are confirmed, as part of showcasing the province’s warm hospitality.

She said the province has lobbied football federations to consider KZN for team base camps, and that 15 countries have conducted site visits to view training facilities and hotels that could potentially be their base camps.

The Argentinian national team is being approached to take up lodging at Michaelhouse, she added.

However, Mkwakwa said the province is short of four- and five-star hotels, which could be an obstacle to luring teams.

She said the luxury lodges are small and few, and that one of the requirements is that hotels should have a minimum of 70 rooms.

Besides the Princess Magogo and Sugar Ray Xulu Stadiums being tipped as training venues, Mkwakwa said, possible team base camps that have been identified in the province are Crawford School on the north coast with accommodation at Zimbali Lodge; and Northwood Boys’ School in Durban North with accommodation at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

In Richards Bay, the Umhlathuze Multi-Sports Centre is also a prospective training venue with accommodation at the Protea Waterfront Hotel, Mkwakwa said.

On the south coast, the Ugu Sports and Leisure Centre can be used for training as well as Scottburgh High School, with accommodation available at the Mondazur Hotel and Selborne Hotel.

In Pietermaritzburg and the midlands, Harry Gwala Stadium can be used.

Michaelhouse is also available as a training venue with accommodation a possibility at Woodridge Country Estate.

As for Pietermaritzburg itself, said Mkwakwa, there are ongoing negotiations about using the Southern Sun Hotel currently under construction at the Midlands Liberty Mall.

Mkwakwa said the provincial government aims to strengthen tourism; develop a public transport plan for the host cities; train students in foreign languages; train taxi drivers to ensure service excellence; train additional emergency medical rescuers; rehabilitate health services; plan for disaster risk management; and designate certain hospitals for possible mass casualties and disasters.

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