By Anna Shilongo
The South African High Commissioner to Namibia, Eunice Komane, says despite negative media reports, her country’s preparations for the 2010 soccer games are well on track.
Come 2010, South Africa is not only anxious to host the World Cup but is ready.
She is confident that stadiums will also be ready for the football extravaganza whose financial spin-offs will be massive not only for the host but for other African countries.
And so far, South Africa has given priority to the construction and upgrading of facilities.
Additional police and security personnel are being trained, said Komane, adding that the bid for the building of media centres has just been given to NASREC and the building of facilities is expected to start by next month.
The only concern is the resignation of the Bafana Bafana coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira. “I am not particularly worried about this because no human being is indispensable. Also as this is not a South African but an African Cup, Namibia is next in line if Bafana Bafana doesn’t make it,” she said.
Komane said investors who have foresight and vision are busy investing in the South African economy because they recognise that they will get returns for their investments.
“What is encouraging is that we are getting more and more local investors as well as from the rest of Africa. One can say there is a scramble for South Africa,” she said.
Ford has just invested $200 million, while the Russian and French governments have brought in businesspeople and technical experts to assist with the power crisis in the country.
“These all spell creation of more jobs. Of course, our economy like all others at present, even the giants, is under a lot of strain. But we are still able to hold our own,” she said.
She said the country is confident and sure that things can only get better.
Komane encourages other African countries to visit her country and see for themselves that South Africa is not only on the right track but ready for the World Cup.
Progress may not be as fast as they had wished, but it is definite that there is progress despite some setbacks, she said.
“Never in the history of South Africa have so many houses, clinics, schools, etc been built for the poor and rural areas. Never before have so many people been able to afford building their own houses, ” said Komane.
She said South Africa is alive with possibilities. The country sees its challenges as opportunities. At the moment, South Africa attracts more tourists than ever before, an indication that the country has a lot to offer.
“We definitely don’t want to be a super power because we know what super power can do to people and countries. We want to be counted as a country that has bounced back after decades of hardship.”
She called on neighbouring countries to do all in their power to bring about even better relations with her country for the benefit of all. She said the progress of neighbours is as important as progress in her own country.