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With the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 now just 22 days away, the 2010 Host City Forum declared South Africa “ready in all respects” to host the tournament.

The country’s Minister of Co-Operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Shiceka, chaired the meeting of the forum, which consists of senior representatives of all nine 2010 FIFA World Cup Host Cities, at the SAFA House headquarters in Johannesburg.

With the 2010 FIFA World Cup now just over a year away and the FIFA Confederations Cup taking place in a few weeks, the forum has grown in size and stature as a number of the country’s newly-appointed provincial Premiers, MEC’s (provincial ministers) and Host City mayors attended the meeting.

Kwazulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, North West Premier Maureen Modiselle and Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, as well as Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans, Ethekwini mayor Obed Mlaba and Mbombela mayor Lassie Chiwayo were among the senior politicians who attended today’s forum, which dealt with 2010 issues such as transport, ticketing, fan parks, as well as comprehensive project updates from all the 2010 host cities.

“The meeting agreed that as a country we are ready in all respects to host the FIFA Confederations Cup and we are looking forward to the start of the competition. The stadiums are ready and even the infrastructure touch-ups around the stadium precinct have now been done, while the issue of security in and around the stadiums has also been addressed. We also received a presentation from the company doing the opening and closing ceremonies for the FIFA Confederations Cup, which was very impressive,” said Shiceka.

The Minister was pleased that many of the country’s most senior politicians attended the forum, which he believed was an illustration of their commitment to the biggest national project South Africa has ever undertaken.

“I was very happy that many of the Premiers and mayors attended the meeting today. They certainly came in their numbers and actively participated. I believe going forward the presence of the Premiers and mayors will take the forum from strength to strength,” said Shiceka.

Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com

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