The debate has just finished and I'm sure I'm the first person to publish!!! Quite a cool feeling sitting in the auditorium and writing as people file out. MyDL rocks...
It was the usual positive utterings around how we'll be ready? The discussions are roving from the stadiums, security, ticketing and the Gautrain.
It's clear that basically South African's are divided in two camps. Those that are convinced we will achieve the target and those who believe we won't. I'm in the "we wil make it " camp and know that we all have a role to play in sending positive energy.
Moeketsi opened with a profound statement about the uniqueness of the event in South Africa and stressed that we have a friendly and engaging community.
On the tourists that will be arriving, "We will be treating them like gold...so that we will still have them returning post 2010, we are going to spoil them rotten."
Tim Modise added with gusto, " They will have the best experience in their lives, Africa is not the jungle that the world thinks it is!!!" He went on to talk about the cultural experiences that the toursist will have for the first time in their lives.
On the security issues it's now clear that 193 000 police officers will be employed in South Africa by 2010. There will be visible elements - for the event itself 30 000 of them. This equates to 1 police officer to 10 tourists.
Crime management globally is about access to information, Monhla said that information to the public will be better by 2010.
Tim Andersen asked "50 murders a day, what are you going to say to the tourists to let them know it's safe in SA? " Monhla answered that "An understanding that most of the happens at home on a Friday and Saturday, this is where crime takes place, not from the aiport to the hotel"
In fact a recent survey of 9 000 violent crime incidents found that 80% of this violent crime takes place within a circle of friends.
Tim Modise belowed out again, "One of the major concerns we have is more for the hooligans that will come from Europe!" Great laughter from the audience and even from the TIm Anderson.
Interestingly enough there is not enough hotel accomodation available and so the Bed and Breakfast market is benefitting and the Tourist Enterprise Programme programme is involved with the training and upgrading of the standard and the quality of service. The B&B's will be measured according to international standards.
There followed a number of tame questions from the media and the whole thing ended amicably just in time for lunch, quite convenient. Not quite the Media Face Off that I expected, a rather tame affair and quite disappointing.