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soccer city will host opening and finals right? then y do i feel that GreenPoint is the heart of these games? geeeez its so beautiful, and out of 'em all, Greenpoint is the most propagated nd talked out there..

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Hey, look! These are Marcopolo buses! Awesome! XD

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World Cup warm-up: Super South Africa, a country of colour, contrast - and Cape Town

By Geoffrey Levy

Last updated at 7:35 PM on 9th May 2010

Even the baboons are getting over-excited about the World Cup. There was I, queuing for a small pizza in an impeccably clean takeaway, while my wife Stephanie texted me desperately: 'Don't get it.'

Too late. By the time my phone was beeping in my pocket I was stepping out into the South African sun with a boxed pizza and heading for the little table overlooking the Indian Ocean where I'd left her.

article-1275808-0971F52F000005DC-777_634x414.jpg Cape of high hopes: Green Point stadium, where several key matches will be played, has quite a setting

She was no longer there. Chairs had gone over, bottles on a nearby table had crashed to the floor together with an open box containing a pizza that a young couple was about to eat - and a family of baboons was gratefully mopping up the debris.

Someone had foolishly ignored the signs warning that baboons can be dangerous and should not be fed. The result was chaos, with grown men leaping for their lives (as they no doubt told it) as the baboons swooped for more after being offered some lunchtime refreshment.

Stephanie was nowhere to be seen - and then I spotted her. She was hiding behind the glass doors of a restaurant, laughing her head off at the pandemonium.

This isn't quite what you expect when you make the two-hour drive from Cape Town to Cape Point, at the very end of the Cape peninsula. You go for a moment of quiet contemplation as you stand at the headland and let yourself be absorbed in the magnificence of the ocean dramatically stretching out its fingers to meet those of the Atlantic.

Instead, I was just 50ft from nature's splendour, flattened against a wall clutching my pizza box to stop the aroma drifting out to the hungry baboons.

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I made it, unmolested, to where Stephanie had taken cover, and there something equally splendid happened. Though the restaurant was not connected to the takeaway next door, one of the waitresses who'd observed the excitement ushered us to a charmingly set table, took my takeaway pizza and laid it out for us just as though we had ordered it from their menu.

It was a kindly gesture, and so typical of South Africans' eagerness to be friendly towards visitors. Mindful of the country's troubled history, the Western Cape is a surprisingly relaxed and friendly place.

Back in Cape Town, the same friendly spirit was reflected at Cape Quarter, a fashionable new shopping centre with an open atrium of charming restaurants and luxurious penthouse service apartments, where there was huge amusement among staff when I showed them how to mix a typical English shandy.

Frankly, it was astonishing they didn't know what a shandy was because some of the finest fish and chips we've had anywhere for years (they generally use hake), as well as typical Cornish pasties and pies, are available all along the peninsula.

Curry addicts among World Cup football fans heading there next month will not be disappointed, either, especially if they make for the Taj hotel that has just opened opposite St George's Cathedral, from whose pulpit Archbishop Desmond Tutu coined the phrase 'rainbow people'.

World Cup fever is everywhere in Cape Town, where England meets Algeria on June 18 in one of its first-round matches and where the quarter and semi-final matches will be played.

Shops display signs counting down the days to the kick-off. 'If we can't win it, we want England to win,' one shopkeeper told us.

article-1275808-0052E67200000258-59_634x414.jpg Samba sirens: South Africa can look forward to plenty of scenes like this when the World Cup kicks off

How poignant it was as we drove to the Waterfront - Cape Town's delightful oceanside development of restaurants and bars - to catch the 9am ferry across to Robben Island four miles offshore, where Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 27 years.

The brief drive took us past the beautiful new 70,000- seat Green Point Stadium where World Cup matches will be staged. The poignancy was even greater when we arrived back after the 30-minute return boat journey from the tiny off-shore island that used to be a leper colony before being used for the apartheid state's political prisoners.

Passing the stadium, you simply can not help but compare its flowing lines and the excitement it is generating with the experience on Robben Island.

The stadium, in sight of the blue water of Table Bay and overlooked by the imperious Table Mountain, is a potent symbol of progress in this country.

Yes, there are vast shanty towns 20 years after Mandela emerged from his cell proclaiming that there was 'too much to do to be bitter'. You almost instantly pass one of them on the 25-minute drive from the airport to the city.

But Cape Town is an elegant statement of intent, a city of broad boulevards that make it a pleasant experience to drive about (on the left, as in Britain).

Taxis are fairly cheap, too, though one did take the long way round, so it's worth fixing a price before the journey.

And what a relief to find a holiday destination where the pound still goes quite a long way - much further than in Europe.

Restaurant prices are remarkably reasonable and most of them have excellent wines for about a tenner.

On top of that, you can even take your own bottle to most of them and they will charge a mere £2 to £3 corkage. Fuel prices, too, took us back a decade or so.

But Cape Town must also be seen from above - from the top of Table Mountain. Surprisingly, it wasn't easy. For four consecutive days I called the information line, only to be told that high winds meant it was too dangerous to use the cable car. (You <cite>can </cite>walk up, though it takes the best part of two hours.)

Finally, the day before we were due to leave the city, I made one more call. The cable car was open.

You can buy tickets in advance, but the queue was barely five minutes long before we were shuffling into the cable car and hurtling up at 20ft a second.

We stepped out to find a view, with the mountains sweeping down to the city below, that must be one of the most exhilarating anywhere in the world.

Leaving Cape Town wasn't easy, but then Stellenbosch, an hour away in the heart of the wine-making district, is an absolute delight, with chintzy restaurants, coffee bars and elegant shops.

Its centre was not, however, overloaded with car parking spaces and I left ours on a verge. Five minutes later, I hurried back anxiously to move it. A young figure approached. 'I will watch it for you,' he said. And for 50 cents (about 50p) he did. It happens everywhere, and it works.

You can't, of course, go to South Africa without taking a peek at its wild animals, so our next stop was two nights at a game reserve. No tents and straw matting here, but a paradise of luxury suites and five-star service.

Getting up at 6am to go bumping off in a four-wheel-drive over rough tracks on a three-hour safari is not really my idea of a holiday.

But when we came across a family of elephants, and then a rhino peering inquisitively at us, and a zebra and springbok, and when, finally, we sat in hushed silence watching a big white lion, its mane flaring, in flagrante with his tawny paramour, it made the early start worthwhile.

article-1275808-0971EFD0000005DC-512_634x420.jpg One tree thrill: Camps Bay offers glorious contrast to the bustle of Cape Town

After that we looked in on the African penguin colony at Simon's Town and finally crashed out in delightful Hermanus, less than two hours west of Cape Town, which is rather like an upmarket British seaside resort.

There we walked along the front, slurped delicious ice creams and dined on smoked trout and fillet steak.

Stephanie adores whales and so - though we knew it was pointless - we gazed endlessly out to sea, for there is no better place to watch whales than Hermanus.

We knew we were weeks too early. The whales will be passing by, and even coming close to the shore, in June, the Cape's winter when the temperature drops to 12c or 14c.

Perfect timing for those World Cup supporters, and what a consolation prize if - heaven forbid - England make an early exit from the competition.

Travel Facts

Key2Holidays has Cape Town trips from £1,789pp (020 7963 6697, www.key2holidays.co.uk) including five nights at Cape Quarters, two nights at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve including meals, selected drinks and game drives, one night at Simon's Town Quayside Hotel, return flights and nine days' car hire. Based on two adults sharing in May or from July 16 to September 30.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1275808/South-Africa-World-Cup-2010-A-world-wonders-country-contrasts.html?ito=feeds-newsxml#ixzz0nSssHnIQ

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The left has a single front door. The right, the part that connects with the bus station has two doors for the 12m and 3 doors for the 18m which are aligned to the elevated stations' sliding glass doors, which open once the bus is positioned correctly in front of them. Stations have at their entrances for wheelchair users, and the yellow "connector" from the bus to the station allows easy wheelchair access to the bus.

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Airport IRT station

Opens 29 May

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All rats must go!

By Ella Smook

Metro Writer

The City of Cape Town spent R200 000 on rat poison last month in an attempt to rid World Cup venues of rodents.

This is about half the city's annual budget for rat poison.

The area around the Cape Town Stadium, Fan Walk, Fan Fest and known pockets of breeding areas will be targeted.

This breaking news flash was supplied exclusively to iol.co.za by the news desk at our sister title, the Cape Argus.

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Its the little things that are not ready in some places e.g. a few more roads are being repaved. These things are important too.

All the large structures are ready, and the buses will all arrive by end May.

The stadium, airport terminal were ready in 2009. The FIFA overlay of the stadium including media desks, etc. is well underway.

Plato vows biggest party in SA for World Cup eve kick-off

By Lyndon Khan and beauregard Tromp

WAIT for it. Mayor Dan Plato has promised Cape Town the "biggest party in the history of South Africa" on June 10, the eve of the start of the Fifa World Cup.

And the site of the festivities will be the FanFest at the Grand Parade.

During the 31-day tournament, fans will be treated to a host of local and international music talent and will be able to watch the games on big screens, with food stalls and seating areas.

Yesterday, the city marked the 30-day countdown to the soccer tournament with a press conference and mini concert at City Hall.

The sound of trumpets, saxophones and drums filled the hall, a foretaste of the extravaganza planned for the tournament.

Mayor Plato walked into the hall, donned a hat and danced with the marching band, pumping a parasol into the air, before addressing the crowd.

"A wonderful moment, 30 days to go ... we want to say to the world that we welcome them to Cape Town and South Africa. This sporting event doesn't belong to the government, it belongs to everyone.

"We want to show we can be trusted to hold an event of this magnitude," he said to thunderous applause and cheering from the audience.

Plato downplayed recent international newspaper reports of crime in the country and reassured foreign visitors that Cape Town "will be as safe a place as any in the world".

After Plato's address, rapping sensation JR took to the stage as crepe paper streamed down from the ceiling. He had the crowd on its feet when he performed his smash hit single Make The Circle Beega.

City officials say security plans for the five public viewing areas are 95 percent complete, and plans for two of the venues are still being finalised, in co-operation with the SA Police Force.

Venues at Swartklip in Mitchells Plain, Vygieskraal in Athlone, OR Tambo hall in Khayelitsha and the Grand Parade had been chosen as public viewing areas for those who weren't able to buy tickets, 2010 Operations director Lesley de Reuck said. The Grand Parade would be able to accommodate 25 000 fans daily.

City spokesperson Kylie Hatton said an announcement about the line-up for the concert at the Grand Parade FanFest would be made next Thursday.

The line-up, starting in the afternoon of June 10, would include a mix of local, national and international entertainment, with "preference" being given to local artists to give it a "distinctly Cape Town flavour".

She said the purpose of the festivities, starting at 2pm on June 10, was to encourage Capetonians to "take ownership" of the event and make visitors and tourists feel welcome.

In Johannesburg, the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) confirmed its readiness to host the tournament.

"The biggest thing we got bashed on with the Confederations Cup was the park and ride," LOC transport chief Skhumbuzo Macozoma said. During the Confederations Cup in June last year, thousands of fans were left frustrated by the park-and-ride facilities with some caught up in stampedes and others queuing for hours to get from and to their vehicles.

Macozoma assured the world media present at Soccer City that the transport problems had been reviewed and measures had been taken to assure a smooth flow of fan traffic during the tournament.

"There will also be park-and-walk facilities, and we encourage many of the people going to the stadiums to do this," Macozoma said.

Each host city would have a transport hub combining trains, buses and taxis, ensuring that visitors would enjoy world class facilities and authentic African transport, in the form of minibus taxis.

Jordaan said the transport infrastructure was now firmly in place with President Jacob Zuma recently opening the King Shaka Airport in Durban and the new terminals at OR Tambo International.

"Let's all relax and take it easy. There's no rush. Also in Cape Town and Durban people can go down to the beach, where some of the fan parks will be," Macozoma said.

The gates to the stadiums will open three hours before kick-off and fans are urged to ensure they are within the precinct before that to avoid congestion.

There will be more than 1 000 guards for asset protection and 400 stewards on duty during every game.

The first foreign World Cup volunteer also arrived this week. Diego Juan came all the way from from Argentina.

"For me, being here is a dream, being part of the World Cup organising team," Juan said.

Published on the web by Cape Times on May 12, 2010.

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Mega Fan City: V&A Waterfront ready to host soccer fans

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ico-time.png13. May, 2010 ico-comment.pngComments (0)

With just 28 days to go before the much anticipated World Cup 2010 kick-off, one of Africa’s most visited tourist destinations, the V&A Waterfront, today announced its exclusive football plans. Through a line-up of headlining activations and events incorporating sustainable investment in infrastructure, it’s geared to host up to 100 000 local, domestic and international fans daily, expected within the precinct and visiting the Mother City during the month-long tournament.

David Green, Chief Executive Officer at the V&A Waterfront says, “As one of Cape Town’s best-known tourism jewels, and a neighbour to the Cape Town Stadium, the V&A Waterfront is a prime catchment area for locals and visitors in search of the football experience that will thrill the Mother City during June and July. We’ve partnered with some big brands in football such as Coca-Cola, adidas and MTN to ensure an interactive offering which is tailored for fans in search of World Cup celebrations in a safe and secure environment. And, as a hub for celebrations all year round, welcoming on average 1, 7 million visitors every month, and more than 160 000 every New Year’s Eve without incident, we are fully equipped and ready to host the influx of visitors during the World Cup period.”

Over and above being accustomed to sizeable crowds during peak seasons, the V&A Waterfront undertook a series of stress-testing exercises to ensure its preparedness for the World Cup. The various sporting test events at the stadium are a case in point. “The Cape Town Stadium’s test run events were opportunities for us to be exposed to high volumes of people. We have modelled our World Cup approach around this,” explains Green.

Headlining the V&A Waterfront’s exclusive World Cup 2010 activity are four dedicated Spectator Zones. Scattered around the property at various convenient access points, the four ‘Zones’ will be geared-up to entertain fans through exclusive music line-ups, interactive football games, promotions and food and beverage offerings, while live coverage of the games will be shown on big screen TVs.

“We have transformed our most prime sites into football action hubs. These four ‘Zones’ are accessible touch points for visitors to catch all the live action amidst the excitement of fellow football fans and live entertainment,” comments Chantelle Kidd, Marketing Executive at the V&A Waterfront.

Each Spectator Zone is ear-marked by a different activity or theme making it appealing to a wide range of visitors and leverages the best of our unique indoor/outdoor destination.

Eagles’ Nest and Lions’ Den – Breakwater Parking Rooftop:

Being hailed as the city’s ‘party’ venue, the 800 sqmt Eagles’ Nest offers unprecedented views of Table Mountain, Cape Town Stadium and Robben Island. With its pub-like atmosphere, the venue will enhance the football fever through its line-up of DJs and live music while the games play-out on the surrounding big screen TVs.

Meanwhile, next door to the Eagles’ Nest is the Lions’ Den: a South African-themed 800 sqmt marquee, offering local delicacies like kudu and springbok for curious visitors to tuck into. “The Lions’ Den is an opportunity for local restaurateurs and wine-makers to showcase South Africa’s culinary flair to a local and international audience of thousands each day,” says Kidd. The two combined will take up an area of 3,000 sqmt.

MTN Fan Zone

Offering fans the opportunity to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ matches, the more intimate MTN Fan Zone will provide the very best in ‘Sportainement’ to up to 500 football fans in the Clock Tower Square. Live entertainment, plenty of giveaways and interactive on-screen and fans stage games are but some of the key activities set to afford an all encompassing viewing experience.

“The real-life stadium experience will begin upon entering the MTN Fan Zone. Here fans will register and receive their fan kits and ‘Stadium’ accreditations before being ushered through to the entrance of the MTN Fan Zone. What’s more, we’re giving away tickets to the Cape Town matches to a few lucky fans to participate in the real thing,” shares Anthony Garstang, MTN General Manager for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Quay 4 (Market Plaza) Spectator Zone

Popular watering hole, Quay 4 will extend its restaurant to 600 sqmt to accommodate up to 400 fans during the World Cup. “Renowned for its good food and hospitality, Quay Four is bound to be a magnet for local football fans in search of World Cup fever on match days, while on non-match days live entertainment will rock the crowds,” says Kidd. Located on the Market Plaza, which is diagonally across from Quay 4, it will be open daily from 10am – 2am.

Hyundai Spectator Zone

With its prime positioning at the Gateway Canal, the 5000 sqmt Hyundai Spectator Zone will entertain up to 2000 fans during the month-long tournament with large screen viewing, catering offerings and fan competitions.

And, while the Spectator Zones are sure to quench the thirst of football fans in search of live coverage and a pub-like atmosphere, the young and young-at-heart will be engaged with the V&A Waterfront’s host of interactive entertainment dotted around the property.

“Through our partnerships with Coca-Cola and adidas, families – especially those with children on the extended school holiday break – will be enthralled by daily football shows on the Amphitheatre featuring exciting football content, virtual dribble-offs with international football star Lionel Messi’s avatar in the Barrow Court in the Victoria Wharf and a 12m high Coca-Cola Crateman: a frame made entirely from used Coke crates to raise awareness of the importance of recycling,” comments Kidd.

Outside the Victoria Wharf, adidas invites fans to bend it like Beckam at its exclusive activation zone atop the Breakwater Parking Rooftop. “Here, visitors can get into the World Cup spirit with a mini football pitch, speed gun, goal wall, juggling contest and Lionel Messi dribbling tool that allows fans to get a taste for the real thing by using astro turf and cones.”

adidas will also entertain football fans in the Barrow Court and throughout the centre with various football activations. “We’re expecting the 3D digitally enhanced dribble-off with a virtual Lionel Messi to be a real kicker, not to mention the giant cut-outs of the world’s most iconic players,” comments Kidd.

Meanwhile, on the Canal Site (opposite the Caltex garage), South Africa’s version of the London Eye, The Wheel of Excellence, will be open daily to the public. Imported from Paris, the 50m wheel is a first in the country and, with its 36 fully enclosed luxury cabins, will illuminate the Mother City’s skyline, both day and night, from June 8th for an extended period post the World Cup.

As far as assisting visitors with guidance on where to go and how to get around goes, the new Information Centre (alongside Ferrymans on Dock Road), which has recently been upgraded to the value of nearly R5,5 million, aims to be the first stop to welcome local and international visitors to the V&A Waterfront. In addition to general tourist information, services include reservations for accommodation and tour bookings in and around the V&A Waterfront and surrounds. Furthermore, 60 roaming V&A Waterfront Ambassadors have been trained to assist international visitors throughout the Waterfront property.

Not forgetting the scores of unaccredited international, and domestic media that will be looking for stories beyond the football, the V&A Waterfront has also partnered with the Salamander Group to provide The V&A Waterfront World Media and Legacy Centre (WMLC). Established to offer a one-stop solution to meet the needs of local and international media and business visitors, the WMLC offers access to hot desks, film equipment, stories tellers, high-speed internet and conference facilities.

And while the WMLC will serve the needs of the broader media, the V&A Waterfront will be one of the first to offer free internet access throughout the Victoria Wharf shopping centre every day during the tournament “to ensure we meet both international visitor’s expected service standards while raising the bar locally,” explains Kidd.

Green also revealed the V&A Waterfront’s significant upgrades to safety and security, cleaning, lighting, access routes and parking facilities following comparative risk assessments based on valuable lessons learnt at the football World Cup in Germany.

“We have increased our security presence by 50% on match days and 25% on non-match days, to ensure we are covered to handle any unexpected eventualities. This includes employing additional full-time security personnel during the World Cup. All additional security personnel have worked with the V&A Waterfront during the test match period, so are familiar with the site and proceedings. In addition, we have reviewed and updated the positioning of our 1000-plus CCTV cameras in all common areas.”

Green added that new pedestrian routes can be accessed at the Clock Tower and the West Quay past Cape Grace and Bascule Bridge. “These are under full surveillance and we’ve worked closely with the Cape Town City Council, their consultants and the Local Organising Committee to implement traffic management measures on match days as well as non-match days.”

Pre-booked parking will be made available to visitors at Ulundi and at Portswood Square undercover parking. “3 000 casual bays will also be available at Victoria Wharf, Breakwater, Portswood and Clock Tower for our regular visitors, throughout the tournament,” says Green.

And, while the World Cup is sure to be on everyone’s agenda until July 11, 2010, the V&A Waterfront is looking beyond the football. “As one of South Africa’s busiest regional malls, an award we recently received from HeadCount Systems, the V&A Waterfront is a football friendly environment, and will cater for international visitors’ total entertainment, as well as for our locals. The property holds a special place in the hearts of Capetonians and we want to ensure that the facility upgrades and tourism attractions have a sustainable economic impact beyond the World Cup activities,” concludes Green.

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