Pretoria: The North West Provincial Government has pledged its full support to the successful hosting of all the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2013 matches to be played at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium next year.
In assuring the Afcon Local Organising Committee delegation of its commitment on Tuesday, North West Premier Thandi Modise said: “We will not shy from our responsibility to ensure that Rustenburg Local Municipality is given all the support it needs for a successful hosting of the tournament as we have done during the 2009 Confederation Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“While we have the infrastructure and the experience to host the matches, we will spare no effort to make South Africa proud hosts of the tournament in a safe and secure environment in our province, the hospitality of our people is our greatest advantage.”
The LOC delegation met with Modise and the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture, Tebogo Modise, for a briefing on urgent interventions required to ensure that the Royal Bafokeng Stadium is ready to host the prestigious African football tournament.
South Africa will host the 2013 Afcon tournament which kicks off on January 19 until February 10. The country also hosted the 1996 Afcon tournament.
Modise expressed appreciation at the R5 million the Royal Bafokeng Administration, under the leadership of Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, has committed towards construction of two additional dressing rooms and a referee’s dressing room.
For its part, the province will also commit resources and ensure that a technical team inclusive of all role players receives all the support it needs.
Among the issues identified to be given highest priority, are access to tickets, transportation of fans and the need to resuscitate plans for partnerships that will support efforts for maximum attendance of matches.
The announcement as to which teams will play at the stadium during the tournament will be made by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) at the draw be held on 24 October in Durban.
Fifteen teams, who will emerge from final qualifiers next month, will join hosts South Africa for the draw to determine the first round groups for the tournament.
The biennial competition will be staged in five South African cities which are Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg and Nelspruit.
Zambia or Chipolopolo as they are affectionately known, are the defending champions.