Wednesday, October 12, 2011

World Cup shows benefits of working on big projects

One of the most anticipated sporting events of the year is about to begin. The World Cup has shown that construction jobs abroad can be very rewarding – and not only by offering a new scenery and experience you may not be able to get locally. To show its appreciation for all the hard work done on the 10 world-class football arenas in South Africa, FIFA has given each of the 27,000 workers two tickets to a World Cup match at the venue they helped build.

“We want to say a big thank you to the men and women whose hard work, skill and creativity brought us to the point we’re at today. It is amazing what you have achieved and we hope that you will enjoy your World Cup experience,” said Jordaan, who together with the FIFA Secretary General handed over a symbolic ticket to Patrick Geqeza, who represented the construction workers at the ticketing event.

From the upgrading of the transport infrastructure, hotel and accommodation facilities as the stadiums which were either refurbished or built from scratch in nine host cities, construction companies and the workers received a major boost in these tough economic times.

“I am really proud when I look at the work my fellow workers and I have done over the years. The chance to sit in the stadiums we have built for a World Cup match is a perfect reward, something we would have never imagined,” said Geqeza, who has been part of the reconstruction of the Soccer City stadium from day one.

The tickets fulfil a promise made in September 2008 by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the 2010 Organising Committee (OC).

The Ticket Fund, which is the body responsible for the distribution of the tickets, has set aside other tickets with the aim of having a wider impact on South African society. FIFA has worked with its partners adidas, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, Kia, Sony and Visa on community projects focusing on education, health and the environment. Another 66,000 are being allocated as a reward to South Africans in recognition of their contributions to these programmes. All the FIFA Partner projects are based on long-term partnerships that hope to create opportunities for South Africans for years to come.

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