Plans by the Western Cape provincial administration to host a party in the township of Gugulethu to celebrate the Fifa 2010 World Cup Final Draw appears to have been red carded by Fifa at the last minute because they allegedly don’t want competition for the party they have planned in the inner city.
The walls and floors of the Elukhanyisweni Centre in Gugulethu had been cleaned, goalposts set up, a stage erected for performers and posters advertising the event distributed across the township in preparation to celebrate the draw.
But event organiser Ntsikelela Zokufa from the provincial Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) office said when he went to the City of Cape Town on Thursday to get final approval to place a big screen at the centre to broadcast the Final Draw, he was turned down, and the party has had to be cancelled.
He says the city told him that Fifa does not want another big screen broadcasting the draw besides the one set up in Long Street in the inner city.
However, city officials said the application for a big screen simply came through too late for proper processes to be followed.
Zokufa said a big screen for the centre was planned about three months ago and “everything seemed to be going okay”.
The cancellation of the event would be a huge disappointment to Gugulethu residents and he did not know how he was going to explain it to them.
The plan was that before and after the draw, people would have been entertained with street soccer, live poetry, dance and drama.
Residents contacted said they felt the city did not care about them and they felt excluded from the city’s party plans.
They said the posters advertising the Gugulethu event had been up for a month and they had organised from friends from other townships to join them for the evening.
Gugulethu resident Nokuzola Khanyiso said she “marketed” the event to her friends around Cape Town and felt embarrassed about having to tell them it was cancelled.
Resident Anele Gwala said the Elukhanyisweni centre was close to his home and watching the draw from the there would have “been a dream” for him.
“I wanted to watch the draw close at home but with the cancellation news spreading around Gugulethu I think I will miss it, because I cannot go to Long Street,” said Gwala.
Alternative plans being made were to have the entertainment planned for the Elukhanyisweni Centre occur at popular eatery Mzoli’s Meat but there was no time to communicate this message to the people, said Zokufa.
City of Cape Town 2010 World Cup director Lesley de Reuck said he was not part of the meeting with the provincial organisers but was aware of a request for a big screen to be erected at a site in Gugulethu, but the request came through very late.
De Reuck said he supported the idea of having a screen in Gugulethu but could do nothing to change the city’s decision.
He said to organize an event in the city it needed to be logged at the events permit office, go through an approval process, and then have plans be submitted to the SAPS.
“To ensure the safety and security at an event, it is imperative this process is followed and this does take some time. If an event organizer does not apply timeously, he or she will find it difficult in having the event approved.” – West Cape News