JOBURG residents without tickets for the Africa Cup of Nations opening and closing matches have been left out in the cold, their hopes to catch the action live at public viewing areas dashed.
This is because the City of Joburg will not open any of the nine public viewing areas on Saturday and on February 10, when the first and final matches will be played.
The council cited financial constraints and a shortage of security for not beaming the matches live at these public areas, as well as the 50km proximity to the stadium for the blackout in the public viewing areas.
“Most of the city’s disaster management resources will be directed at National Stadium in Soweto, the main protocol (access) routes and park and rides. We would therefore like to alleviate any added pressure on disaster management,” said Joburg City Parks spokeswoman Jenny Moodley.
Moodley was speaking to The Star during a media tour of Joburg’s Afcon sites, including public viewing areas and park and ride facilities.
The public viewing areas are to be opened only during matches taking place outside Gauteng – including two Bafana Bafana games in Durban.
But only fans at four of the nine areas will be treated to full pre-match razzmatazz, including music performances, dancing and face painting.
This is a radical departure from the 2010 World Cup, when fans were treated to a fiesta at official Fifa fan parks and public viewing areas during all 64 matches. Then, Joburg had two fan parks and nine public viewing areas.
“In 2010, we had the added advantage of resources. We are limited now,” Moodley said.
She said the council had budgeted R1 million for the public viewing areas and R1.5m for the beautification and maintenance of all protocol routes.
The four public viewing areas that will be fully operational for Bafana matches are Diepkloof in Soweto, Diepsloot near Fourways, Ivory Park near Midrand and Orange Farm. The rest are Joubert Park in the inner city, Thokoza Park and Orlando West in Soweto, Kremetart Park in Eldorado Park and Rose Park in Lenasia.
Fans using the bus rapid transit system for the park and ride services will pay R17 a return trip from any Rea Vaya station to the stadium. Those using the BRT feeder buses will pay an extra R9 for the return trip.