By Novell Zwangendaba – JOHANNESBURG – International journalists covering the biggest sport spectacle, FIFA 2010 World Cup, are now able to do their business in posh surroundings in the capital city following the opening of international media centres in Sandton and Braamfontein.
The media centres are equipped with a media hot desk big television screens Courtesy of the Gauteng Gateway 2010 project team, through the Provincial Executive Council, the centres were launched on Thursday, 17 June at the Craft and Design Centre on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton Central.
“The opportunity was realised a bit late, but we will use it to leverage what we can from the World Cup for years to come,” said Dawn Robertson, the manager of the project and the head of the Gauteng department of arts and culture.
The Sandton space being used for the media centre is usually used for crafters to showcase their work from all over Africa. During the tournament, it offers a space where journalists can do their work with ease.
“Most international media are located in downtown Joburg and Braamfontein. We will be offering shuttle services to take them on free tours throughout the province, to places such as Maropeng and Soweto. All services are for both local and international media.”
The aim is to lure international visitors out of Sandton, with the belief that there is more to the province than this suburb.
Facilities at the Braamfontein centre include a media concierge desk, free tours to key tourist attractions in Gauteng, free internet access, a media hot desk facility, a lounge and bar area, as well as big screens that will broadcast all matches. The same facilities are available at the Sandton centre, except the tours.
The space is designed for members of the media to work, network and relax. It has food and entertainment on the ready, and will be open daily between 7am and 11pm. Media can register to access the services online on the Gauteng Gateway 2010 website.
Working off the momentum of the football tournament, the department has already been running school holiday programmes and tours for schoolchildren.
“We started with getting people excited about the World Cup, and are currently running our holiday programmes for children, which includes taking them on tours around the city. We want the kids to feel like tourists.”
With the long school holidays during the World Cup, an integrated programme was launched to keep the youth busy. The programme includes activities such as football, fun runs, Diski Dance, netball, volleyball, music, a national symbols programme and a traditional dance programme, among others.