Johannesburg - The lessons of the FIFA Soccer World Cup can be used to improve the justice system and service delivery, Democratic Alliance Leader Helen Zille said on Sunday.
"The lessons of the World Cup extend far beyond sport," she said, citing the example of the 56 dedicated courts set up to deal with cases for the sporting spectacular.
"The results have, apparently, been astounding.
"Within four days of kick-off, 20 cases had been brought before the special courts and four finalised. At this rate, the special World Cup courts will finalise five times more cases per month than normal courts."
Zille said an equally "dramatic" example of rapid delivery was the less than four years it took to build the Cape Town stadium.
"In contrast, a proposed housing development, initiated at the same time as the stadium, is unlikely to be completed until 2013."
Zille said the difference lay with the fact that for these projects there was an "unchangeable deadline".
The government has urged fans to avoid road congestion by using public transport, which received a R40bn upgrade ahead of the tournament.
SHOOT: There's not much in the news about aggrieved fans stranded until 3am on trains with no electricity but you can bet it was a miserable experience. Yes we built stadiums, but we were really ready to host these games when we can't even keep the lights on?
Metrorail trains were forced to switch from electric to steam locomotives because of the power cut, delaying the last two trains by between two and three hours with the last fans only arriving at 03:30, said Tumisang Kgaboesele, head of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.
"We are very concerned. We have already apologised to our customers," he told AFP.
Metrorail ferried 13 600 people to and from Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld stadium on Wednesday for the Group A match.
South Africa suffered national blackouts in January 2008 that raised alarms about the nation's ageing electricity system.
The 10 World Cup stadiums each have generators to ensure power supplies during matches.
"We have security plans that are there," said Col. Hangwani Mulaudzi, another police spokesman. "I think this is one of those isolated cases where we did not anticipate the large number of people who would be interested in this game."
SHOOT: I think SA will be caught napping in a bunch of areas, unfortunately. It's not really a 1st world country any more.
JOHANNESBURG – No one was killed. Most of the injuries were minor. Yet a stampede at a supposedly low-key warm-up match set off alarms for World Cup organizers as they reassessed their plans for keeping fervent sellout crowds under control.
Hopes for a safe tournament remain high, officials said Monday. But the scary incident at a Nigeria-North Korea exhibition match was a stark reminder of past stadium disasters, in Africa and elsewhere, that have been one of soccer's recurring and deadly legacies.
"This is like an alarm clock," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said. "This will not happen in any match of the World Cup — you can be assured."
In Orkney, South Africa, 42 fans were killed in a melee and stampede at a 1991 match between the archrival Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. Ten years later, when those same teams met at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, 43 people were killed and 155 injured as fans — many arriving without tickets — tried to push into the overcrowded stadium.