Preparations for the 2010 Fifa soccer world cup remain on target, government spokesman Themba Maseko said on Thursday.

Wednesday’s regular Cabinet meeting had received a progress report on preparations for 2010, he said in a statement.

“The report indicated that the preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 Fifa World Cup tournaments were on track.”

The progress report indicated the construction programme for the stadiums was on track to meet all Fifa deadlines even though cost escalation still remained a challenge.

Telkom’s upgrade of its core fibre-optic network was progressing according to plan and was due for completion in the last quarter of 2008.

The public transport infrastructure support programme was being implemented with most infrastructure either under construction or scheduled to start this year.

Eskom had guaranteed that stadium construction and the soccer tournaments would not be adversely affected by any power outages, and safety and security and the disaster management plans had been completed.

Maseko said Cabinet had also received a progress report on the turnaround programme in the home affairs department.

Achievements so far included establishing a new contact centre alongside the track and trace system for identity documents, the turnaround time for producing IDs had been reduced from 127 to 47 days, a “large accounts unit” had been set up to expedite issuing work permits to companies involved in major infrastructure projects, and training of 1200 front line staff.