A genuine World Cup rip-off

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Categories : Travel news

An official survey has gone some way to defusing the furore about "rip-off" prices that hotels and other accommodation establishments will charge guests before, during and after the World Cup in June and July. But, now Hotel & Restaurant has discovered rip-off pricing that will impact on the marketing of the entire event.

The magazine wishes to publish a photograph of Soccer City in Johannesburg where the final will be played on July 11. But in order to do so, we will have to pay the stadium managers R3 000 for permission to photograph it, or pay R8 000 to buy a picture from Stadium Management South Africa.

Should the magazine choose to use an image of the stadium taken by another photographer, the magazine has been told copyright issues will come into play.

It appears the City of Johannesburg, whose ratepayers - including hoteliers and restaurateurs - are paying for the stadium, owns the stadium, but has appointed Stadium Management South Africa to manage and - we must assume - market it.

Stadium Management says they have images they can supply us with, at a cost of R8 000. Or, alternatively, Hotel & Restaurant can send a photographer. The charge will be R3 000 per hour.

Hotel & Restaurant editor Andrew Moth says: "We all know the world is changing now that everything is run by lawyers and accountants, but I would have thought our offer to do even more than we have already to help in the promotion of the World Cup, Johannesburg and South Africa would have been welcomed.

"It's no wonder that more and more people are beginning to think that their worst fears about the World Cup may be realized. Building giant stadiums next to shanty towns filled with jobless people is one thing, but protecting Soccer City, which can probably be seen by astronauts, with copyright laws seems absurd.

"Are there really armies of lawyers out there who are paid to protect a stadium from being photographed? I can't help thinking their time will be better used filling in the potholes on the roads to Soccer City."

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