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Visa Ticket Fund initiative builds a better future for Financial Literacy

Johannesburg – 24 March 2010 – Visa has announced that they will be giving away 5000 tickets to the FIFA 2010 World CupTM to bring ordinary South Africans closer to the game. The tickets will be distributed to South Africans through Visa's Financial Literacy Roadshows across the country.

The allocation of these tickets is closely aligned with FIFA's Ticket Fund initiative, launched in August 2009, which aims to reach out to disadvantaged communities. "We hope, through football, to build a better future and create a lasting legacy for South Africans long after the tournament is over," said Charles Niehaus, General Manager for Visa, Sub-Saharan Africa.

People in line to receive the free tickets are those in the industrial and tourism sector, who have played a pivotal role to ensure that South Africa is ready to host the iconic event. These include staff from the Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg, as well as National Parks representatives in Cape Town.

Niehaus echoed Visa's enthusiasm for the Ticket Fund initiative. "These worthy recipients are people who fall into a lower income bracket and we are particularly pleased that they will receive the tickets so they too can say 'I was there!'" he said.

Not only will Visa be giving away the tickets; transport and catering arrangements have also been made for those attending the game to ensure that there are no obstacles in giving them an unforgettable FIFA 2010 World CupTM experience.

Visa recognises that financial education is a cornerstone to social upliftment that can result in lasting change and help to build a better future for people. Through the platform of football, Visa aims to spread the message of Financial Literacy and reach a wide audience to help educate the unbanked and make sound money management a universal skill.

According to Niehaus, the programme aims to provide banking and financial services education to the newly banked and under-banked market in South Africa. At the same time, Visa's Ticket Fund will give South Africans, who would not otherwise have the means, a chance to be a part of this iconic event.

The Visa Financial Literacy roadshow, which has a distinct football theme throughout, builds on the African storytelling tradition to show that bank accounts are for everybody. Specially trained theatre groups have taken the show to community centres, schools and universities across the country. It explains fundamental financial literacy messages, such as how to open a bank account and why it is important to stay within your budget.

Visa aims to reach 20 million people by 2013 globally through their Financial Literacy education programmes.

The FIFA Ticket Fund is the first of its kind in 80 years of FIFA history. The initiative aims to harness the thrill of football and engage South Africans on topics such as education in order to help people create a better life for themselves and their communities. These initiatives will not end when the final whistle is blown on 11 July 2010, but will go on to empower people for years to come, leaving a lasting legacy.