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Will the World Cup change South Africa?

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David Bond | 06:35 UK time, Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki predicted the 2010 World Cup would be the moment when the African continent "turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict".

It was a grand claim from a man of poetry as well as politics.

But with one month to go to Africa's first World Cup, it is evident that such ambitions were never likely to be fulfilled by a sports event, no matter how big and how lucrative.

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For this World Cup will make more money than any in the history of the event. A total of $3.3bn (£2.1bn) has been raised by Fifa from television and sponsors, dwarfing the amount made in Germany four years ago.

It has also been one of the most expensive World Cups to put on. Fifa has spent $1.1bn (£800m), while South Africa has paid out $5bn (£3.5bn) getting the Rainbow Nation ready for its biggest moment since the 1995 Rugby World Cup, building stadiums, roads and public transport links.

Having spent the last week here, travelling from Cape Town to Johannesburg and now on to England's training camp at Rustenburg, it is clear South Africa is ready.

Some cosmetic work remains to be done to roads and at airports. At Soccer City, where the World Cup will start and finish, a bit of landscaping is all that is needed to complete a magnificent setting.

The stadium is achievement enough, but the area around it has been transformed since I first visited the site three years ago. New roads and a shiny new station for theGautrain has also been built, providing firm evidence of the impact this World Cup has already had on the country.

The Gautrain, South AfricaThe Gautrain, South Africa"s first high-speed train, is taken on a test run in Johannesburg. Photo: AFP

Doubts and fears persist over crime and security. About 10% of tickets remain unsold despite the over-the-counter sales of the last few weeks, while resentment persists over Fifa's heavy-handed marketing police and the bodged handling of hotels and hospitality packages that were priced too high by Fifa partners Match.

But the stadiums are magnificent, the atmosphere and anticipation is building and the people I have met during the past few days could not be more welcoming.

Even in the township of Khayelitsha, a vast sprawl of corrugated iron shacks on the Cape Flats that is home to 1.6m, the people are warm and friendly.

It was here I met Lunga, a young football coach, who works at one of the 20 Football For Hope projects being built across Africa at a cost to Fifa of $70m (£46m). The scheme's aim is to leave the continent a proper legacy from the World Cup.

He uses football skills to help teach teenagers values that will help them combat the deadly risks from HIV infection, drugs and crime. He does it because football has helped him escape the harsh realities of life in a township.

He has first-hand experience of how harsh that life can be. Earlier this year, two of his uncles were murdered, shot dead outside the tiny house he shares with his grandmother. Surely the World Cup has played a big part in helping him turn his life around?

Yet even Lunga is not convinced there will be any lasting benefit to the poorest inhabitants of this country. As with most people I spoke to in Johannesburg and Cape Town, he thinks that nothing will really change once the tournament is over and the rich will just get richer.

Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of South Africa's organising committee and, for more than a decade now, the driving force behind bringing the World Cup here, passionately defends the positive impact of the event.

He insists the World Cup will leave South Africa with more than a few new stadiums and happy memories, citing the new roads, rail and bus networks that have been built, as well as the airport terminals and hotels. Then there is the innovation and development of the nation's broadcasting and technology infrastructure.

Danny Jordaan, Nelson Mandela and Jerome Valcke with the World CupDanny Jordaan, Nelson Mandela and Jerome Valcke with the World Cup. Photo: AP

Jordaan says history will come to view the World Cup in the same context as Nelson Mandela's release from Robben Island and the 1994 democratic elections.

Perhaps he will be right.

The danger, however, is that South Africa will have spent billions of dollars on a 30-day advert for the country that quickly fades as the sporting world moves on.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It is important to South Africas reputation and image for this world cup to go smoothly. The nation isn't known to be a great footballing venue so any bad events at the world cup will be remembered as there is nothing else to compare it with. I wish the nation all the luck in hosting the tournament however I have reservations that this investment wont be utilised once the tournament is over. Will there be enough teams to fill the stadiums to their capacity and will all the extra train and bus routes be used regulary?

    This is something that only the SA population can answer.

  • Comment number 2.

    Will the World Cup change South Africa?


    No.

    Did the rugby world cup change South Africa? No.
    Its a football competition that will be over in a month and the lives of ordinary South Africans will return to 'normal' immediately the competition is over. The only lasting legacy will be the new stadia.

    The sad thing is that Lunga is probably right. The only people to profit from the World Cup will be the rich.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.


    No. 2 Kíllìnghölmê_Clᥠ(aka Charlie Cheesecake) couldn't agree with you more.

    To add just a little insight my future father in law lives there and has a small privately owned business. He has attempted to make some merchandise for the WC and this has been impossible.

    In other words...ALL W.C. MERCHANDISE MADE AND SOLD HAVE COME FROM APPOINTED FIFA SUPPLIERS WHETHER IT BE MADE IN CHINA OR WHEREVER. DRINKS AND FOOD IN THE SURROUNDING STADUIM SAME THING APPLIES. (Sponsors)

    No local South African businesses have a finger in the pie.

    The ones to profit will be FIFA sponsors...the rich!

    There might be the odd hawker on the street and maybe a local bed and breakfast that will make some money.

  • Comment number 5.

    For the poorest of the poor will not make any money or benefits from the world cup but it is the same case where ever the world cup is held.

    The advantages are a lot because the African continent gets to host its first worldcup and going forward other countries like Nigeria, Ghana etc can bid to host it when it is the turn of an African country according to FIFA's rotation policy and thus help in improving the infrastructure of the African countries.

  • Comment number 6.

    I think the world cup will certainly change Port Elizabeth. There is a serious drought and this year it was declared a ‘disaster area’.

    We are told that there is so little water left that there is a danger of water running out completely before the rain expected in September. This can only be exasperated by the 10’s of thousands of expected fans

  • Comment number 7.

    A beautiful country, with some beautiful people. Unfortunately 60% unemployment and no Social Benefits means when you are out of work you go hungry and so does your family. It is not a Nation of criminals, but sadly a Nation of desperate people.This event will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the ordinary people who will not benefit, what is the point in new rail and bus services if they don't have jobs to go to, the services will not be Free. Possibly one of the ANC's big mistakes, I believe it will go down as another Broken Promise to the people, by a government who naively/cynically made very big promises in the begining and have been unable to keep the important ones, Jobs + Housing.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm a South African who was in Germany in 2006 for the first week of the World Cup. I had an incredible and the event passed. But the positive impression left on me by Germany, the country and its people lasted with me for a period much longer than the World Cup. Whereas Germany was never even a consideration for vacations before 2006, now it is - I would say it features in my top 3 vacation destinations in Europe. That is a major about turn. I'm hoping that's what the World Cup will do for South Africa; boost our tourism and in turn boost our GDP and employment levels (for every 8 tourists in SA, 1 job is created). No one in their right mind could have thought that they'd make enough money just during the World Cup to sustain an enterprise. A successful tournament also does a lot for the national psyche - deliver a successful global event and you see yourself differently and you gain more confidence in your own abilities to overcome the toughest of challenges. In Germany (Frankfurt) I counted about 3 in 5 cars were German engineered - think what that does to the German psyche; their engineers think they are the best in the World - once you think like that, you can only be the best.

  • Comment number 9.

    I struggle to understand.

    "billions of dollars on a 30-day advert for the country " -

    Who do you think uses the road from the airport to the CBD that was upgraded? People in buses, taxis, and other forms of public transport in dedicated transport lanes during peak hours. These "billions of dollars" already benefit them.

    The first upgrade to Cape Town Station in 30 years? Who benefits? Khayelitsha, the area you mention has the highest demand for rail services to the CBD, and they already benefit from a significantly improved train station , and the new rail link in Khayelitsha.

    Cape Town's economy depends on tourism, so this "advert" is important for its economy, along with the airports, hotels and other infrastructure necessary to support an economy with a large tourism base.

    There is this myth that the World Cup has diverted funds away from critical infrastructure such as housing, hospitals, schools.
    This is untrue. New hospitals are rising in these areas as we speak.

    Housing projects and delivery are at an all time high in Cape Town. It only seems as if nothing is being done because of the massive housing backlog left behind. The "educated" can't seem to understand that the City and Province only have a certain amount of funds to deliver as many houses as possible within a year.

    The delivery of basic services to areas the ANC has ignored for years, is now in full swing, along with a full winter readiness plan for those impacted by the harsh winter.

    South Africa has an approx R850 billion annual budget, with only about R4 billion of this going to stadia for the last 3 years. Education remains the highest proportion of the budget as it always has, and one of the highest proportions in the world.

    Social benefits, child grants, disability benefits are increased year on year, and reach millions.

    Of course the ANC have major areas to work on, but lets not get caught up in myths and rumours. Just recently more informal trading opportunities were made available around the Fan Fest TM and Public Viewing areas across Cape Town.

    In the short and long run, improved infrastructure benefits ALL!
    Its the same old story time and time again, a complex city and country being analyzed by those who don't understand the tip of the iceberg.

  • Comment number 10.

    In my experince of South Africa corruption was where most of the money was leaking out on big budget projects. I suspct the same here. Still, it will be a fun World Cup and a great chance for black africa to shine.

  • Comment number 11.

    My family and I were fortunate enough to be in Durban last month and visited the Durban Stadium. There is Bungee Swing from the top of the stadium over the pitch. My son did the jump and afterwards, talking to the very helpful, friendly and professional staff who run the 'Big Rush', I was told , that although there are 7/8 matches being played in Durban they were not allowed to operate during the period of the WC and the same went for the restaurants around the stadium. For almost 6-7 weeks these businesses would have to shut down because they are not FIFA accredited...what an abosulte shame and an absolute disgrace...a lasting legacy indeed. Sounds more like a bankrupting legacy.

  • Comment number 12.

    The tax money spent on stadiums in this country is appalling. The event will go off and it should be a fine sporting spectacular, but South Africa will have a legacy of having paid for this, whereas schooling, medical facilities and upgrading of rural and urban settlements have been thoroughly neglected.

    The infrastructure projects were already on the cards (and they are still very limited), NO hotels were built for the FIFA World Cup - it is only a six week event, the little guest house owners have been spectacularly dropped by Match and the country can also expect a general drop-off in the economy during the period of the tournament. The major beer brewer in the country is expecting increased demand, but that can hardly be counted as a progessive influence.

    Recriminations will follow for years to come on the spending of the tax money and its effects (most especially on the stadia). I envisage very little medium to long term positive financial spin-off for South Africa in hosting the FIFA World Cup.

    It is an event completely controlled by FIFA for their own self-interests, but paid for by the South African taxpayers under the guidance of very naive and/or cunning politicians and a few canny businesspeople.

  • Comment number 13.

    It might alter some people's perception of Africa in some parts of the world but it's a bit like 'showing passing visitors into the best room in your house, whilst knowing the rest of your place is in a mess.'

    There will be some extra tourism revenue generated in the short term at of course, but I worry about the severe costs amassed by building shiny new stadia and new transport infrastructure at a time of world wide recession in a country where many are forced to live in the most extreme poverty and hardship. Jobs were created in the short-term but what will these workers do now?

    How much do Fifa or the South African government want us to see of gulf between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' if the whole idea is to show 'the best of what Africa has to offer'?

    In terms of legacy..Greece - a so-called modern European country - spent a fortune on facilities for a 'two-week' Olympic Games back in 2004 that they're still paying heavily for today. White elephant infrastructure - much locked up behind iron gates - on top of an already unserviceable debt crisis.

    I sincerely hope the South African people get some lasting benefit out of the tournament which goes past the month of matches - that they see some of the money generated but like many feel it will be the already prosperous that will benefit.

  • Comment number 14.

    Fifa get $3.3 Bn and has spent $1.1 Bn ... SA has spent $5.5 Bn

    Apart from some shiney new stadiums (which will be used for Rugby once the circus has left town) the only long lasting effect of the World Cup will be a large debt to repay.

    The World Cup and the Olympics may provide a country with Kudos, but they leave them with debts and fading memories ... roll on 2012 .. that will take a lifetime or more to repay on top of Gordons legacy of the National Debt.

    Waste of money ..

  • Comment number 15.

    It will not change South Africa. It does however give the country the chance to show itself to the world, which potentially could boost tourism and other investment in the country in future years. However any serious crimes that happen whilst the world cup is on will harm the country significantly. We just have to see.
    Of more importance is what the Government in South Africa do. Most of us do not pay close attention to South African politics, but the signs are not great from the little we do hear, and has a negative impact on both Tourism and investment. If the world cup helps to get rid of this view it will have been worth it.

  • Comment number 16.

    Considering what the european nations had put this land and its people through over the last 200 years, i think they have done remarkably well! even with a extremists anglo group still working to destroy it again! With love!

  • Comment number 17.

    We're a middle class South African family. I grew up on rugby and cricket, but have a son who is soccer crazy and his enthusiasm for the world cup has ignited the rest of us – we just can not wait!

    We have blown our budget on tickets - 8 games, including 2 matches away from home.

    My son eats, sleeps and drinks this event. He so badly wants it to succeed and gets emotionally fired up when he reads negative press, especially from countries like the UK where high-readership tabloids like the Daily Star continue to headline ridiculously negative reports such as "… major earthquake likely in two 2010 host cities …"

    I'd like to believe that the event itself will leave a indelible impression on my son, a once in a life time experience that he will recount with great pleasure one day to his grandchildren. It is this kind of emotion, coupled with the hugely positive impact on the nation's psyche that will occur if we pull off something of this magnitude, that is simply priceless. It WILL change South Africa, for the better, and forever.

  • Comment number 18.

    I for one look forward to a wonderfully friendly, chaotic, welcoming, hectic worldcup with plenty of surprises and loads to talk about. I will be in Cape town for the England - Algeria match and will enjoy the spirit and kindness of the local people, like the last 7 times I went there.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Just a comment on Cape Town 2020 posted earlier.

    Cape Town is not South Africa. The huge amounts of taxpayer money being directly spent on stadiums for a sporting event that will have limited short term benefit and even less long term benefit to the country is questionable.

    The money had to have been diverted from somewhere to go into these structures, which are not financially self-sustainable. A number of stadiums have been erected in the more remote parts of the country - these areas do not require stadiums that meet FIFA World Cup standards (only this tournament does). More smaller stadiums and decent pitches would have benefitted a far larger number of South Africans.

    It is ludicrous to even suggest that a number of informal traders selling goods (possibly made in China?) at fan parks is of any real consequence nationally and a reason why the event is important to South Africa and its citizens (or the region for that matter).

  • Comment number 21.

    I dont understand why 90% of the articles about the South African World Cup are negative. I dont understand why everyone in England wants South Africa to fail.

    I agree whole-heartedly with what No. 9 Cape Town says.

    Someone above said the South African government had failed in job creation. What do you think the World Cup has done? It has created an incredible number of jobs. While most of the rest of the world is in recession, the World Cup has shielded South Africa from the worst of the recession.

    The World Cup will leave all cities with improved (and in many case brand new) airports, trains, roads and bus systems. How can this be wrong for the country?

    Just for once write a positive article. Just for once celebrate with South Africa. Just for once join with South Africa in helping them achieve something great.

  • Comment number 22.

    when your people need bread, dont provide festivals.

    another example of how the south african governments neoliberal approach is failing its most needy citizens. of course people will benefit from the tournament, but those people will be the same as those constantly benefitting from under the ANC since the launch of GEAR. top-down development approaches fail to target the poorest and most marginalized citizens and this is just another tragic example.

    how will those citizens react after the world cup when the supposed benefits they are meant to accrue fail to materialize? CapeTown2020 is incredibly naive and south africa is a country with all sorts of problems that will only be made worse by the world cup, but positives being largely felt by the wealthy citizens.

  • Comment number 23.

    CapeTown 2020

    What planet are you on? You are certainly NOT describing the SA that I know

  • Comment number 24.

    I agree with the posts in that FIFAs partners will be the major beneficiaries in this World Cup and that this is not fair but this is what happens around the world everyday the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it is nothing new.

    What does annoy me is that this article is yet another post questioning if it is right that South Africa should be hosting this World Cup. My simple response is 'Why not'. Having lived in S Africa for a few years I am well aware of the huge disparity of wealth that exists there. However what gives us westerners the right to deny the African continent their chance to host the worlds biggest sporting event, especially after all they have given the world of Football.

    I know the money could be better spent elsewhere of course but in the world we live in this does not happen, full stop! London has a huge amount of people living in poverty yet this does not stop it from hosting the next Olympics.

    What I find patronising is that this event will bring so much hope (if not money)to so many in Africa and yet the western world still argues if it is in Africas best interests to host such an event. As many Africans will agree it is this very Western World which has caused so many of the problems which still exist in Africa today, so for once let Africa enjoy its moment!!

  • Comment number 25.

    I've a real concern for the average and possibly naive football fan that may be going over there for this world cup. I have a friend who is a cameraman at the world cup and he did the Confederations Cup over there. He couldn't believe the stories he was told and the security they had to adhere to to ensure safety. They had police escorts to and from the ground to hotels. They actually had a spare bus that went with them in case the other broke down. One of the cameramen bought a tazer gun over the counter he was that concerned about his safety. The main concern was in Johannesburg and my friend seriously thinks there will be people coming home in body bags. I think its from the accommadation to the grounds is where there is the potential for problems with fans. If people get isolated, lost or have a problem its a worry. It's rumoured criminals will flood the country from Zimbabwe and surrounding areas all in the hope of a pay day with unsuspecting tourists. I for one would not be happy to go without the kind of protection Fifa and the players will get.

  • Comment number 26.

    I live a few kms from the new Durban world cup stadia. It is magnificant and will surely impress our soccer visitors next month. To those that are worried about the crime situation here, yes it is normally bad but the police will be out in force during the world cup. So visitors will be safe providing they avoid the obvious danger areas. Especially at night. There is possibly safetyin numbers so avoid being alone when moving from A to B and when driving have the windows of your vehicle closed and locked.
    The soccer world cup will indeed be good for South Africa's image. Its just a pity that instead of spending the billions of rands on 8 new stadia for one month of soccer, this image conscious avaricious ANC government could have spent only millions of rands to refurbish existing stadia. The billions of rands 'wasted' on new stadia could have been used towards the service delivery to the milliions of South Africans who are starving and have literally no electricity, water taps and even flush toilets.. A recent survey has revealed that more than half of our South African children are starving. Thousands of people actually rely on their local stinking municipal rubbish dumps to scavenge for throw-away food.
    By the way, to those that are coming to South Africa next month, bring something warm to wear. It will be winter and it can get extremely cold. Especially in the Johannesburg/Pretoria areas. Much warmer and sunny in Durban however. Good luck.

  • Comment number 27.

    Totally agree with Cape Town 2020 (No. 9. At 09:28am)

    I have grown up in South Africa, I still do a lot of my work there and my family live there. I have spent most of the last year there and have seen nothing but development all around...not development for a soccer competition but development to improve a country.

    1. Road and transport links are better as a result. All you have to do is try and drive the highway north of Johannesburg in rush hour and you will see why not only roads need improving but also alternatives to roads...like the Gautrain. This is happening, a legacy in action!

    2. When thousands of overseas football-supporting visitors go to South Africa's game reserves and national parks, money is going directly in to conservation in these areas where plenty of endangered but iconic species live. And this is happening at a time in the run up to the UN convention later this year when governments are realising they are not hitting their targets for conservation. Better protection for our natural world...this is a legacy in action!

    3. Anyone who has gone from high-speed broadband internet access in Europe to trying to access the web in South Africa in the last ten years will know that better communications is something that will benefit South Africa. There are geographical factors that affect things like web access speed and so just some soccer competition is not going bring the country bang up to date but the investment in telecommunications etc is helping to make a difference. And when you look at how many Africans have cellphones for example, this kind of investment will certainly benefit ALL. Once again, a legacy in action!

    I could keep listing ways that the world cup is benefiting the country but all I will say is if you are going to have an opinion...make sure it's a valid and educated one...so go to South Africa and see it all for yourself. It's a great country and no, we don't drive around in cars with flame-throwers under them as a hi-jacking deterrent. Stop believing the sh*t you read in the UK media about the place.

    And for all the money invested in the country via FIFA and the world cup, what it isn't going to do is change the climate. Most of South Africa is hot and dry and so endless running water, fertile land and enough food to just waste what you don't want is really not environmentally possible. The UK is wet and fertile and so everyone has access to running water and food at their fingertips to the extent they can become obese. A world cup is not going to solve all of Africa's problems...think about it! It's just a football competition.

  • Comment number 28.

    To Mush, what a load of mush.

    Maybe your friend should run do all your decision making, because you seem to lack a spine.

    I'm a 38 year old South African. Also I took my wife to the Confed Cup last year. What you say is a load of rubbish. And I may not be black nor white but born a South African of Indian origin who wish to tell pessimists like you that when you get here, you will realise that this country and its people are far more friendly and hospitable than most people in your own country.

    I have family living in Australia who visit here so often and they still talk about the crime. You should stand at my side when I keep telling them that if the crime is so bad then why do you make a trip here and not go elsewhere.

    This country has staged so many big events and your friend tells you otherwise. He needs to take the cap of his camera lens, then he won't be soo much in the dark.Eish!

  • Comment number 29.

    Nothing is going to change, and if there is a change it will be in the direction of the Zimbabawee, a bankrupt state.

  • Comment number 30.

    My word some people are negative! I have no problem acknowledging the massive divide between the rich and poor in South Africa, just as I have no problem acknowledging concerns about crime surrounding many of the venues. And yes, when people are starving in a country it always looks bad for the government to be spending £billions on a sporting event. It is also obviously very easy to be cynical about FIFA and their (pathetic) money-making schemes.

    But there are two sides to this. The poor of the country, those in the townships and in the ghettos, the primarily coloured population, are the same people who desperately want the WC to be a success. The big support for football in SA does not come largely from the white middle-classes (they have rugby and cricket to concentrate on), it comes from these places. Yes, the WC has cost the country a great deal more and yes, some of this expenditure will probably not see a return but improvements to stadia, amenities, infrastructure etc have been desperately needed in all the WC venues. And bear one other thing in mind: these stadia will, by and large, get regular use. Saffers are generally sport mad, whether black or white, rich or poor. Rugby and football teams will be using the stadia, with significant income from S14 matches and internationals.

    There are also the returns that can't be measured in dollars: without sounding too cheesy, people need things to look forward to and they need things to remember. These are the things that inspire us. Football is the most popular sport in SA, but in terms of coverage in the press and on TV it has always had to take second place to rugby and cricket. In the townships this has been interpreted at times as a form of racism - the 'white' sports getting the money and the attention. Now, millions of coloured football fans are seeing their government invest significant money in what they feel is their sport - the message that this sends out will last. (I realise there are many white football fans in SA by the way - they are just significantly outnumbered).

    It is very easy to sit here thousands of miles away criticising, moaning and making prophecies of doom and gloom, but ultimately the success of the World Cup will depend on the South African people and I think that some of the posters on this blog should maybe show a little more faith in them.

  • Comment number 31.

    I think the world cup will be good for them. It is a beautiful country, but the problem I think that faces them is security. Car jacking is an every day occurance as is being muged. Most tourists will not see the dire poverty or the lack of infostructure, because that will be well hidden. And if everything has to be fifa approved, counterfeit will find away.

  • Comment number 32.

    There are several issues all involved here. Should the World Cup have gone to South Africa? Too late to worry about that now. Should the money have been spent on other things? Too late for that too. Is the World Cup good for the country? Most definitely. You couldn't reduce the benefits into hard numbers. There are subjective elements to that, like pride, and the unifying effect on a far from homogeneous society. Certainly trying to reduce the benefit to South Africa to mere numbers will show that from an economic perspective the effect will be neutral to maybe slightly negative.

    And as far as security is concerned I wouldn't worry too much. The greatest harm the vast majority of World Cup supporters will suffer is slight liver damage and morning headaches, chronic tinnitus, much reduced bank balances (as an entrepreneur one lives in hope) and, for the Brits, sunburn even though it's "winter". Come enjoy the party.

  • Comment number 33.

    It's disappointing that another African countries cannot support their own finances. They have so many high resources to offer the world e.g. diamonds, oil, agriculture etc. Why would FIFA inject cash?

    I would be more aware where the money is going there is so much corruption and crime involved in money overthere.

  • Comment number 34.

    Sorry Capetown2020

    I have no doubt that it is of benefit to a minority of people, but not the whole of the country, but if fifa had given that amount of money to help with the hydro dams and other much needed infostructure that benefits the majority and not the minority, where alot of it is falling apart, and when every one has gone home will you still have electricity 24/7? The area is not the whole of Cape Town and Cape Town is not the whole of SA you need to think bigger.

    My best freind lives behind iron bars. Johannesburg is a no go area, where it was once a thriving city you wouldnt go there at all now unless you had a tank, and dont even head up Risik street towards Hillbrow. When she was visiting us her main concern was getting home before dark!
    What does that say for SA? Enjoy the world cup

  • Comment number 35.

    For Lamee

    I dont want you to fail, I lived in SA for 28 years and only when I left did I see how destructive and how wrong it all was, nothing has changed for better, it got worse. I so wanted it to be better. Until the majority start making it better it wont get better! It is a wonderful country. Education, jobs, and housing are all needed, one world cup wont ever change that, it may bandage it up for five mins but it isint the cure. I hope that it will motivate the goverment to some sensible decisions.

  • Comment number 36.

    Approximately Seventy days from now, when the World Cup is over, the international football federation's officials will be flying away with bags of money, saying: "Bye! Suckers."

    This is the view of British investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, who says Fifa has banned him from its press conferences so that its president Sepp Blatter would not have to answer potentially revealing questions about corruption in the organisation.

    Jennings, who authored a book on Fifa, Foul! The secret world of Fifa: Bribes, vote rigging and ticket scandals, spoke at a Cape Town Press Club lunch on Monday.

    He is in town to launch a new book, Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and the 2010 Fifa World Cup, published by the Institute for Security Studies.

    That should say it all

  • Comment number 37.

    Still such a problem over land issues since the apartheid era with water still at the epicentee causing so much trouble throughout the nation.

    Those that got rich under apartheid are still rich in wealth and land and those that lost everything still have so little and some nothing.

    So the world cup is at the bottom of the pile that will change South Africa. The only benefit is that the media following the games will still see that there is a major problem still affecting the nation.

  • Comment number 38.

    Why do people feel the need to be so cynical about south africa hosting this world cup. Especially the british tabloids. South africa is the only country in africa with the infrastructure and financial capabilities to host such an event. The additional infrastructural develpoments that have taken place, airports, roads etc can only be beneficial to the country, not to mention the publicity that it will receive. Such publicity will buoy the tourism industry and enhance it as well. This is a great moment for africa, a great moment for south africa and a great moment for african people in general. Of course there are problems in SA but there are no countries on this earth that are paradise.

  • Comment number 39.

    To Mush and Jayone.

    I can't believe how ridiculous your posts are, what rubbish!

    Jayone how much time have you spent in SA as your clearly distorted views are crazy!

    Mush, a piece of advice, I would try and get some information from someone other than your "friend" on South Africa, what an idiot!

    Oh and one last thing some smelling lessons would not hurt the both of you!


  • Comment number 40.

    "Will there be enough teams to fill the stadiums to their capacity and will all the extra train and bus routes be used regulary?"

    Im a brit who has been living in Cape Town for the past few months and this is one of the questions that a lot of South Africans are asking. The big high profile cities (Joburg, Durban, Cape Town) will definitely benefit from the stadia and infrastructure and Im sure that in these cities the development will go to good use. Its places like Nelspruit, Polokwane and Rustenburg where you have to wonder what the legacy will be after the world cup. At the moment I dont think there is a fan-base from any sport in these places to fill the stadiums after the world cup. I really hope that in 10 years time the now sparkling stadia and train stations are not overgrown shells of their former selves.

    South Africa is a developing country - a unique one at that because of its history. A hell of a lot of money has been spent one this 30 day tournament. Im 100% that the event itself will be a great success and I cant wait for the party to start, but I'm just as interested to see what happens after all the teams and fans have gone home.

  • Comment number 41.

    @Gassing Pirate
    It's obvious you wallow in the pit of political naivety and correctness. The World Cup if you READ my post above has to do with corruption, a point endorsed by the South African Institute of security studies.
    It's NOT apartheid holding the country back- that ship has sailed.

    It's the corruption. nepotism and incompetence that has helped make South Africa a poorer country than what it was. Not the whites.
    Who do you think is subsidising the electricity in the townships?- the whites
    Who do you think is subsidising the muncipalities?- the whites
    Who is paying taxes so there is some form of infrastructure?- the whites

    Who do you think pays for my maids AIDS medicine? Me, a white guy. And many more of us send the kids of our maids to get an education which is NOT tax deductable.

    Before you make a comment like that- try live in the country or at least get some perspective about the country.
    Blame the government and stop blaming those who are just trying to stay out of the firing line of the murderers, thieves and rapists.

  • Comment number 42.

    The reason CapeTown2010 wrote about Cape Town and not the rest of South Africa is not that the rest of South Africa is different, but becuase Cape Town is what Cape Town knows about and can confidently and accurately speak about.

    CapeTown2010 knows what is happening in Cape Town. Do the rest of you talking actually KNOW anything.

    I can tell you about what is happening in Port Elizabeth, but you probably wouldnt want to know, because all you people who have never been to South Africa KNOW everything already.

  • Comment number 43.

    As a South African, I had been left flabbergasted by the bad press our country has received in relation to the World Cup. Comments above, where people quote wild third hand stories of crime leave me wanting to tear my hair out. The only reason this tournament is in any danger of not being a success is that many Europe seem to have decided to believe the propaganda and sensationalist garbage flowing around the Internet and the media. The the majority of this is coming from people who have never been to this country and who have no idea what they are talking about. We need the fans for the World Cup to be what it has always been.

  • Comment number 44.

    Why does everyone think the World Cup is a good thing?

    Yes, South Africa and South Africans get to feel important for 1 month and then?

    Jobs?
    That's like putting a plaster on someone who needs to have bypass surgery. The so-called employment is temporary. It is not permanent and when the cup is over everyone is going to go back to being poor.

    Roads and Railways?
    Don't hold your breath on that one, what was once an effective means of transport has been left to ruin due to corruption with in government departments. What does anyone think is going to happen after the cup?

    Money for infrastructure?
    Well, the average man in the street is going to be forking out approximately $2.4 billion instead of the $310 million originally allocated for the building and construction. Notwithstanding the loan just made to the government by FIFA.

    Investors?
    The also going to want a slice of the pie. Enter Tokyo Sexwale

    So don't hold your breath and if you think I am being cynical, well... wait until you have to pay your end of year tax bill.

  • Comment number 45.

    I speak of Cape Town because its where I am from.

    The Khayelistha Rail Link is there for you to see. The works at Cape Town station, the public realm upgrades in the CBD, the improved roads, the hospitals under construction are there for you to see too.

    So many South Africans speak with such authority on things have no clue about. Not only Cape Town but other cities too have seen massive increases in their housing expenditure and the number of houses delivered, while preparing for the World Cup.

    As I've said before, due to the huge backlogs many simply refuse to acknowledge that changes are being made.

    We can talk stadia all day but the reality is that education, housing, health remains the largest proportion of the annual budget. The R896 billion of the R900 billion annual budget was NOT spent on stadia in 2006-2009.

    Informal trading will not be the major benefit but the City has gone to great lengths to provide these opportunities. Why is the Fan Mile now the Fan Walk? Its no longer a FIFA zone and is controlled by the host city allowing further opportunities for locals to benefit.

    The significant investments in public transport infrastructure is just the start of the massive infrastructure programmed to come over the next few years. 2010 provided the much needed deadline to accelerate many projects.

    The new Durban Airport has been on the cards since 1970.

    Schools are still being built, new classrooms, heath facilities etc. Its just that many of those able to access the internet never go into these area or bother to find out about the improvements being made.

    There is a constant talk about "diverting" funds. Why do you think we run a deficit? R4 billion annually on stadia will and has not bankrupted the country, and is simply the cheese in the trap to expose South Africa to the world, and benefit in the future.

    Lets not be fooled by the poor performance of the ANC but lets acknowledge the benefits to ALL.

  • Comment number 46.

    @dtct .. great to read and may the WC 2010 be a monumental success

  • Comment number 47.

    It's really good to read comments from those actually living on the ground in South Africa like Cape Town 2020 and seeing how they believe things will be improved by hosting the WC tournament. I think that their hope is shared by the vast majority of people on here, but maybe they need to remember from what angle we are seeing things? People in the Europe have become cynical due to the corruption we see everyday from many of our politicians, leaders and bankers so are bound to be sceptical when we hear promises like those made to Greece back in 2004 and now S.A. 2010.

    But maybe we should all remember that great quote from 'The Shawshank Redemption':
    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"
    ..maybe if enough people are positive things will get better?

  • Comment number 48.

    C'mon people...this is business and nothing more...We in the west as capitalist must surely understand that...FIFA or in fact Football is BIG business. David Beckham signed a 5 year contract worth $250m. Wayne Rooney gets paid £150K per week...It is a business that rewards those who help the investors make more money, as in any other business. Why must there be a legacy in the first place. What is the legacy of BP; oil drenched beaches in the Mexican Gulf? FIFA/Partners and the SA government made an investment and is expecting a return. FIFA and Partners will make a quick return while the SA Government will have to wait a bit longer but WILL still make a return.

    The expenditure should be put in contest as well. South Africa is a G20 country. It's GDP is that of the rest of Africa combined and the investment made by the SA Government is less than 2% of the country's GDP. It also has the lowest deficit compared to the other G20 countries...The misconceptions about South Africa in some of these comments are freighting ...It's almost as bad as my MD asking if there are lions in my back garden...or as bad as my photographer friend who asked the mother of an African baby to put honey around the baby's mouth to attract flies so that he can take a 'African' photo for his UK publishing company.

    The issues in South Africa is there, that is not disputed...and if the $5b investment was not made, that money would have filtered through to the pockets of the corrupt elite. Doing it this way, the expense is at least transparent and the effect is clearly visible driving around the country.

    One last comment to Muse...Talking about buying a Tazer over the counter...You clearly have not been to the US (Land of the Free...) where you can buy a semi automatic gun over the counter. You talk about crime in SA, but clearly do not know the crime rate in your own country. If you follow this link, http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_tot_cri-crime-total-crimes, you will see that overall SA has a much lower crime rate than the UK, with the UK in a comfortable 2nd place just after America. Sure violent crime is a problem in SA, but if you avoid the hotspots there as I do avoid Brixton (London) at night here...the chances are that you might just have a good time.

  • Comment number 49.

    Firstly a correction from an earlier contribution. Black folks are not 'coloured'. Coloured people are a different race group.
    I'm a Londoner who has lived here (Cape Town) for nearly 11 years.
    Whether the WC expenditure turns out to be worthwhile, only time will tell.
    I think it will have been worthwhile in the long run but nobody, especially me, knows for sure. Debating either way on this seems pointless but there are plenty of national and local government, tourist and inward investment professionals who will be working their socks off to try to ensure that the country enjoys long term benefits from the showcasing of this country.
    What I can categorically say and I would concur with others above who have already made the point, is this : visitors to South Africa for the World Cup are not in danger. This country hosts close to 10 million tourists every year with a very small incident rate.
    As a holiday maker, you are factually and statistically more likely to be robbed, mugged, raped or murdered in Britain, France, Germany and Spain whilst on your travels. That is a fact.
    My wife and I have hosted over 400 family, friends and other visitors to our home, town and city during our time here and not one of them have encountered any trouble; not once.
    It is sad and wrong for the British press in particular to write about crime and danger in the way that they seem happy to constantly do.
    In the short term, all South African citizens and foreign residents like myself are looking forward to the event and to the opportunity to put paid to many negative perceptions of this beautiful country. Visitors will have a great time and they will be treated with true African hospitality and courtesy.
    In the long term, we hope that our efforts and expenditure will help to create and sustain a lasting legacy for all.
    We'll welcome the world with open arms and the world will take South Africa and its people to its hearts.

  • Comment number 50.

    The schools in South Africa will be closed for the duration of the World Cup. Many thousands of children rely on the hot meal provided at school to ward off hunger and malnutrition. Who is going to feed those children??
    Shame on all you who can't see past the football at the real cost. Hungry children, displaced families and money spent on sporting venues that will hardly be used afterwards.

  • Comment number 51.

    @ clanky

    you make it sound like the schools are all closing especially for the wc, when actually the normal school holidays are just being extended for a few days. Im sure the kids wont mind!

    also whats this about displaced families?

  • Comment number 52.

    chronicwombat

    Google "blikkiesorp"

  • Comment number 53.

    The world cup will change S.A economically, bringing more money and creating casual jobs. It will also help to boost the economic after the games with stadiums and other landmarks structures. What this means for typical S.A remains the question of "How many south Africans/Africans will be able to enter those stadiums and watch the games live? Typical African cannot afford to buy the ticket, it's more frustrating to note that. How many will able to watch the games on TV, how many will get their newspaper for the game result? or listen to radio. The good thing is Africa is hosting the world cup.Long live S.A, long live Africa.

  • Comment number 54.

    #49 - I think you may be referring to my use of the term 'coloured' in my earlier post. That's simply the term I have been most used to hearing in South Africa - wouldn't use it when discussing England but that's what I'm used to using and hearing in SA. No offence intended (in case any was caused) and don't want to get bogged down in semantics.

    Great to hear a few more people actually making the effort to see the positive side of the WC in SA. Want to respond to a few points though:

    #48 - I'm pretty sure that everybody posting here is aware that football is business, but it isn't fair to say that its nothing more. For the vast majority of fans and people who love the game it is what happens on the pitch, not in the boardroom, that is most important.

    #45 - CapeTown2020 - great points to add to a great earlier post. Cheers for the extra insight.

    #41 - A pretty despicable posting to my eyes. Much of what you say may be true about how taxes etc paid by the white population are funding many of the services taken up by the black/coloured population but you seem to be missing a crucial point here: The reason that the wealth still lies so prominently in the hands of the white minority in South Africa is because of decades of discrimination that prevented black/coloured people amassing wealth of their own. How nice that you're clearly not resentful that your money is paying for your maid's medication for a life-threatening condition! Truly, you are a gentleman. Yes, the ship of Apartheid has sailed, as you so poetically put it, but it will leave a significant wake for many years to come.

  • Comment number 55.

    anyone that has to spend this sort of money for a 30 day tournement and expects it to help a country must be bonkers.

    look at greece, a country that had money, then got the european championship which they won, then get the olympics then a champions league final, has anybody watched the news lately?

  • Comment number 56.

    googled "blikkiesorp". had no idea about this and it is definitely a big infringement on human rights. found this article interesting:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/01/south-africa-world-cup-blikkiesdorp

    one thing though: although im sure that the world cup has had a large contributing factor towards this, I think its wholly unfair to blame the world cup itself. If anything, comparisons of this place to 'District 9' and quotes from residents saying that its worse than aparteid conditions just shows how messed up the current ANC government is. It doesnt have to be done this way and to see the ANC basically copying the apartheid governemt policy of forcible removal of unwanted peoples has a very sour taste indeed.

  • Comment number 57.

    Come to South Africa and see for yourself. Ignore the ignorant comments here. Much of what is being said has an element of truth but is presented way out of context.
    Here is a comment from a dimwit; "Nick" NO hotels were built for the FIFA World Cup -" Here in Cape Town we have been building hotels accomodation offices roads and bridges at full speed since before, during and after the announcement. Like a ten or twelve year long construction boom. We build hotels all the time here you Idiot! Hotels and accomodation is Cape Town's business.
    If you choose accomodation in "Blikkiesdorp" or any other poverty stricken area your odds of being a victim of violent crime (extremely violent)are very good.
    However as you all know (the ignorant here also know this)most violent crime victims are closely acquainted with the perpertrator. If you come here you need to take due care as you would in Mexico City, Washington DC or Brixton in London....don't go drinking in a shebeen with your new "friends" in Blikkiesdorp and you will be perfectly safe.

    Not holding the World Cup would NOT have increased the budget available for houses, hospitals and schools. (out of context comments). Those programmes have NOT been put on hold. And to another poster; the World Cup is not the Olympics! The Olympics is a guaranteed financial disaster.

    Come to South Africa (while it lasts) and be amazed.
    Be amazed by the tangible throb of energy that vibrates in the air as you land here.
    Be amazed at the friendliness of the people
    Be amazed at the spectacular vistas, scenery, landscapes and enormous electric blue sky. It really is a world in one country
    Be amazed at what you will see in the street as South Africans party with the rest of the world
    Come to South Africa and your visit will be too short. We know that you are going to come back for more

    South Africa is not all about paradise. We have ugly news headlines, we have the most vile destructive and fecal brained politicians, we even have a communist party...that is about as stupid as stupid can be.
    South Africa is home to some of the dumbest and thickwitted people on the face of the earth. Yes South Africa suffers deeply from Bantu Education as well as the ANC policy of "No Education before Liberation" that is still in place today. The imposition of an economic system that the indigenous inhabitants are unable to assimilate into exacerbates the situation further. (not Britain's fault as some of the ignorant fools and UK media posting here would have us believe)
    South Africa has many people "waiting" to be given free housing (have you ever seen a Chinese, Vietnamese or an Indian sitting on their bums "waiting" for someone to "give" them a house?) These people remain poor because they breed while they "wait" It is my problem, not my fault that they "wait".

    Ignorant negative comments do not help these people, hosting the world cup WILL confer economic benefit in the long run after the tournament. Those waiting for houses will continue to "wait" whilst those of us with the energy to go forward will obtain their own houses.

    It is going to be a SPECTACULAR World Cup, in terms of the quality on the field and in terms of what "Saffers" are going to deliver.

    Visit SA while it lasts, you will never forget and you will never regret.

  • Comment number 58.

    I dont believe south africa will change, i do fear that other stuff might happen after the world cup.

    The comment on the children gettign longer school holidays is true they normally get 3 weeks off teh yare going to be off from the beginning of june till middle july because the rumours are they scared kids will get kidnapped.

    yes we have ugly news headlines but they are true. Yes south africa has put alot of energy into thsi world cup but the people are still suffering,people are getting killed even 1 year old babies are beaten up for a computor that was stolen. i kinda agree with plastic gooner.

    be careful thats all i say, its not moonshien and flowers.

  • Comment number 59.

    Football matches will be best viewed on your 50" HD TV this time around and in 2014. Should the World Cup ever come back to North America again then I'll pay otherwise, no thank you. FIFA should encourage local economies cause after all, the economic burden rests on the host country. Questions, what will SA do with all these magnificient stadiums after the WC? can it feed the poor and shelter the needy? Don't think so. The glory is political cause the lives of the average SA will not change a bit!
    Buy the biggest HDTV, invites friends, and have your party at home. Go Brazil!

  • Comment number 60.

    Sorry 2 b so late on the blog, but I only read the first couple to see how negative people can be.

    1995 was fantastic, and if you don't live here, you would not know.

    Since then the number of "Blacks" attending rugby matches has grown out of proportions, likewise the "Whites" attending football matches.

    the RWC brought us together like nothing before and could not have come at a better time.

    The WC will do the same for the people.

    On the other hand, all the negativity about crime, money spent blah blah blah, why do you care? Nothing to do with you.

    England want 2018 and are comming out with "the richest tournament for FIFA ever". They did not mention how they are going to tame their "hooligans", renowned worldwide for their antics. I cannot remember when last supporters died after a football match here, but you only have to google, to find out how bad England is, then add that to their crime rate, and...Boom, reality!

  • Comment number 61.

    A couple things; RJ007, get your facts right, RSA's GDP isn't the GDP of all the other African countries combined, you just showed your ignorance with that "fact"...yes, RSA's GDP is the biggest in Africa but Egypt and Nigeria's combined are bigger than RSA's and both these countries' GDP individually are not that far behind RSA's.
    All the people wishing and hoping and stating "facts" on why the world cup in RSA will be a failure, all i have to say is sit and watch RSA make the entire continet of Africa proud. I have confidence the south africans will do a good job and all the misinformation and lies being spread about RSA (and Africa in general) will turn out to be false!

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    There are some insidious issues that are being ignored concerning the RSA government's treatment of its own people that have not been focused on.Street children in Kwazulu Natal are being rounded up by police in Durban and are then placed in detention vehicles and then dumped hundreds of kilometers in townships far from the city,where the local people are told to do with them what they want as they are criminals.These kids are homeless,often abandoned or victims of abuse-a disgusting bit of 'human landscaping' in the interests of world cup window dressing-are these South Africans benefiting from the world cup?-I think not.

  • Comment number 64.

    Amid the noise about whether SA suitable to host a World Cup is an underwritten reality of White phobia for black progress. One cannot cut it or slice the cake anyhow, but in a bare bones analysis this is what it really comes to.
    I amiss even flabbergasted to see people scold the ANC for not delivering basic services as if a wholesale change in 16 short years is enough to redress 300 years white nepostism, privilege, and self enrichment. Some bloggers even claim black South Africans are averse to the idea of Work. Might i remind those with myopia and short memories that the brute force of Apartheid made blacks hard laborers in the mines, the farms, the ports, that they were the ones who did the gritty work, for measly pay/wages.
    How does one come around now and claim credit for everything???that is beyond me.
    The housing backlog was not even a priority under Apartheid,,,,,,these are the things that were neglected because lets face it...Apartheid SA served only the interests of the minority 5-10%
    Okay so you will say...yeah, yeah, it is the usual scapegoat...blacks blaming whites or the west for all their misery.
    I can assure you that a self made black person will face the same skepticism....it is rather a no-win situation.
    South Africa is inundated by people who feel aggrieved at the new political order. It is so apparent that most whites in the diaspora are even discouraging people to come to South Africa.
    For crying out loud, crocodile tears about black failure incessantly , bandwagon mentality and race baiting. It is becoming boring hearing whites trumpet their grievances. Where were all these hordes when Apartheid South African police ?govt had all those racist laws...did they likewise see the corruption of Apartheid South Africa and voice their displeasure as they are now against the ANC.
    Or is all this venom all about race and feeling powerless in a society that is now striving for opportunity for (even given that BEE is a source of contention), who would come out now among white persons and say..wow gee...because of my white privilege i probably denied a bright black child his/her chance at life?????????all this will not make sense, because the machinery for this was set in motion 350 years.....it will be hard to see the beginning and the end if all gravitate to their little insecurities.
    I see this in the USA (where slavery is now now being blamed on Africans), or that blacks receive the most govt assistant..that is a pure lie. I have been here long enough to see the half truth or falsity of these claims.

  • Comment number 65.

    I am as excited for the World Cup as any other fan, but I think it's a little disappointing and disrespectful that the Soccer World Cup is still being compared the Nelson Mandela's release from prison. In what way can this be compared to a nation-transforming event?

    Nothing will change in South Africa as a result of hosting the World Cup. Mr Sound Bite, Danny Jordaan, would have us believe that the World Cup is more than it really is, and as for the old "rich getting richer" thing, guess who is footing the bill through taxes? The fewer than five million South Africans (including businesses) who actually pay tax, so perhaps we should put that one to bed too. The inflated tolls that users of the still not completed roads will be paying into the future, and the upkeep of the white-elephant Gautrain will add to the taxpayer costs long after the World Cup is forgotten.

    The only one making money will be Fifa, and the ordinary South Africans whose lives will not be improved by this event can now live in the shadow of billion-dollar stadiums that will never be filled again.

  • Comment number 66.

    I hope the World Cup changes South Africa and certainly belive that it will: for the better!

    But more importantly I hope the World Cup changes the Worlds' view on this beautiful country that I am so lucky to be a resident of.

    As a young South African, it is a shame to see the perceptions that the World have about our country.

    Yes, we haven't got it completely right yet and this I believe is because we are a country still recovering and coping with a dark past but for a teenager (South Africa is 16 this year!) I think we are doing pretty well.

    The people in this country are positive, hard working and talented beyond belief. There is amazing potential to be found here. South Africa has many natural resources, breathtaking landscapes, wildlife and an abundance to offer. Most of all, I hope people will realise this when they are here, the hope and joy that each South African has within them will most certainly change the World.

    Trust me, we will make it work and we will get the best out of this World Cup, one way or another South Africa and its people are the ones to watch!

  • Comment number 67.

    The changes/effects will be minimal. Greece are still paying for the olympics 8yrs on

  • Comment number 68.

    All missing the point... on all points.

    SA has done major sports international events many times before. Very Well. So the World Cup be just another great sporting event hosted in a spectacularly beautiful country.

    Massive investment in infrastructure in the run up to the WC has largely cushioned SA from the worst effects of the global meltdown: SA has undergone a 5 year massive Financial stimulus initiative... before the crisis was even a hint... so why bother looking for positive post-WC financial effects, they are already being enjoyed, you just have to look to where money has been spent in the last 5 years... and the amounts invested across the spectrum, from roads and railways to stadia to improvements in hospitality infrastructure and the list goes on.

    So the question is, "What now, after the World Cup?" Houses still need to be built and delivered, jobs still need to be created (500,000 promised by Jacob Zuma when he ousted Mbeki... score so far, 0 new jobs, 200,000 or so lost already, so about 700,000 down on the promise to deliver)

    Behave sensibly, stay on the main tourist routes and you will have a great time in some of the most breathtaking scenery, diversity like you have never seen in a single country before, blah blah blah.
    Only a really careless tourist will fall foul of more than petty crime, something which will happen to you anywhere in the world.
    Most murders, violence rape and robbery, all with unreasonably high levels of gratuitous violence happen either in crowded townships, where people have no work and like in shacks which leak in winter, have no sanitation and where water is sourced from single communal taps, there are no services to speak of, and rubbish and excrement lie piled around, or in the drug-fuelled, ritualised gang violence dominated cape flats, or inner cities of JHB, PE, etc.
    Contrast this to the opulent, pristine, expensive Camps Bays, Waterfront, Constantia and Bishops Court, and then ask yourself why there is such resentment.

    No, it is not the tourists who are at risk.

    It is the wealthy residents, holed up in security estates, or behind electric fences, armed response, weaponised, paranoid, and at risk of being harmed / raped / killed while being dispossessed of their expensive toys and lifestyle accessories.

    So enjoy, be sensible, and think of the dispossessed many and the wealthy few under siege in their fortresses.

    I know. I have just removed my young family from that situation. With huge regrets. But a better, less dangerous future for my young girls.

  • Comment number 69.

    I couldn't possibly comment on the situation in SA at the moment. I've never visited the country, even though I've wanted to, I have no relatives living there, I have no form of news apart from what I hear in English and Dutch media.
    It seems to me, though, that there is a lot of reserved hope surrounding the greatest sports circus in the world. I believe that the organization will be second to none, the spectacle will be amazing, and the football on show will be stunning.
    As for the social and financial consequences of the WC for the 'common man' I am hoping to see positive results.
    A sporting event will not change the country, it couldn't, but that's not what matters. This event, if it goes right, and I fervently hope it does, can instill hope and confidence. If people have the confidence and the belief that they can change their situation and the country for the better, what's to stop them?
    Today's young people are tomorrow's leaders, their self-belief and their confidence can change the country. Not now, not even in a decade, but years in the future. If their imagination will be caught by a sporting event as this, if their national pride is fuelled by a succesful World Cup, then how can it ever be wrong?

    My hope is that this World Cup highlights the positives of South Africa, and instills a sense of being, of hope and of belonging in a nation which has struggled to find it's identity, and is still trying to wrestle off the shackles of hundreds of years of misguided (to say the VERY least!) leadership.

  • Comment number 70.

    I've seen many comments saying that the rugby world cup didn't change the country. Now, whilst I believe that the football world cup won't make a huge impact on the country, what must be known is the HUGE differences between the rugby world cup and the football world cup.
    For many South Africans(usually the white privileged minority), they believe that the rugby world cup was huge and that the football world cup will be very similar. How wrong that is. The football world cup will be HUGE compared to the rugby world cup. Football is quite simply by far the most popular sport in the world which is followed by people from almost every country in the world. Rugby is king in only 3 or 4 countries, football is king in around 150 countries. The crowds of affluent Europeans and South Americans flocking to South Africa should make this apparent and the takings will be massive. The rugby world cup was big, the football world cup will simply blow the rugby world cup away in terms of world spectators, revenues, interest and legacy. Unfortunately however, I don't believe it will be enough to turn South Africa into a wealthy and advanced 1st world country like those in Europe today.

  • Comment number 71.

    Everyone please stop moaning.

    Its going to be a great world cup.

    SA people love football and are really excited about people coming there for the tournament.

    Its only football, and like most males above the age of 10 we can't wait, whether its seeing the games live or watching them on TV

    PLEASE EVERYONE STOP MOANING and JUST ENJOY IT

    If you want to worry and fret about every social problem in SA and the rest of the world, carry on watching the bbc, but my advice is.. just enjoy the world cup for what it is, it aint goint to solve world poevery but that wasn't why people play sport. People play sport to have fun, to get away from these things for a while.

    About the money. It costs billions to organize events of this scale. Chill out, did you think it was going to cost 10,000 quid. Get Real.

    Enjoy it for what it is!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Yes, enjoy the World Cup.

    After all, there is no turning back, South Africa has but a few days before it welcomes the world (literally, more nations are members of FIFA than of the UN).

    But do not expect the World Cup to be a history-changing, poverty-solving, economic-booming, epically transformative mega-event. It won't.

    South Africa is a developing nation.

    If the organizers truly believe that it will transform the nation, they should have first addressed the country's most pressing issues:
    -Poverty (over 50% of the population is poor)
    -Xenophobia and racial inequality (still exists post-Apartheid)
    -Rape (1 in 4 men admit to having committed it)
    -HIV/AIDS (still classified as an epidemic)
    And many other issues.

    But this has not happened.
    FIFA is not even letting local businesses partake in the potential economic activity that the World Cup will generate.
    In addition, most of the stadiums are being built in the wealthier areas.
    And the new transportation infrastructure (roads, trains, etc) have been cutting through low-income neighborhoods, forcing the displacement of thousands of families.

    To end,
    I wish South Africa the best of luck, and hope will all my heart that all goes well.
    But do not expect it to be something it is not. A 30-day event will not solve the entrenched social and financial problems that the nation is facing. The World Cup will not catapult South Africa from a developing nation into a first-world power.

    Enjoy the celebration--football is after all the 1 sport that the entire world plays! And South Africa's the first in the continent to host it!

    But remember that behind the beautiful stadiums and billion-dollar wall of publicity lies a nation still struggling to get by, a community of people still facing realities we cannot even bear in our worst nightmares.



  • Comment number 73.

    One may rightly suggest that having a football world cup in Africa (something unimaginable a few years ago) should be the reason of celebrattion and happiness, no matter what happens after it. Staying positive and keep believing that one day Africa will make it, world cup or not, may be another good suggestion as some will probably agree with.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    "The danger, however, is that South Africa will have spent billions of dollars on a 30-day advert for the country that quickly fades as the sporting world moves on."

    Exactly David. If only the sporting world could stay a little longer and make the big difference we all wish it could. Of course putting the sporting world in the position of Africa's latest saviour is totally wrong, and totally patronising, and when the story-telling gets passed back to same weary development crew we'll all have that rammed down hard (if we're still listening anyway), but words make a difference and I'd rather have the hope-filled novelty of the sports media than the despairing self-fulfilment of the airing poverty usually gets any day.

  • Comment number 76.

    yes it will.. i think its going to be the best world cup ever and the people here are amazing...it will also be the 1st world cup a African team will when it viva SOUTH AFRICA and TEKO MODISE

  • Comment number 77.

    Mandela's release from Robben Island?

    Who is romanticizing Mandela's release from Robben Island as an iconic moment - Danny Jordaan or David Bond?

    Madiba left Robben Island in 1984.

    He was incarcerated at Pollsmoor Prison until 1998.

    He was then at Victor Verster Prison, from where he was released on that Sunday 11 February 1990. THAT was where the World saw him being released.

  • Comment number 78.

    As an ex-South-African (and still proud of it), currently living in my country of birth due to family issues (Holland), I cannot believe the negative air thats floating around South-Africa.

    It's just beyond believe that all negatives from the past are of the 70's and 80's are still being used as some measurement of what the World Cup will be. Ladies and gents, let me assure you, South Africa is MORE THAN capable to handle this.

    What did the world cup do so far for the poor: lets see... education (how to build a stadium, roads, rails and buildings), training (they actually did most of the work themselves for the past 8 years), future (they can use these capabilities to build a better South Africa and have a decent job - with education and experience), infrastructure, communication etc... name it.

    Surely SA will benefit from this, and you need to put SA on the map so it can attract investors and get the wealth from the ground. Look futher than just "the money", really! The legacy of 1995 still lives on - recently saw a pic again Nelson Mandela and Pienaar holding the Rugby WC. Now, lets see Steven Pienaar holding it again.... what a legacy it would be!

  • Comment number 79.

    Just one more comment... to surpass the South African WC effort will be HARD... real HARD - if ever.

  • Comment number 80.

    i think africa will get the worst tv audience because of the awful sound of that vuvuzela horn, i looked forward to watching the confeds cup when it was on but that constant sound sent me nuts so i watched 20 minutes of the whole competition.

    fifa say they wont ban it because its part of their football, ok just let them use it in african games, personally i think they'll ban it after the first day because millions will complain especially tv companies that spent billions for the right to broadcast it.

  • Comment number 81.

    Just a short comment on gooner (#57)... you are absolutely right. Problem is only, back in '94 Mandela promised ALL the homeless free houses at a time when the morgage rate was tipping 20%, and sanctions virtually ruined the economy, so thats probably the reason they are still waiting.

    Even futher back, in the period of apartheid, the houses and schools that were being build were all burned down because it was build by a white government! So who do we blame? I'd say the Western world for ruining the economy, in effect make housing extremely expensive while people are losing their job.

    To recover from such a blow could take decades. Time that people realise that no government will give them something for nothing / nowhere in the world. The WC is a welcome "gift", an opportunity to give the South Africans the needed boost / hope and support towards a brighter and prosperous future. All I can ask is give them a chance...

  • Comment number 82.

    Check this out live-score-worldcup dot com. got it on email a week ago, waoo very complete site for all the world cup.

  • Comment number 83.

    There are so many issues at play here - ranging from economics, sport, national pride, identity, development etc etc. For me the only true test is what is the return on investment for South Africa to determine whether in fact it was worthwhile hosting the tournament. There is no doubt in the short term the feelgood factor will be wonderful. Most SA's will feel great that they have hosted such a magnificent sporting occasion - which it really is. Absolutely amazing - exceeding my wildest expectations. But what happens the day after (the party ) - and the day after that?

    Will the residual effect of all of this investment have been worth it ? Or would the Government have been wiser to invest the money in schools, teachers, hospitals, infrastructure, skills development, job creation programs etc etc? What would have had the longest lasting and most positive impact on the well being of the people of SA and their future? Yes there is investment going on in all of these areas - but in a country with 40% + unemployment, with massive social problems (child rape/crime), xenophobia, an ongoing lack of basic infrastructure(roads, electricity, water) and housing, can you ever spend enough on these ??

    Ask yourself the question how would you have spent the $5bn that has been spent to date?

  • Comment number 84.

    It change a bit if I see it now, South Africa football league now is more competitive and the city itself have many big stadiums for the football. And more people attract to attend to the stadium since the world cup. Great pleasure rite?


    My land loans site.

  • Comment number 85.

    I really think it could change South Africa. That amount of money is a really big deal. They will be able to improve a lot. I think its really great that he teaches others good morals to help them in their lives. That is very noble and kind.

  • Comment number 86.

    David,

    Is there any chance you can do a follow-up blog - have the stadioums stayed in place?

    I remember in some places they were set to become White Elephants as soon as the World Cup rolled out of town - has that become the case? They never quite worked out how they were going to fill the stadiums afterwards!

    We're having problems with just one stadium's legacy, but imagine if we had 10!?

    http://www.worldcup2010southafrika.com

  • Comment number 87.

    @alfieR (number 86)

    There is a good stadium guide on http://www.2010SAFWC.com - might be worth a look... :/

  • Comment number 88.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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