June 9th, 2010
09:35 AM ET

2010 World Cup: A catalyst for a new South Africa?

Nelson Mandela pictured in 1990, four years before becoming South Africa's first black president/Getty Images.
Nelson Mandela pictured in 1990, four years before becoming South Africa's first black president/Getty Images.

Johannesburg, South Africa - It is said that Nelson Mandela, inmate number 46664 at the notorious Robben Island prison, helped to while away 18 years of his time in the jail (the bulk of his 27-year incarceration) by watching games of football played among inmates.

Sport often has a way of providing escape and joy to those who participate, to unify disparate people even in the most unlikely of circumstances, and it seems this applied to the men who had been made captive for their opposition to the ruling racist apartheid regime of the time.

Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa, was a referee for the prisoners' team matches while former defense minister Mosiuoa Lekota and Tokyo Sexwale, who helped to draft South Africa’s new constitution in 1994, also played leading roles in the games.

South Africa entered a new era of its history when the one they call “Madiba” was released from his cell confines in 1990, before the then 71-year-old went onto become president of the new “Rainbow Nation” four years later.

The task facing the newly-appointed leader was great: to forge a new future of unity and fairness for a nation previously defined by division and inequality.

Sport provided a catalyst for this ambition when the embryonic state marked their re-entry into the international arena of competition, after so long in exile, by hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

The tournament provided a theatre in which old identities were given new meaning. The host Springboks team – so long a potent symbol of white rule – captured the imagination of a nation as they triumphed against the odds to be crowned world champions.

An international audience watched history in the making as Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, celebrated in the “green and gold” colors of the team, a uniform that for so many years had been the bastion of the apartheid ruling elite. The image was iconic, the message was clear: unity and hope must conquer the prejudices of the past.

Fast forward to 2010 and South Africa is once again at a crossroads in its history. Selected by football’s world governing body FIFA to host one of the greatest showpieces in global sport, the 19th edition of the World Cup has been billed as an event to demonstrate the progress of the democracy and how Africa is ready to take its place on the global stage.

There is much reason for optimism, too. All 10 stadiums for the event were completed on track and to a high standard. The planet’s best teams have traveled to their base camps and have been pleased with the standard of the facilities.

FIFA chiefs say this World Cup will be the biggest in its history, with the potential to eclipse the cumulative audience of 26 billion that Germany 2006 attracted. They also predict the domestic economy will benefit greatly from the development in infrastructure the competition has necessitated.

Will the World Cup change South Africa for the better?

Optimism aside, there is hope from some quarters that the carnival of soccer will in some way help to put the “Rainbow Nation” dream back on track after a lack of tangible progress over the last decade.

The UNDP Human Development Index figures rank South Africa a poor 129th out of 182 nations. The disparity between rich and poor is one of the largest in the world, and unemployment currently sits around 30 percent.

Life expectancy, in a country where 63 percent of all deaths in 2002 were attributed to HIV/AIDS (World Health Organization figures), sits at just 50 years old for men and has fallen in recent years.

It is amid this backdrop that South Africa hopes to show the world that, once again, Africa has a dream and that it is serious about fulfilling it. FIFA, too, wants to show that the World Cup can leave a legacy of lasting benefit.

Mandela plans to be there in the Soccer City Stadium on June 11 to see South Africa kick off the tournament in front of over 90,000 passionate fans. It is a long way from watching matches on Robben Island, but if his life journey has shown anything, it is surely that dreams can come true in this corner of Africa.

Do you think South Africa will be successful in hosting the World Cup?

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Chris Charnock

    I am South African and the positive feeling that has blanketed our country at the moment is just impossible to describe in words. I have never been more proud to be South African because we can finally show the world what we are capable of.

    VIVA South Africa!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  2. Preetesh

    South Africa IS already proving it is a success at hosting the world cup. All the negative images and predictions have been replaced with scenes of success! This is going to be one of the most memorable World Cups in history!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  3. Henry

    Yes, we will be successful in hosting the World Cup. There is absolutely no doubt about it.

    If you witnessed the jolly thousands who came out onto the streets to see Bafana in Sandton this afternoon, I'm sure you would agree.

    I can't wait for the opening game two days from now!

    June 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  4. Natasha

    I don’t think that the image portrayed by the media of our country is always necessarily correct. We are not a bunch of tyre burning demonstrators or white supremacist farmers. In fact, the colour lines have very much blurred in recent years. From an ordinary “woman on the street” point of view, if we win this Soccer Wold Cup, it will only be a bonus. There is a buzz and an underlying current of pride and joy that is tangible. You see it in the black men teaching white woman how to properly make noise on a vuvuzela and white men dancing next to black woman and everyone singing Shosholoza and Nkosi Sikilela together. The issue of race is alive and well because it is given attention. The moment it is ignored, like a child tantruming for sweeties, it will stop. I personally am sick and tired of the uncertainty and fear unnecessarily created. Yes we have issues and problems with crime, we also have one of the most liberal and progressive constitutions in the world. Come and visit our incredible beautiful country, come and listen to 11 different languages, come and eat food from more cultures packed into one restaurant menu than you thought possible, come and see our beautiful children, the Cradle of Human Kind, Table Bay, the surfers in Durban, the breathtaking desolation of the Karoo and the majestic Drankensberg mountains. Thank you to Madiba and Mr. Danny Jordaan and their team. Thank you for working tirelessly to bring this event to our beloved country with such poise and class. It has united us all like nothing ever has before! Go Bafana go. We are so incredibly proud of you no matter if you win or lose. You already are our heroes. And we will not be successful in hosting this World Cup, we already are successful!

    June 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  5. USA

    What's the "World Cup"?

    June 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  6. Joolz

    Balderdash! All this writer's wordyness about the unifying power of sports is meaningless. How can a few weeks of sports change decades of overpopulation, war, disease, environmental destruction, political misrule?
    So many of us think that merely being aware and excited about some problem means that we get nearer to solving it . No, the problems of Africa are too intractable.
    BUT COMPANIES WITH AN INTEREST IN THE WORLD CUP may advertise the fantasy of sports being able to solve continental problems.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  7. Yellow

    Absolutely.

    June 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  8. perry fisher

    About as sucessful as a prayer ................that came from satan

    June 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  9. sivuyile george

    Yes, we can. Feel it, it is here. South Africa baby !!!! My Azania is gonna surpise the World.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  10. John

    WC 2010 has already been a catalyst for increased crime in SA of all sorts! First – the petty stuff; the bribe of officials is up. Misappropriation of funds, kick-backs and fraud is up! The Nigerian gangs have shored up their sex-slave activities and drug-running. Now comes the actual pick-pockets and street scammers – just WAITING for their moment! Finally, car-jackings, conventional ATM stick-ups and other violent crimes will be higher in an environment of new soft-targets! On the back-end this will also play into the health-risks to foreigners – ignorant of the facts in a region where 1 in 4 natives have aids! Yes, crimes of all sorts have already – and will continue to – increase!

    June 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  11. TNGG_EA

    The eyes of the world are on South Africa right now, for them to host the world cup successfully they should take care of the tourists that come into the country; every person living in South Africa should act as an Ambassador for its country. I hope the world cup will serve as leverage for progress in the country.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  12. Tracy Hill

    I believe that it will. As just one example, Music Mayday is doing events around World Cup to raise funds to help build arts programs/facilities for young South Africans that want to learn the arts. I'm sure there are probably other organizations that are working to make a difference for South Africans around the opportunity of world cup.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  13. jose reis

    I CERTNLY HOP SO (S.A.) AND THE HOLE WORLD NEED IT
    LAST NIGTH ROBERY IN SOME HOTEL AGAINST THE PORTUGUESE JOURNALIST,PUTS EVERYBODY IN SHOK.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  14. David

    NO!
    Simply because in order to help others, you have to help yourself first.
    Similarly – You cannot cater for others until you cater for your own.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  15. READER

    Let's hope that tourists don't catch HIV and spread it across the world.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  16. Annah

    Lovely article. I'm just confused about the "26 billion" person audience, considering the world population is just under 7 billion at present. It was meant to be 26 million right? I actually got scared & had to go google "how many people on earth" I thought I'd fallen asleep for a decade! Still love the article and its ability to connect sports to the healing, strengthening & uniting of the human spirit! Best of luck to all teams!

    June 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  17. prince amankwah

    The South side will prevail when they call God of creation in the country; The Christ Jesus is at work and ready to save the CONTINENT AFRICA again, once Africa turn it's back on God just like the biblical Israelites but Christ Jesus is calling Africa back to their roots and their first LOV3 God

    AFRICA COMBAT MISSION FOR CHRIST

    June 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  18. sam sam

    We give glory to God for this great chance in South Africa. But, the people and government of south Africa have long way to go by improving the standard of living expecially the black population in that ex -racist apartheid colony.
    This world cup host by south Africa should be seen as a unifying factor for every race in S.Africa to come together as one and develop that country.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  19. Ross

    It is unlikely that things will change after the World cup. A case of genocide against Julius Malema, ANC youth leader, has been submitted to the international court in the Hague by commercial farmers.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  20. Claudio V

    It is my believe that the World Cup will be a success for many reasons. The event will turn the worlds eyes to South Africa and showcase the natural beauty of the country's landscape, and the vibrant and diverse cultures that inhabit it. The actual event should go according to plan. The games will be played and the world will be watching. In fact, since it is on neutral soil, it has a chance to be one of the most exciting World Cups.
    The economic forum in Capetown in the middle of the World Cup will help bring more business and investment into the country. The world cup has already created many jobs. These jobs may not be around after the world cup, but these workers will be ready and able when business begin to invest.
    My only hope is that the media try and focus on the positives. Yes there will be a mugging or two, but there were muggings in Germany, South Korea, etc. Too many people are going there with this preconcieved notion that SA is incredably dangerous. Yes it is dangerous, but like any place else, you have to be smart where you go. (If you go to New York, don't hang out in Harlem at 2 am.)
    The more the media show the beauty and the progress the more they will help the country. If they focus on crime, then they hurt SA's chances of making the most of this event.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  21. Robert

    If nothing else, the world cup will provide 4 weeks of distraction for South Africans. However I suspect there will be a positive legacy left behind by the games – certainly in some areas infrastructure has improved as a direct result of preparing for the world cup and this can only be a good thing.

    Hopefully the world cup will also plant the idea of South Africa as a holiday destination in the minds of people who might otherwise never have thought of going there.

    Certainly there are a handful of nations who know South Africa and provide the majority of foreign tourists to our shores and I believe that football might well raise the profile of South Africa in countries that have no traditional ties with the place.

    June 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  22. matty989

    annah you obviously didnt read it properly, it says a CUMULATIVE audience of 26 billion, then you say it must have been 26 million, you do know that 100's of millions are expected to watch the opening match?

    June 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  23. martin

    Welcome to all! We have many hotels open – just come!

    Just had a ride in the GAUTRAIN rapid train system from airport to Sandton city near Johannesburg. Fantastic.

    Been in many countries and apart from local crime and AIDS that does not effect tourist typically like it does the South Africans it is a GREAT country with friendly people.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  24. Wahido

    tThe poor people of South Africa will not benefit from this World Cup. They are barred from the events and are not even allowed to make any money selling food or souvenirs. But the large corporations in Europe, who produce all manner of "World Cup" paraphernalia in sweat shops in Asia and sell them in South Africa at horrendous prices, as well as the FiFA – they will be the real winners of the event.
    Sadly so.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  25. hopeful SA

    This is their opportunity but holding up Portugese journalists at gun point in their lodge and stealing their cameras, passports, money and whatever else is not a way to start. That is the first incident and the world cup hasn't even begun yet!

    June 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  26. LasPos

    Keep a close eye on your wallets and I'm not only talking about pick-pocketing

    June 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  27. Trudi

    I am a South African living in the USA and have heard a lot of positive things from Americans. I for one am really excited to watch the World Cup and hope that SA does well.

    I am sure that all the preperation and hard work will show what a wonderful country it is. This event will once again bring to light the amazing country that South Africa is and always will be.

    June 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  28. Tienhoa

    It is clear that hosting the World Cup is proud of South Africa. A major question is whether it hosts the event successfully.

    According to recent reports, all football stadiums and facilities for the World Cup are on track . The stadiums are ready to kick off and all football teams arrived and they pleased with the facilities However, a new report on robbing three journalists raises concerns about the security of players and visitors. In addition, spreading HIV/AID is other worries for those who have sex with prostitutes.

    Thus, there are many challenges ahead for the host South Africa to be successful for the World Cup.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  29. Deco

    I believe South Africa will be successful in hosting the world cup but I think the success they will achieve will not help the country in the long run. The money made at this event should be used towards improving the lives of the poor. I think most of it will sadly be used in other places instead. In one report they showed a neighborhood next to a new stadium. A resident told the reporter her house is brightly lit... with the lights of the stadium. Her house does not have electricity or clean water. Sad, a poor neighborhood next to a multimillion dollar stadium.

    Does anybody see something wrong with this?

    June 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  30. Saven

    Apart from the economic boost and the improved infrastructure, which are lasting effects, this event also has – as mentioned – an unbelievable power to unify people over borders of class, race or nation. For some time, we will all be equal, fans of our teams. Let's celebrate in peace and joy!

    June 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  31. The Observer

    South Africa is already successful at hosting the event.

    As in any major city in any country, theft is a possibility. Whenever a tourist travels anywhere it is always in their best interest to be sensible.

    Hopefully those who decide to sleep with prostitutes know about the danger of STDs and HIV/ AIDS, wearing a condom might help – as you might do anywhere else in the world.

    South Africa has hosted many incident free events. The Cricket World Cup, two Rugby World Cups, the Summit on Sustainable Development. Our crime rate is down 25% from 2003, and we have tens of thousands of more police on the streets.

    Please sit back, global audience, and enjoy the fun of the game set in an amazing country, and leave the petty, often misinformed argument over its success. South Africa is alive.

    June 9, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  32. abdula

    you live in a dream a very cushy dream because once the WC finishes what is the next step, still poverty, racism, inequality, unemployment, corrupt government. So what is changing the fun that comes with a large event, somne good relationships, some friendships, some employment, ease of poverty for some people. But the reality is that it will still stay the same and the main reason is the corrupt government. There is one way the country will change and that is forward thinking, thinking for the country and its people, get rid of the corruption, get rid of the cross border migrants, create jobs and educate the nation on birth control. South africa is a wonderful country, beautiful as well as warm people with good hearts but a corrupt government permits crime, crime will grow with poverty and unemployment, so what is changing......

    June 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  33. abdula

    To all the lovely and warm and loving people of SA, you are wonderful and have great strength and spirit. I have great admiration for you and your children. But you have a fundamental problem and that is of crime. |Speaking to millions of foreigners, I promise you that if the crime was down and people could walk the streets safely, move around safely at night and no burglaries, rape, kidnaps, killings, etc millions of people wiil come to beautiful SA, its azure blue beaches, sun drenched golden sands and palm trees, topped with dolphins on the wave crests, lovely ladies in G- strings....people I work with and speak to across the world as a cabin crew member,,,,will come to SA every year for holidays, so my thinking get rid of the government and stop crime, do what ever it takes to sort the crime out and you will prosper through tourism,,,that is a promise

    June 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  34. Adrian

    I´m Mexican.......For sure, this WC10 will be awsome, unique, and will hapen somethink incredible.......good luck Bafanas and all SA people..... for lots you (SA) are the winners.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  35. Benedict

    People are sitting on their couches passing comments about things they know nothing of. Have some of these people ever been to South Africa or do they make these comments based on what they are shown and told by their media? South Africa has a better GDP that most European countries. Better infrastructure that most European, American and Asian countries. There is a lot of development. We are a highly educated nation with degrees in all academic fields. We are a strong sporting nation. Very creative in the Arts. Most of all,WE ARE A WARM AND WELCOMING NATION.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  36. Dave

    Wow! What a party today in Johannesburg and the kick-off is still two days away. The noisy, singing, dancing masses were transported to a level not seen in a build up to a Cup before.
    South Africa has gone crazy and afterwards we will be left with eight lane highways, the most modern highspeed commuter train and stadiums ready to host other major sporting events in the future.
    Meantime the informal traders at street corners have never had it so good selling non-officail merchandise to appreciative motorists. Only someone not in Johannesburg today could doubt the massive and positive impact of this event.
    Party party party!

    June 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  37. Johnno M

    World Cup can and certainly wish all see the positive effect it can leave after the month's festivity is over. The greatest ptoblem at the moment is POVERTY. In the world today, RSA and most of Africa is poor in all aspects, hence my wish that poverty is elimanated and reduced substantially in the near future for most South Africans. They love soccer, its in the blood and they will present the world with a first class show.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  38. ali

    Firstly, thank you to all who posted positive comments about South Africa's ability to host the World Cup. They will do a fantastic job! South African is a friendly nation that welcomes the world, after all it is called the Rainbow Nation. Sure there will be crime – just as there is crime happening right now of my own town of Washington DC. To those who posted concerns about contracting HIV/Aids – I encourage you to learn how it is spread. You don't just go to a country and come home with this disease unless you participate in some risky activity. Which you can do in your own country and put yourself at risk in the same way.

    June 9, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  39. cm

    Anyone can max out their credit and throw a party. What is far harder to achieve is a long term effective improvement in the economy.

    What really matters is what happens after the event. Unless the underlying problems of crime, education, unemployment, housing,... are addressed nothing will change.

    It is really hard to see how the world cup can really make a long term change. Where is there any evidence of a major sporting event actually providing long term benefits? Sure, there will now be a faster train and a few improved roads, but are those enough?

    More likely, building these stadiums will actually end up being a bigger drain on the economy than a boost. All those resources could have been more effectively used in other ways.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  40. Faan Bothma

    Like Zimbabwe and the rest of post colonial Africa South Africa is going down the drain and an event like the world cup cannot alter it, it will give momentum to the decline.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:26 am | Reply
  41. allan

    When the hype dies after the games, SA returns to where it was.
    No change whatsoever.
    In Montreal after Expo 67, the city almost went bust and for years and years, taxpayers paid the bills.
    Having been in SA to work several times, I sure hope thay have crime under control.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:03 am | Reply
  42. Wonhee Jang

    I am a South Korean.

    When South Korea held the world cup in 2002, There were some concerns too but 2002 world cup was successfuly finished, I Think.
    There will be no perpect prepartion and could have some mistakes but the most important thing will be enjoying the game all together.
    I believe World Cup in South Africa will lead huge(good) effects after the event and All South African could be proud of their performance after it.

    Good luck.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:58 am | Reply
  43. Gregg

    It may not correct the inequalities but it is progress. The media do not give South Africa a good image, but the tourists will. South Africa needs tourism to increase employment. The world cup will be the best advertisement South Africa could ever have.

    Watching RTP Portuguese TV, they show the Portuguese team training and the next picture is of the poorest squatter camp you could find, with two little boys playing with toy guns. I don't mind them showing that but show both the good and the bad.

    Portugal is not exactly without poverty and is not shining diamond if it was not for the European Union they would be in squalor, so why portray South Africa in the worst possible way.
    To make themselves look good.
    Hiding their own inequalities...

    June 10, 2010 at 7:33 am | Reply
  44. mike

    i hope it does,,

    what i worry about the most is that the players and the staff being harmed by the acts of violence happening currently in s.africa. some s.korean reporters and advertising related personnel have already been attacked and robbed by these acts.

    i hope the w.c 2010 wil turn out to be a successful one which will hopefully change the way people think and look at s.africa.

    Go south korea!

    June 10, 2010 at 7:44 am | Reply
  45. PoudlySouthAfrican

    I dont understand what the fuss is all about, I mean, we've hosted world cups before and they were successfull why would this one be any different..

    June 10, 2010 at 7:46 am | Reply
  46. Geo Pienaar

    As I sit here in Mpumalanga, which is truely South Africa's utopia with the most amazing wild life, nature which is food for the soul, I was moved by this artical, and some of the reponses to the point of tears of joy and utter love for my country.

    I am in my late 20s, and hardly felt or experienced the whole apartheid era of South Africa, although, I do every day experience the aftermath. There is no doubt that South Africa as a nation, has grown from strength to strength over the past two decades. Yes, unfortunately, we also have few fundamentalists on both the right and left wings of the political arena, but my faith lies more with the beautiful people of this country, that they have the same love, hopes and dreams for this country's future.

    About the soccer 2010 World Cup. I am sure it will be a success. Wether or not it brings the economic that has been promised, remains to be seen.

    South Africa does not need major sporting events to unify us. We are a unified rainbow nation. A world class nation with the strength and resolve to make this country a success that very few so'called super power nations or first world countries have.

    South Africa is my home! It always has been, and it always will be, and I believe that my hopes and dreams for this wonderful country (at the southern most tip of Africa, for those of you that dont know) will come true.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:00 am | Reply
  47. Dave Collison

    I've seen many changes in South Africa over the years, in many ways we are a nation at risk of falling into the trap of countries like Brazil and Russia, where freedom is won, only to be replaced by an all consuming love of money. The world cup, somehow, has tempered this sentiment in the past few weeks, the greedy are still there, but the majority feel the common pull, that holds us all together for the first time in a long time! I love the World Cup!

    June 10, 2010 at 9:39 am | Reply
  48. MaggieT

    To those who keep harping on crime and corruption in my country, bear in mind that this happens ALL OVER THE WORLD, in various degrees. What you don't know (if you're living outside of SA) is that the majority of South Africans are peace-loving, hard working decent folk and it's really just a handful of criminals who give our country a bad name. If most people in SA were criminally corrupt there would be no hope – and we would not have seen this great pride and joy on our streets at the start of one of the greatest showpieces on earth.
    Everyone's smiling...nuff said!

    June 10, 2010 at 10:01 am | Reply
  49. Belinda

    South Africa and her people are great. We are a peace loving, forgiving and faithful nation. The majority of this country is so good.

    All those people who want to mock SA and Africa, go ahead make yourself feel better if you want but you cannot break down a good race.
    We know who we are and we are proud, all of us across the colour, sex, religious spectrum, this is the garden of Eden.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  50. May N.B.

    I am proudly South African and more so now than ever before. We will once again prove the world wrong by hosting the best World Cup ever, and on African soil nogal!!!!!!!!!!!! (African slang we "natives" love to use). Like everywhere else in the world we also have our problems, but everything that we have and the type of people that make up our beautiful nation more that make up for our problems. We have a diverse nation of people who speak a multitude of languages which makes for a melting pot of culture and traditions.

    We are going to show the world such a fabulous time that we are going to make our visitors sad to leave. Come experience this once in a lifetime event with us.

    June 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  51. aaron

    the problem is that once the games are over and everyone goes home and the money has been spent everything will go back to the way it was. it's not uncommon for large sporting events to bankrupt cities and even countries. It's great now but wait until nobody cares again.

    June 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Reply
  52. Louise

    Agree with aaron. We love our country and our nation, but can't wait to see the back of FIFA.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  53. Sorin Adam

    My name is Open Minde
    and I love to say Je t’aime
    Waching you on
    the silver screen..

    On the silver screen
    You are the reader of my life
    and I hate to say
    I don't understand you
    just because the character
    are you there.

    So I remain an Open Minde
    to hate you just because
    I love you so much.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  54. AussieNik

    LOL! If South Africa is so great, why do tehy keep moving to my country!?

    June 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  55. Marisa NA

    Geo Pienaar – well said!
    Time stands still for no one! What do I mean, this auspicious occasion will catapult South Africa to further progress.
    Yes, like each country there are pros and cons to everything, live with it.
    The expats living in other countries still love South Africa and left for their own reasons.
    AussieNik, you probably have a great deal of white SAffers in Australia...and they probably only chose that country because the climate is so similar to South Africa...

    C'mon people, this is history in the making! Live and let Live!
    For the naive... do a bit of research before saying something without being informed (by yourself).

    Viva FIFA World Cup Viva South Africa
    PROUD EXPAT!

    June 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  56. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    South Africa is a fascinating country. The people are warm and friendly. The World Cup 2010 is surely going to be the finest chapter in the history of that land and its people. Best wishes.

    June 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  57. claire

    i heard stories of several S african people...all i understand is that, S africa is not safe to stay with..i even got email of the crimes..that till date is still happening...this is why some of them dont want to stay

    June 11, 2010 at 5:53 am | Reply
  58. Ghoo Ungerer

    There will be the good, the bad and the downright ugly at the World Cup. I however wish all the visitors to our country a wonderful time, and that you only take back happy memories of our country. Viva Bafana Bafana Viva!

    June 11, 2010 at 7:17 am | Reply
  59. Olebogeng

    South Africa continues to proof doomsayers like Reader and John wrong by successfully hosting this world-class event. Keep digging negative stories while we enjoy the games.

    June 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  60. david rumbelow

    yes the world cup will bennefit South Africa, i was at Cape Point with2 French supporters today and you should have been there, far more tourists than we normally see for this time of the year, a group of 12 busses arrived ( 60 + seaters ) with Brazillian tourists complete with their own band. In addition there were Mexicans – tourists we do not see down at the point. This is my second small group of French Tourists in 6 days.
    I am a budget tour guide who runs my own small business – thank you for the world cup
    Regards Dave

    June 13, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  61. kolobe

    i never really understood the west.they predicted street machete civil wars and earthquakes.how do you come up with such nonsense?this also goes for afrikaners,they never thought stadia would be completed.i live in south africa and if you come visit you will love it

    June 14, 2010 at 8:58 am | Reply
  62. Celeb76

    This is not the first time that South Africa is hosting a World Cup. We've done it more than once previously and this will not be any different. If you live outside South Africa, get off your high horse about crime because I know your country has crime too! It's time you travelled so you can educate yourself, instead of being brainwashed by the media. You'll be amazed at the wonder that awaits you! South Africa is a dream...

    June 15, 2010 at 1:45 am | Reply
  63. Brian

    Natasha wrote the most amazing letter and she is right, not withstanding the very high crime stats and reverse apartheid in South Africa.
    I am South African and bitterly dissapointed at not being able to be home for the Vuvuzela.

    June 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
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