- The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is seen as one of our young nation’s crowning achievements
- The country defied the opinions of the world and hosted (then) the best tournament ever
- The tournament was seen as a rare moment of national unity, left the country with world-class stadia, bumped tourist levels to record-highs but also left the country with some hefty financial commitments
The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted by South Africa is seen by many as one of the crowning achievements of our young nation. The event proved once again that South Africa could stand shoulder to shoulder with any other country on the international stage.
It’s been eight years (yes eight!) since the tournament ended and the world switched its focus to other events. We take a look at the lasting legacy which ‘Africa’s World Cup’ has left on South Africa and the people inhabit her.
The 2010 edition of the biggest sporting tournament in the world was at the time hailed as the best ever organised and hosted World Cup of all time. South Africans revelled in proving the naysayers and doubters wrong.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the world at large initially doubted whether South Africa would be ready, everything from player and visitor safety to stadium quality was questioned. In the end, we silenced those questions and doubts and instead gave the world the Vuvuzela.
The tournament is seen as a moment of national unity, a moment when South Africans from all backgrounds came together and celebrated our common interest rather than fight over our differences.
Deputy Minister of Sport Gert Oozthuizen looks back on the tournament and is proud of what the government and the people of the country achieved. He said the tournament had done more for nation building and unity than could ever be quantified in terms of rands and cents.
Sport24.com reported that the tournament also left South Africa with 10 world-class multipurpose sports stadia, improved infrastructure, better roads, improved telecommunication networks and better airports.
The tournament brought with it an increased amount of foreign tourists and boosted South Africa’s image as a tourist destination. This has led to tourism growing each year since the tournament ended.
The stadiums and their associated costs were handed over to their various city council after the tournament. This has left some stadiums in better financial positions than others.
Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg have used their stadiums to host various other sporting events such as cricket matches, rugby matches and international rugby tournaments. They have also been used as live concert venues.
Johannesburg has outsourced its stadium to the private sector which has been a success. The most recent event at the stadium drew a crowd of 85 000 as Mamelodi Sundowns took on Barcelona FC.
Other smaller city’s haven’t fared so well and have reported that maintenance is a drain on their budget.
Oosthuizen said the costs of maintaining these stadiums, when compared with the legacy of hope they represent, was not a high price to pay.
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