News / Africa

    South Africa Struggles to Maintain World Cup Legacy

    Children attend football training at a ground in Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg on June 30, 2010.  Memories of South Africa 2010 World Cup are fading fast, as its progress  halted by a scandal-ridden period off the field since the historic tournament.
    Children attend football training at a ground in Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg on June 30, 2010. Memories of South Africa 2010 World Cup are fading fast, as its progress halted by a scandal-ridden period off the field since the historic tournament.
    When South Africa won its bid to host football's 2010 World Cup it promised its citizens lasting social and economic benefits.  But huge costs associated with the sporting event have been a point of controversy, causing some to question whether it was worth it. 

    Everyday after school, about 80 children come to play on a brand new football field in the heart of Hillbrow, one of Johannesburg's most infamous areas.  The court was donated by the Dutch soccer team and the Johan Cruyff foundation during football's 2010 World Cup.  It is one of the most outstanding legacies of the event.  On the wall above the stands is a sign with the rules the children have to follow.  They include respect, fair play and social involvement.

    Coach John "Bull" Sibeko says that in addition to providing an outlet for the children, the sport has also changed their behavior - for the better.

    "Before I started here, I couldn't believe I would stay for more than a year" said Sibeko. "Because kids were uncontrollable. You could understand the background, from where they were coming from.  High level of vandalism, bullying among themselves.  But now, if we are playing tournaments around, in terms of behavior, in terms of values, in terms of culture, in terms of respect, the group, you couldn't distinguish it," he said.

    New and improved sports infrastructure is not the only benefit from the World Cup.  In neighboring Bertrams, an area long plagued by high criminality and poverty, public transportation has improved, explained social worker Phindile Tshabangu.

    "That is the new bus system.  People use it now because it is quicker, safer and cheaper," Tshabangu said.

    The revamped roads and street lights, new parks and clean streets are all obvious benefits from the World Cup. But the challenge now is to maintain them.  Some benefits have not lasted, Tshabangu said.

    "Before, in 2010, the police used to come. You'd find police cars around the area.  But now, no more.  Safety was so good, you could see people leaving at night.  But now, no more. "

    FIFA President Sepp Blatter, right , and South African President Jacob Zuma give a press conference in Johannesburg, 12-03-2010.
    FIFA President Sepp Blatter, right , and South African President Jacob Zuma give a press conference in Johannesburg, 12-03-2010.

    Maintaining the five new stadiums that were built especially for the World Cup is a problem. Most of them struggle to be profitable or even to just pay the maintenance fees.

    On the pitch, Brazilian tourist Danilo Camargo poses for a souvenir photo with his girlfriend. The new Green Point stadium in Cape Town has become a landmark of the city, and everyday tourists from all around the world come to visit.  But for Camargo, whose home country Brazil will host the next football World Cup in two years, it is not necessarily an example to follow.

    "My opinion is that we should build schools and hospitals, instead of stadiums," he said. "But you know, we are already chosen for the World Cup, so now we have to build."

    The total cost of the South Africa World Cup was $3.8 billion, 10 times more than what was originally planned.

    Many in South Africa share Danilo's opinion regarding the building of new stadiums, which are seen as extravagances.

    The new Cape Town stadium still struggles to host enough events to pay for its colossal maintenance.  Some people are calling for it to be demolished, while others even propose turning it into low-income housing.

    Grant Pascoe, counselor in charge of tourism and marketing for the city of Cape Town, does not deny the difficulties the management is facing, but said they work hard to make the stadium profitable.

    "We've had a number of events. Obviously not as high as what we would have liked," he said. "We should have prepared better for how the stadium would be used.  However, now we are in the process of doing everything that we need to do. There are some restrictions on us that prohibit us from doing commercial activities at the stadium to pay for itself," Pascoe said.

    Despite all the controversy, most South Africans agree that the World Cup did reinforce social cohesion in a country marked by deep racial discrimination.

    And the infrastructure should be put to use again next year, as South Africa will host the African Cup of Nations.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    The Complicated Math of AIDS

    A lot, and then some: the huge - and complicated - cost of the AIDS epidemic

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: CUSP CONSULTING from: Johannesburg
    October 22, 2012 3:12 AM
    SA needs deep structural & systemic change: READ: A Convergent Model for Social Cohesion http://wp.me/p2LXv0-i

    by: Edwin Kaliku, PhD. from: Albany, New York
    October 18, 2012 2:11 PM
    South Africa should market the sports Stadium to the highest bidder. The sports ground should be contracted to the highest bidder and the proceeds from it should be used to maintain the stadium, pay th eoriginal cost and for the common person sustainance.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora