News / Africa

South Africans Bask in Success of 2010 World Cup

A 2010 World Cup stadium in South Africa
A 2010 World Cup stadium in South Africa

Multimedia

Audio

Although the 2010 Football World Cup ended nearly six months ago, many people in South Africa are still basking in warm memories of the event, and most say it was the highlight of the year.  For the organizers and the South African government it was the culmination of years of hard work. 

People in South Africa still recall the excitement of hosting the first football World Cup in Africa.  In the days before kick-off the high spirits often boiled over into marches and parades.

"Feel it. It is here," one man said. "I am getting excited about the World Cup."

In December Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk presented a report saying more than 300,000 foreigners came to South Africa for the month-long tournament and spent one-half billion dollars during their stay.

"The success of this World Cup will reverberate for years to come," he said.  "It has enhanced our reputation as a destination that has the ability to host events like this, major sporting events, conventions, but also for leisure tourists.  So, [it is] a success story."

He said the greatest proportion of foreign fans, 38 percent, came from Africa, followed by Europe and the Americas.

When broken down by country, he said the largest number of foreign fans, more than 30,000, came from the United States, followed by Mozambique and Great Britain.

The report said nearly 60 percent of the World Cup visitors were coming to South Africa for the first time and 80 percent said it was their first World Cup.

Among those who had attended a previous World Cup, half said the 2010 tournament was the best ever.  And nearly 90 percent of all those polled said they would consider a return visit.

The head of the Organizing Committee, Danny Jordaan, said the World Cup provided an opportunity to showcase South Africa as a world class tourist destination.

But he said a major purpose was to foster national reconciliation and unity after years of inequality and discrimination under apartheid.

"We are a nation that comes from divided past, a past of conflict, almost of war," he said. "And so the building of new single non-racial South Africa is a critical part of sustainable economic growth, of deepening and strengthening democracy in our country."

The World Cup also provided an incentive to invest in infrastructure.

The government over four years spent an estimated $12 billion on new stadiums, airports, roads and railways.  And it spent $160 million on security, including crowd control training, new equipment and special courts for law-breakers at World Cup sites.

Tourism Minister van Schalkyk said the investment was worth it.

"Looking back at the World Cup, as South Africans we can now say with a clear conscience that it has been worth every cent," he said. "It has been worth every ounce of energy and it has been worth every minute of our time, undoubtedly."

More than three million tickets were sold to the Cup's 64 matches, the third-highest attendance in history after the United States in 1994 and Germany in 2006.

Hundreds of thousands of fans watched the matches on giant screens at fan parks around the country.  And millions more watched them on television in cafes or at home.

And there was a focus on civic responsibility and legacy.  The football governing body, FIFA, sponsored the Football for Hope tournament that brought together disadvantaged youths from nearly 40 countries for an alternate tournament.

And FIFA opened the first of 20 Football for Hope centers in Africa.  These seek attract disadvantaged youth through football in order to provide them with training in health, nutrition and social coping skills.   

For the government the World Cup served to build national unity and showcase South Africa's hospitality, tourism and organizational ability. For fans it provided memories of a lifetime.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs