Posted by: Dissol on Jul 05, 2010
This event has been a bigger success than we could have imagined. Against all the negativity, and naysayers, South Africa has proved to the world that we can pull these things off. In doing so, we have showcased the country to a largely ignorant world, and I have no doubt we will recoup the costs many times over in the years to come. Research and surveys of departing visitors are overwhelmingly positive, with most people planning return trips, and telling others what a great, safe, beautiful destination South Africa is.
Our new stadia have been really well received too. With German commentators admitting that we have "out-Germanied Germany" in providing higher quality facilities than at the 2006 event.
The local people have come out (eventually!) in support of the event. Cape Town recorded over 100,000 people taking part in the fanwalk, which is amazing considering that less than half of them would have had tickets. But people turned out, on a stunning winter's day in Cape Town, to soak up the atmosphere, and to be part of this unique event.
The football has been interesting too...who would have thought that we would have lost Brazil so early? Who would have thought that the young German team, without their charismatic leader should do so well? Sadly there has also been widespread cheating; the Suarez incident only being the tip of the iceberg, as soccer now has continual cheating by just about every player, as they dive to floor, or make false claims. I wonder if we should issue yellow cards to Accident & Emergency nurses in our hospitals, as waving a yellow card at someone else, seems to have miraculous healing abilities??
But the strange thing for me, is looking at the spectators, and the sponsors / advertisers. At most games you see PRASA, and Telkom adverts in prominence. Now both companies have monopolies, so they have no direct competition...they are to a certain extent both nationalised businesses. And yet their management has decided that it is a good idea to spend millions and millions (of basically tax payers money) to advertise themselves to a global market. It makes no sense to me. No German, Argentinian, Frenchman, whatever will be able to use either service at home. They are both limited to the local market. So why was it such a good idea to spend so much money to have their brand associated with this global event??
I think I know the answer, and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It is the same reason why the stands are filled with local government officials, from every province. This is just another example of the gravy train, where people are abusing their positions of power for personal gain. I am sure that weighty adverts will assure the companies of some nice VIP tickets to matches. Why do our local, and national governments think it is such a good idea to spend (our) money on their employees to send them to different matches, when there was enough demand on the open market (Cape Town Stadium was sold out months in advance - due to all these local authorities making block purchases).
I am aware that events like this need sponsors, and ticket sales to survive. But I am disgusted that so many politicians & state owned companies are so clearly abusing the system.