May 12th, 2010
04:14 PM GMT
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Next month, the biggest sporting tournament to ever take place in Africa begins. The football World Cup is 30 days away and many South Africans across the country are excited.

However, there is also the sinking realization that this World Cup is not going to be as big and as lucrative as many initially hoped.

Disappointment is already setting in for those small business owners who had hoped to cash in on the tournament. Lots of ‘mom and pop’ establishments, such as small town bed and breakfast accommodation and local restaurants, had hoped they would make a mint from the hundreds of thousands of fans who were expected to descend on the ten host cities during the month-long tournament.

The numbers of foreign fans are being dramatically revised – only one hundred or two hundred thousand visitors are expected. That is half the number of visitors many here thought would come during June and July.

So the owners of smaller establishments on the outskirts of towns – many of which have spent precious savings upgrading buildings or adding extensions – say they are faced with the prospect of missing out on the benefits of hosting the World Cup.

Cape Town Tourism says that bookings for accommodation just outside the city and in the suburbs are way below expectations, although hotels in the city center and near the stadium are full. The same trend appears to hold true for the rest of the country.

There are many reasons for this outlook – the most important is the current global economic situation. Many football fans just don’t have the money to travel to a long-haul destination for two or three weeks. The last World Cup in Germany was a different type of destination, say the analysts, because a French, Italian or English fan could just jump on a train or book a cheap flight to watch a match. South Africa 2010 is a serious financial commitment for even the most dedicated football fan.

There is also the argument – put forward by many here – that the initial expectations of nearly half a million visitors was totally unrealistic. Some have even suggested that many South Africans were being greedy or short-sighted to expect the World Cup to be a financial windfall.

Either way, the number of people traveling here could decrease even more in the next month because of two potential problems. The ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano could paralyze travel out of Europe again. Also, British Airways staff have voted to go on strike on June 5th – just a few days before the opening game on June 11.

But there is also the happy realization that visitor numbers are entirely dependent on the vagaries of football. It all boils down to the final whistle at key matches. So, the tourist tally could be based on who makes the final stages. If England, for example, makes it to the final then South African hosts with empty beds will be wringing their hands in glee as they prepare themselves for last-minute bookings from die-hard football fans who will travel across the world to see their team. No matter what the cost.

soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Graham R

    According to CNN not even one prospective football visitor has been scared off by the reality of the 2nd highest crime / murder rate in the world!!

    CNN you have a responsibility to report ALL the facts!!

    May 13, 2010 at 3:42 am |
  2. Smith in Oregon

    Revisionist History spinners like Karl Rove and Republican-Tea party followers that are glorifying the horrific Bush family big oil legacy and the Civil War with it's segregation, slavery and inhuman treatment of immigrants, native Americans, African Americans seems to be entirely in vogue in the State of Arizona.

    Much like the heavy handed cultural genocide upon Native Americans by the federal government for decades when all ethnic studies of Native languages, story's, hero's and culture were banned in public schools criteria. Apartheid Arizona State signed a similar law into effect banning public schools from teaching Hispanic culture, stories and their historic hero's to public school students.

    I support and applaud the total BAN on the State of Arizona by the huge metro-neighbor of Arizona, Los Angeles, California.

    Boycott Arizona travel, tourism, contracts, business's, products, services, and it's convention centers.

    I support and applaud other cities and States across America in joining Los Angeles in a total boycott of the pariah of America, Apartheid Arizona.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  3. CK

    As disappointing as the reduced number of visitors to South Africa is to us. It is also understandable why fewer visitors are coming. But believe me when I say that the people watching from their homes will feel that they have missed out.
    The people travelling to South Africa will experience something that they will never forget. The word of mouth endorsement south Africa will receive even from 100 000 tourists will be felt for years to come.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  4. James

    This story is such rubbish. I live in Joburg and there is no sinking feeling or disappointed. In fact the opposite is true. I would like to remind CNN that South Africa has, on average, 9 million tourists a year making it one of our biggest industries (and that's without the world cup). Furthermore the estimated increase on that number this year is 350 000; entirely because of the world cup (I don't know where you got the 100/200 thousand number but I suspect your thumb). Americans have bought 118,945 tickets on their own. Americans arrive with dollars making any economic fallout from slower European ticket sales negligible.

    May 13, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  5. Andre B

    That and targeted white farmers and their workers.

    But with all the stupidity, terrorist regime for government,corruption, crime the country itself is still a place of bliss. just avoid large cities or stay in western cape. more than safe/beautiful enough to make up for the criminal government.

    May 14, 2010 at 6:07 am |
  6. Angry African

    A British Investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, has said that FIFA have banned him from press conferences so that it's little demi-god Sepp Blatter would not have to answer potentially revealing questions about corruption in the organization.

    Jennings who authored a book on FIFA, Foul!, The secret world of FIFA: bribes, vote rigging & ticket scandals, said at a press conference a few weeks ago with regards to the 2010 World Cup.
    This included a lack of bidding and under quoting on the capital needed to build the stadiums and public amenities. Raising the capital from $3.4 million to as much as $2.3 billion, all which will have to be paid by the a country that can ill afford to part with that type of capital.

    Sepp Blatter's nephew Phillipe Blatter is also said to gain financially form dodgy business transactions.

    He is to launch the book in conjunction with the South African Institute of Security Studies (ISS)

    In short it is a disaster and is being exacerbated by lack of accountability so I am not surprised that it is not doing so well.

    May 14, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  7. Valerie

    Cant believe that crime would not be a consideration!! They have their head up their butts! I won't go and I am South African!

    May 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  8. Madoda

    The Ticket Sales say a different story and the countries that have bought the tickets.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  9. jay

    @ Graham R: Your hysterical fervour is masking the facts; that most of the crime that takes place in SA affects largely the poorer communities, who are locked into cycles of poverty and feel the effects of dysfunctional societies. In fact, stats show that visitors to SA are safer than in the UK or France when on holiday. So, as we say here in SA...just chill bru!

    May 16, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  10. Derek

    There is huge mass of faith and joy amoungst South Africans, as we count down the days to the most spectacular event to hit Africa.
    Every one is wearing our national coloured shirts, flags trailing from car windows ! This is the atmosphere ! I am a proud South African !
    Can't wait to prove it to the world.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  11. ellie

    It is true, we have world cup blues, but this started I remember on the Saturday the announcement was made. Only a few benefit from such events due to the requirements by such organizations. We had a fantastic Rugby world cup, though I spending was marginal and pales in comparison. We will enjoy the games but know when it is over, our taxes would have been wasted, the beggar on the street will still be homeless, the child will still be learning under a tree, mothers will still have a hard time feeding their children, education will not have improved and this will be done in hindsight. We pray for some success and hope the funds what little there will be, will be spent on what is needed and not what is wanted.

    May 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  12. AYOBA!

    @Valerie... glad you won't be there with your negativity; please try not to spoil other people's experiences with it. I wish you a revelation and a happy life in South Africa.

    WOZA 2010!
    I WILL BE THERE, and I look forward to welcoming any visitors able to make the great trek.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  13. Patrick

    I just returned from 2 weeks in SA – Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg. Crime was not a factor at all in this trip. Lots of World Cup excitement. I am also worried about the investment, as the Cape Town stadium, while looking like a fantastic facility, seems to have been located for asthetic purposes and not close to the soccer population.

    Most amusing thing that happened was when an artist I bought some painting from, who had lived in Diepsloot for 3 months, asked me if New York was a safe place. Just about died of laughter at that one.

    May 19, 2010 at 6:02 am |
  14. cj

    People talk about safety. Think again what you say about south africas safety it is not bad. Why dont you watch cnn and see for yourself what is happening around the world. South africa dont come close to other countries when it comes to crime. South africa is a beautifull place and the best in the world. The soccer worldcup is something beautifull. It just show the world that south africa have made it again. Stop mouning about south africa. People are just jelously about south africa because it is hosting the soccerworldcup. Well done south africa. I live in a defferent country we also have lots of killing raping etc. Most of the people that are complaining is the white south aficans because they cant live with other cultures.

    May 19, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  15. Dale

    I am tired of all this negativity! The tourists that complain about the crime are always the ones that put themselves in the bad situations and then get mugged or whatever. There are many safe places around the country. Just don't go into the townships and dodgy places at night and just use your common sense and you should be fine. Although there is a crime problem, the media makes it sound a lot worse than it is. I can't wait for the world cup! Im going to five games in Durban and the atmosphere is going to be awesome.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  16. sello

    shame on you CNN

    May 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  17. Doug

    I agree with "Angry African" – FIFA and Mr Blatter are as dodgy as they come. They "award" the games to a country, which pays most of the cost but FIFA walks away with all the profit. How is that fair? Has any country actually benefitted substantially from holding the SWC?

    I live in South Africa and, while it is great to see the growing unity and pride, which will last the month while the SWC is here before everyone returns to their hateful ways, I won't be watching any of the games live. It's a waste of my money, as is all the "upgrades" they have done for the SWC (wasting tax payers money).

    What is the REAL benefit we will see as ordinary South Africans? Fokkol! And please don't tell me we'll benefit from tourism because only the corrup ANC will benefit from that.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  18. Papenfus

    My advice to all tourists is to buy your T-Shirt in advance with the following message. “Please don’t kill me. I am only a tourist, not the boer (Farmer)”
    More than three thousand farmers were murdered since the ANC took control of this once beautiful country.
    And do not forget you are now in Africa; bringing enough money to bribe the corrupt and aggressive Metro Police.

    May 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  19. Proudly South African!

    South Africa is a great country – ecspesially the people (all the different cultures), the blue skies, the food, the landscape etc etc. This list can really go on and on! Yes SA does have its problems, like any other country in this world. Even Switserland has problems.... So come on lets have a great FIFIA World Cup and enjoy every minute of it!!!! Feel it – it is here!!!!!! I am PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN!!!!!

    May 20, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  20. SA Expat

    I agree that CNN is not reporting on all the facts, but that's American journalism for you. I do believe that many businesses are concerned given the number of rooms that are still available, but I also know that, in general, the mood is joyous and unifying people. Excitement is gaining momentum, and I think people all over will be pleasantly surprised. I'm so proud of my country, and though I cannot be there at the time, I will be flying the flag and belting out the anthem whenever I can. Go SA... we are behind you all the way!

    May 20, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  21. CK

    @ Doug:
    So only the ANC uses the new airports and highways built?

    I agree that the World Cup will cost SA alot of money, but surely the upgrade of roads, public transport and airports will be invaluable. We will see the benefit of these upgrades for years to come. The cost of the stadiums are a small drop in the ocean of the countries annual GDP. The fact that SA will be seen by millions of people either from travelling to SA or from their arm chairs will also raise awareness of the opportunities to be found here.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  22. Roger

    Woweee, look at all the nasty bitter emails about South Africa. And without a doubt all of them were posted by bitter white South Africans who are miffed that they now have to share their toys.
    Give the country a break and take your bile elsewhere.

    May 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  23. Di Russell


    I'm a Canadian expat living in Cape Town. Yes, the numbers are lower than expected, but I think they expectations were overinflated to begin with. SA is simply too far from the rest of the world, and the fear of crime pushes people away. For me, Cape Town is a beautiful place and I carry no fear, just awareness.

    I have been blogging about fear and crime in Cape Town, and it is surprising how many SAers do not want to hear anything positive about their country. Here is a link to my blog: would love to hear what other expats think.

    May 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
  24. calichan

    I cannot find accomdation for the games I had to get rid of my tickets??

    I support and applaud the total BAN on the State of Arizona by the huge metro-neighbor of Arizona, Los Angeles, California.

    read the law it may enlighten you, this is not SA in the 60's 70's

    May 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  25. duhdeerdohduh

    Well that was a no brainer.. Uh, let's have the best game in the world placed in the worst possibly location for everyone to see it? Who invented this idea, the airlines in hopes that the whole of europe would fly down to the middle of nowhere to see it? get real guys!

    May 22, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  26. ad

    I was in the police force for 10 years in S.Africa, left for Europe a year ago. All i can tell you all is that the crime rate is out of control and killings, rapes and robberies are happening all over the country, we have lost control and there is no way out. It is just going to get worse, and I fear for those innocent tourists that have no idea how to protect themselves and what to look out for, since the majority of them have a complete different understanding of sociality, and crime levels. Why will the army be called to help in the safe keeping of tourists anyway? S.Africa is the most wonderful country in the world but no place to race your children ,or to visit if you valued your life as well as your families …And this is my opinion after ten years within the serious & violent crime unit in KZN,Durban S.Africa. Believe me I see it all!!

    May 23, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  27. Indian Boy

    X-South African, living abroad for the past 14 years, but I travel to South Africa every year to see my family.
    SA is the best country to live in the world, but there are several drawbacks,
    - Crime is very high, and very violent.
    - Economy is in bad shape and the folks in charge don’t have a clue on how to fix it.
    - Reverse discrimination, I have friends who are Indians by decent who are highly qualified and could not get a job under the white government and now they cannot get a job under the black government.
    Friends who do have jobs are overlooked and blacks are promoted over their heads who are not capable of doing the work
    If you want more let me know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  28. Marc N

    What deters me is how many of the hotels, guest houses and transport companies are going to massively inflate their prices hoping to cash in.

    This is a trend I see across Africa and is often led by South African owned businesses. They only have dollars in their eyes and care nothing for the actual well-being of a World Cup attendee. If they offered more price-friendly accomodation and packages, then more people would attend. It's just that simple.

    A World Cup attendee should be seen as a guest, not a money magnet.

    May 25, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  29. david hurst

    It is kind of like LA, you have to watch where you go. At the same time it is not. I know a number of SA police at all levels including the warden of a large prison, and they just want to bail, quickly. It is nearly impossible to keep recruits for more than a year and many suffer from PTSS. Theft is a way of life there and acceptable. I have had five employees convicted of substantial theft recently, and it goes on all the time. I have had my wallet stolen, know who did it, and nothing was done. The same with a break in lost lap top camaras and invaluable hard drive. Theft of business issue by a major corporate entity Positive Change on May 24, 2010, 2:24 pmongoing, no commentThese sotally a gun. It is different than LA, because crime is not necessarily localized to metro areas. At the same time the western cape is pretty safe, and just keeping an eye out, stay with groups and it is no different than anywhere else. Be careful at night on rural roads, never stop. Just use common sense and see one of the most beautiful places in the world.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  30. david hurst

    comment above mispasted:

    It is kind of like LA, you have to watch where you go. At the same time it is not. I know a number of SA police at all levels including the warden of a large prison, and they just want to bail, quickly. It is nearly impossible to keep recruits for more than a year and many suffer from PTSS. Theft is a way of life there and acceptable. I have had five employees convicted of substantial theft recently, and it goes on all the time. I have had my wallet stolen, know who did it, and nothing was done. The same with a break in lost lap top cameras and invaluable hard drive. Business safe broken into, but the courts are corrupt. Theft of business issue by a major corporate entity, no comment. Domestic violence of employees, stabbings, hatchets, machetes. I carry legally a gun. It is different than LA, because crime is not necessarily localized to metro areas. It sounds bad, but really it isn't. At the same time the western cape and southern cape is pretty safe, just keeping an eye out, and it is no different than anywhere else. Be careful at night on rural roads, never stop. Gas it if in question. Just use common sense, keep a look around you and see one of the most beautiful places in the world. Just ask the locals about safety. Go to Soweto with a good tour guide. Wine country route a large beautiful tour. Great people, great experience, just use normal care. Don't miss it. Surprising mix of Africa and Europe in the major cities.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  31. JS

    My husband and I live in Cape Town and we stayed over at De Keurboom Guesthouse in Kuils River for a friend's birthday party. The guesthouse was an official Cape Town Tourism accommodation and had the sign, "Harley parking only, JAP bikes will be crushed" in the parking area of reception.

    Now – last time my husband and I checked – Japan, South Korea and North Korea are in the world cup. Not only did I find it highly offensive as a Korean New Yorker, living in South Africa, but also very saddened by the overall lack of awareness. Cape Town as a city shouldn't be associated with this sign, but they certainly should be more thorough with who they are affiliating their name with.

    South Africa is a beautiful country. I'd hate for silly things like that to tarnish the experiences people from other countries have here.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  32. Karl

    Why is anyone surprise by the reporting of crime in SA.....?
    The only real winner here is FIFA.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  33. Trevor

    I welcome the world to South Africa ~ please ignore the nay-sayers and the anti-South African idiots who have been hating South Africa since 1652 ~ welcome to you all: enjoy the World Cup and enjoy our hospitality.

    Unite, Mzanzi, Unite!!

    May 27, 2010 at 6:51 am |
  34. JV

    I am south african, i live in south africa and have all my life. The way the hotels and guest lodges have changed there prices is crazy. A normal off peak rate at a 3 star hotel in cape town is about R400-R900 per night depending on the hotel and room size , this year during the world cup 2010 a hotel (name omitted) raised there price from R350 to R4600 per night and it is one hotel of many guilty of this dumbness plague in SA, We need to learn some where and i hope the world treats us fairly and does not lower their standards but in fact expects more of us. As for the scorn towards our country, yes we have work to do but so do you. Stop ommiting facts the crime rate yes there is a lot of crime in the poverty stricken townships but apart from there its quite safe and trust me you'll know you in a township.

    May 27, 2010 at 12:25 pm |

    It has just begun

    Read this

    Read how they are trying to cover it up, South African spin doctors do not want the truth to be known

    Who in their right mind wants to spend a lot of money to travel far to a five star hotel and be ROBBED and this was one of the TEAMS

    This is the just the start

    The media gaggers and spin doctors will be busy and they do not care about your blood or any blood spilt

    Who is responsible?


    All roads lead to the bank or the cemetery

    PS: If you are going to SA make sure you organise a supply of HIV / AIDS free blood – no joke. The spin doctors wouldn’t want you to know that one, they rather cash-in on an opportunity to liquidate your assists in exchange for whatever it is you need.

    Don’t just read here

    Do some solid research

    The country is not fit to host a party let alone a WC

    May 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
  36. Daniel Cavalcante

    I am Brazilian studying English as a foreign language. A couple of days ago our teacher brought us a few articles about some of the most influencial South African Artists, politicians and Novel writes. We were all amazed to have found out what is " behind the scenes " and what their feelings are about the country's current conditions. We have come to a conclusion : South African is in many ways losing the legacy left by Nelson Madela. Hopefully, the poor South African people might somehow benefit from such an important event.
    God Bless Africa.

    May 28, 2010 at 3:06 am |
  37. lee

    u know, i`m renting a flat here in Durban SA.
    one day after coming from my activities, i realized that
    my grocery was missing in my room, but the door was pretty locked.
    Too much robbery is going on here. even a policeman is a robber,
    i`m telling you.

    May 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  38. Francisco Caluji

    CNN you have missed your facts.

    Suggesting that if England goes through then the numbers will increase is definitely biased journalism. France, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal and many other countries have also fans zealous of following their teams. So the next time you write pls check your facts before coming to conclusions.

    If you are English, pls keep your superiority to yourself.

    May 28, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  39. Luca Zanzoni - Italy

    I live in Italy and I visited South Africa four times. I love this country and its fantastic people!!! The safety is a problem everywhere, not only in Africa. Many big cities in the whole world are very dangerous (some neighborhoods in the capital cities in the West are more dangerous than the south african cities, believe me!!). Everywhere you can read only the negative stuff about this problem, but anyone tells the positive stuff of this great nation. I traveled very well on the South African roads, in the big cities and in the fantastic national parks (in Europe we destroyed all our landscape and the fauna is very rare to see). I will never forget the empty spaces, the smiling and helpful people. For the country and his people is the perfect occasion to show at the whole world the soul of a new and growing nation, and I am sure you will not fail the target.
    Come on South Africa!!!

    May 29, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  40. mark

    @cj That is nothing but a racist comment directed at white south africans. As a white south african who has had to deal with alot of crime in my 30 plus years, whites and especially the white farmers have had alot of crime to deal with, do to the negligence and broken promises by the present and post apartheid government. As south africans crime is an everyday part of our life. Check up on the crime stats before posting such drivel.

    May 29, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
  41. Chase

    About our crime... we are one under Austrialia statisticly at 26 in world rankings.... we also have one of the strongest economies in the world.... Just remember the rest of the world is still in resession and we were never in one due to our banking systems that dont stupidly lend out money like the USA and Greece.

    As for our crime... im white and ive been all over the world and I still will choose South Africa over any other Snobby nation in the world... Ive never been robbed or shot at.... and alot of the stories you hear about our country are from the "Racists" whites who left our country because they couldnt get there way....

    On i lighter note.... I do believe that it is going to be huge. we plan on over 500000 people to come into our country of which the people who are not counted in this artical are the people who will walk across our border and not fly in.

    Heres one point to the World..... We are the ONLY nation with a Peace sign on our flag.

    May 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  42. evelien

    i moved to south africa, coming from a nice peaceful european country... after coming here for writing my final assignment. So i guess it s not that bad...
    You ve got to watch out, but you would be stupid not to do that anyway everywhere in the world.
    I ve been living here more then a year now, i use public transport, i go out, i live a perfect normal life without fear or bodyguards.
    I m not denying that there are problems, but if you think before you act everything should be fine.
    My mum came over, my brother visited me and two of my friends as well. Nothing happened. And they used public transport as well, they ve been moving around, alone.
    Just keep your eyes open, but that you should do anyway, cause south africa is beautiful...and it s people as well!
    Enjoy it while you re here!

    May 31, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  43. Spaceman

    FIFA should understand that the implementation of rules and regulations adjust when necessary.The realization that online ticket purchase could be minimal,provided an alternative.Trading around the stadium can be considered.


    COOL FM,Nigeria.

    May 31, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  44. Chris

    I really wonder where the reporter got his stat from, he did not make ref to any recognised institution for his stat, SA recieve not less than 8 million visitors a year, i wonder why we will be talking about fig as low as 200 thousand during a major event like this.

    IS THIS JOURNALISM............

    June 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  45. Margot

    CNN does have the responsibility to report all the facts about foreigners traveling to South Africa. South Africa is not even responsible in protecting their own children, and women where it concerns RAPE. To date the "child rape" victims are suffering, and this is mighty scary. Visit and see for yourself! This country's criminal justice system is out of control and the suppose to be "security" is just for show. CIFKIDS is doing a documentary on the "child rape" crises MOHANOWE (forgotten ones)

    June 6, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  46. Mark

    I am a born South African living in the USA–I will always relate to my South African heritage, it is in my veins. However, my aunt has a nonprofit organization called Catherine's Inspiration for kids and she has made several trips back to South Africa over the last 5 years, and works with a couple organizations; crime is rampant, RAPE is real, particularly "child rape" look for the documentary which is in post production: MOHANOWE related to the "virgin sex myth" and the RAPE crises. The child sex trade is real and vicious. Please take the time to support CIFKIDS cause because social education and responsibilty about this pandemic is vital.

    June 6, 2010 at 12:24 am |
  47. Shayamal

    The World Cup is a global event of dynamic proportions. I have been fortunate enough to work with elite sportspeople on some of the biggest stages likes cricket world cups, olympic games, asian games, tennis grand slams and commonwealth games. The atmosphere and aura surrounding events of this magnitude is phenominal. This World Cup in South Africa will definitely boost our economy, even if it is nominal. But as a South Africa, i am extremely proud that we are hosting this event. More especially for the opportunity it presents toall our locals, including those less fortunate, to experience an event on a global stage. Some buisnesses will expand, some talent will be identified, some will lose out, but all will be richer with the memories this event will bring. @shayamalv

    June 6, 2010 at 7:19 am |
  48. Me from Down Under Oceania

    Id love to take my family to a world cup in Europe, North America, Aust/NZ, some parts of Asia, not a high crime country like South Africa! (though beautiful, but my safety comes first!)

    CNN and other media outlets, give all the facts why its low numbers for the sake of human safety instead of being money hungry for FIFA!

    June 7, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  49. Mabhunu muchaneta

    Typical western reporting on Africa! News to them is bad news, the same they did in Zimbabwe but they don't notice countries like US, BURMA, Bangladesh, PAKISTAN, INDIA everyday deaths, murders, poverty..... Why don't you just do proper reporting than printing facts. The next thing we will hear South Africans are raping World Cup Players from you......????

    June 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  50. Greg

    The biggest problem with this world cup is that the country has spent untold billions of Rands which will never be recovered and the taxpayers who are already stretched to their limits are going to be the ones paying up. I live in South Africa and I am terrified post world cup as to what will happen to this country financially. Stadiums have been built which are not needed, roads upgraded which are great but need to paid for, and the list goes on and on. Yes, without the world cup we would not have this new infrastructure but is it really needed when over 40% of the country is unemployed and living in poverty?

    June 8, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  51. martik

    I am American and spent 7 amazing months as a student living in South Africa. I believe the World Cup will be a wonderful way for the world to see just what a beautiful country South Africa is. I consider that country my second home. The people, the culture, the scenary, everything about that place is breath taking. I traveled with 2 companions and we NEVER had issues with violence or crime. As with anywhere in the world, traveling smart and in a group will almost always keep you safe.

    June 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  52. david hurst

    Just read an article about the much touted rail line from the airport to Jo-berg, how it was essentially empty. The much touted infrastructure that will actually be used post-cup likely could have been built at a fraction of the cost. Of hundreds of comments and many articles I have yet to find anything positive about FIFA, who seem universally to have been filling their own pockets tax free and without money export controls, leaving SA in debt and with high maintenence costs of the stadiums, some or many of which may well not even be used for sports, at least one of which was felt to be forced by FIFA on SA. With contiuous protests about conditions countrywide, one has to scratch ones head. It is a fantastic ad for the very large tourism industry, as it is a great place to visit, though one must wonder if that money will trickle down to where it is most needed to balance costs. An interesting interview with an Economist reporter there is:

    June 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
  53. Megan

    Graham I would suggest before you start slinging insults at CNN, try not to show your own ignorancy. Do some research on the real facts of South Africa, its people, its culture and its crime. Stop buying into the fear mongering propaganda and make some real comparisions. I am a young American female citizen who lived in both Johannesburg and Cape Town for approx. 7 years and I NEVER felt unsafe. If you go anywhere in the world and arent cautious you can become a victim of crime. South Africa isnt the only place in the world where if you walk around flashing your cash you may get robbed, it happens right here in our own country. It is sad that there are people such as yourself who are so close minded and fearful that you put those types of statements on a public forum.

    June 9, 2010 at 4:52 am |
  54. Ilko

    I am very sad to tell you, that the story with crime down here is far from far-fetched and that we just had the first victims down here : in a 4* hotel near Joburg, a group of Portuguese and Spanish journalists were robbed by their equipment (cameras, laptops, etc) and passports (!) and money i guess, at a gunpoint by a group of armed men, in the early hours of the morning !

    It was on the news this morning, heard it in the car – briefly touched on (detail removed on purpose ?) at

    This is even before the opening .. I don't want to think of a what still can be expected in a wcs

    June 9, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  55. Ilko

    To Indian Boy : You are spot on in your observations ! I can add so much more (living in SA for the past 19 years) re health care, corruption with tenders, the police, the ANCYL, etc etc .. but will not go into detail

    It's very sad, because the country, its people are beautiful ..

    June 9, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  56. antoinette

    It is sad to see how people, who have never been to my country, can come up with all these amazing theories. Yes, we have problems but all other countries are faced with the same problems. I just have one thing to say; I love my country and I think this World Cup will be amazing. So check this spot………..

    June 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  57. J.J. Ueckermann

    All ready have a police man shot . I stampede at a stadium. Portuguese journalists robbed, Spanish journalists robbed and today, in broad daylight the Chinese held at gun point.... and we still have 24 hours before kick off...
    Africa need hospitals ans schools, not white elephants that only enrich FIFA

    June 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  58. Dr Paul Keller-Digovich

    As a Swiss citizen who has been living and working in South Africa for the last 15 years,I would like to comment the following facts.
    I am a medical practitioner who worked in Switzerland and then during my studies made a sabatical year in Cape Town.From the onset I realized that my career here in Cape Town will be more interesting than in Switzerland as I see and can do much more here than in my home city of Zurich.
    I hear everybody climbing on the band wagon of criminality and often ask myself why the good things in this country never are shown in the newspapers. Many people don't know that South Africa owns Switzerland's private hospitals. Secondly, the X-Ray machines now used Europe wide, are a SA invention.There are crime, but crime is not everywhere as some think. If you go to the so-called South African "Platteland" people some towns don't even know murders or robberies. During weekends I often go and visit friends and colleagues who have a rural retreat home and its simply amazing. As for Cape Town itself, the difference between now and 15 years ago is immense. The city has become safer, I see women (white,black,coloured,Indian, tourists) walking alone by night in the city centre. Something you never could do even as a man 15 years ago. Safety is on the increase. I have never been robbed,nor mugged. At the end of the day what I realized here is that poverty breeds crime,and yes, many white South Africans do have an arrogant attitude towards their country of birth but forget that even sitting in Aus of NZ, it is this country that provided them with education.

    Concerning the foreign journalists that were robbed 2 days ago, no newspaper mentioned that is was not South Africans, but Nigerians and Zimbabwean culprits. Just as Paris, Geneva,Milan, London and many other EU cities have problems with immigrants,regufees, three-quarters of crime in SA are done by foreigners.

    Through friends, I became involved in an organization who supports kids from poor areas to have access to schooling, university, arts, sports, etc.
    Its amazing how these projects introduced in poor communities bring hope, but also bring results. Even the Cape Town opera house has an amazing project that needs support. At the end of the day, I always tell my South African friends,it is each person's duty on this earth to give a helping hand and carry someone as we pass along life.

    Lastly, too often, many South Africans who are resistant to governmental change and who wish the old system of Apartheid even back, complain with the white bread under the arm.

    June 11, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  59. Not happy with theives stealing off NZ tax payers

    $100,000 worth of gear stolen from New Zealand reproters of TVNZ in Johannesburg yesterday. They stole off the NZ Tax payer who works hard for their money, because TVNZ is owned by the NZ Government. How mean can some theives get!...and even broke through the hotel room door, what kind of hotel is that, didnt the hotel care?...not good is it!!!

    June 13, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
  60. Robert Savant

    You know 2 things would be great:

    a) if some of these muppets who post comments had a semi-quasi-infantesimal of economics and socio-political affairs... but moreover if the opinions expressed weren't for the most part coming from the mouths of jaded, depressed, disenfranchised South Africans who have given up on this country and want the whole world to know why they chose to leave it because it makes their rationalisation that much more meaningful to their fragile egos.

    My message to these South Africans is simple: disown yourself from our country, never claim you lived here, never claim this country had any positive aspect on your life or that anything good has come from it or will ever do so. Do this and your abject, desperate clawing at despondency will be nothing more than depressingly pitiful. But if you have nothing of value to add as you live in your little fairytales of "1st-world" supremacy, whilst knowing that you RAN AWAY when maybe you could have made a difference and YOU could have been the person to do everything that you complain this country cannot do on its own... well I have 2 words for you: shut up.

    You pig-headed, ignorant, self-deploring, externally deprecating excuses for sentient creatures are a welcome addition to the already overgrowing mass of Western European cynicism. They must love you and your morose dispositions. I hope you have found a pride of place amongst such a feeble clinging to the steadfast status quo. Good for you.

    Now the rest of us South Africans, who love our country and are proud about what we have achieved and will do so in the future can carry on without the persistent burden of an uneducated, unsolicited, and unequivocally idiotic perception of the realpolitik that governs our tainted yet beautiful country,

    This world cup is going to succeed more than you naysayers want it to and is going to put South Africa on the map in ways many never dreamed of. Those of us living here are already experiencing the positive energy that is flowing through the veins of the tourists who visit our shores and it fills us with such pride and humility to know that we can show the world a side of us that we've always known existed yet have not found the platform from which to share it with the world.

    South Africa is truly alive with possibility and between June 11th and July 11th of 2010 we will show the world and most will be happy and impressed by our endeavours.

    My final commentary is this: if you are an ex-South African living overseas who perpetually berates the country based on little niblets of info you fodder on whilst filtering out the nectarine of hope... stay where you are and don't ever come back. We don't want you. We don't need you. And I hope with all the absolute sincerity I can muster that you find other South Africans to lend a shoulder to cry on just to make you feel less useless and pathetic for fleeing and then having the guile to be opinionated when you know your opinions are of no positive consequence but merely undermine those who are proud of our heritage, proud of our struggle, and proud to be South African.

    June 14, 2010 at 2:14 am |
  61. Richard

    I love reading all the negative comments on SA from supposed South Africans. Love it or leave it! It is way better here than before 1994. We have problems and I'm keen to discuss them. Thus, I'm staying. The crime, the government (again way better than pre-1994), the economy, the Rand, blah blah. The bottom line is that this is a great World Cup...vuvuzelas and all. We have stadia with more capacity than Germany did. All the naysayers who said this would be a disaster are now complaining about horns. Whatever! Let's go Bafana! And before you dismiss me...I'm a white South African.

    P.S. The Western Cape is the worst of South Africa's 9 provinces if unless you want racism and snobbery. Then you will feel at home on the posh vineyards. For a real feel of the country, check out Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces!!

    June 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  62. ace

    South Africa belongs to all those who live in it black or white and to all those who are willing to bend their backs and work hard for its development! The FIFA world cup is an opportunity for our beautifull country to show the world what we as Africans can do!

    To all those (south africans who have emigrated and former colonisers) who have negative mindsets towards this beatifull nation i say shut up and stick your heads where the sun dont shine!

    June 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  63. polhol

    Reading everyones comments one would think that we were discussing 2 very different countries.
    1 country is clearly too dangerous to set foot in, never mind live in. The people obviously seperated into 2 categories : the terrorists or the terrorised.
    The other country sounds just like any other country, there are ups and downs, 2 sides to a coin. War and peace, poverty and wealth.
    There are no countries that can claim to be problem free, but there are some that have perhaps attained a better equilibrium and that should be applauded.
    But every country is different and what so many seem to be forgetting is that South Africa is a fledgling democratic country. It hasn't even been 20 years since equal rights were enshrined in the constitution – and fewer since law was put into practice. There are countries in the world who have come from the same background as SA, but have not yet achieved what we have – peace and growth.
    I am South African and proudly so, i freely admit that SA has problems, believe me. But i am not willing to give up on the young SA, like anything great it takes time and effort to make it so. I highly doubt that America or any other country that is 'so much better' than SA took 16 years to reach their current status.
    Believe it or not the crime rate has gone down, South Africa is safer than it used to be. But i am not so patriotic or naive as to be silly, South Africa is more dangerous than say South Korea. But i can tell you now, South Korea has more domestic abuse than SA.
    The one thing i can say about SA is that the rape statistics are alarming and shocking – but this in part stems from differing cultural beliefs and cures.
    America is currently clamping down on immigration due to the problems that it causes, immigrants can bring higher crime, they are willing to work for less and poverty levels can lead to desperation. South Africa has a huge immigrant population, we have not clamped down on them because we understand why people might want to move to a better country in hopes of a better life.

    But for all those people who are so afraid of travelling to SA, i hope you're not leaving your home wherever it may be, because terrible things happen all over the world no matter what

    July 2, 2010 at 5:55 am |
  64. LJ

    Well, a week after one of the best Soccer World Cup events ever seen, it is very odd to go back and read all the comments from the prophetic naysayers! Blood did not flow in the streets; crime was by and large petty incidents of pickpocketing and theft, and then in very low numbers; the foreign visitors have said with out exception that the local South African's hospitality and friendliness were top-class; ours was one of only 3 previous SWC where game attendance exceeded 1 million fans; ...the list goes on.

    Given that our Bafana bafana team was knocked out in the opening round (as was England and France!), the level of general support gor the rest of the tournament offered by South African's of ALL levels and races, was overwhelming. We did ourselves proud.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  65. Servaas

    How interesting too read this article now one week after the final match has been played. Spain is World Champions and South Africa stepped up to the plate and delivered. There truly is no place like Mzansi and just like most other countries, this is one of which the citizens are more than happy to be part of. What a tournament it has been and what an amazing experience to be in South Africa while it's all been going on. What a great response we got from the world and visitors! Only a fool would say there is nothing wrong in SA but all I can say is watch this space(South Africa), we're going to make your mouth hang open. God is moving in this place and the world is about to see something special...

    July 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  66. John van Reenen

    I am a proud 63 year old South African who, with no love of soccer, participated as a Volunteer for the World Cup. My reason was to show visitors to Johannesburg, both South Africans and from abroad, what a great, friendly nation we are, and getting better. Based outside Ellis Park in Johannesburg I saw around 35,000 spectators during 7 matches, and spoke to at least 4,000 people, mostly foreigners, trying to help them make their match experience memorable.

    I never received one adverse comment from anybody, only praise for the wonderful organisation and hospitality they experienced. I could go on and on about the hundreds of goodwill gestures towards visitors that took place just around me.

    I, and millions of South Africans like me, want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, in our country; and I can assure any future visitors that you will be treated with dignity and respect from EVERYBODY you meet, and will have great fun here, just like the World Cup visitors experienced. Nothing will change, except that I now love soccer!!

    July 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  67. utopian indigent

    I still live in South Africa. Many of the negative comments are true, but they could also be true of many other countries. The World Cup was a triumph for all South Africans regardless of their point of view. It showcased many of the positive aspects of our country.

    As for our government, yes they are very often inept, corrupt and perhaps even criminal. Sometimes they are even worse than other governments in the world. But at least there are still some thinking people involved and at least money wasted on the World Cup did not disappear into a black hole like it would have if not for the world cup. All of us should now, with the world's support, make the best of what we have in building further on this triumph. We can only do a better job of it than was done after the 1994-1995 euphoria of goodwill.

    Our economy, previously employing a middle class of only a few million, cannot possibly carry the aspirations of 30 million extra people who were promised more than middle class wealth. The only way to limit that pain to non-violent levels is to maximise the economy. We should therefore go for the Olympic Games and every other big opportunity we can lay our hands on.

    It is a shame that something like the iconic vuvuzela is made in China. We should promote South African produce to the max. This country has a lot more yet to offer to its people and to visitors and our greatest threat is those who are so greedy that they grab more than their share of a small but growing cake.

    July 24, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  68. ZoeyD

    I'm staying here from last couple of years and it is one of the places I liked. cool job @

    December 27, 2011 at 11:57 am |

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