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July 06, 2010

The legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

dutch fans

Dutch fans having a great time in Cape Town. Photo by Roy Barford

As Cape Town takes a deep breath before the last match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ to be played the Mother City, we also prepare to collectively breathe out when the tournament ends on Sunday. If Table Mountain, presiding as it does over the city, were to recount the events that have unfolded over the past four weeks, it would surely speak of a month of glorious soccer, one million visitors enjoying our city’s World Cup facilities, tourists from 32 countries exploring the city’s landmark attractions and hidden gems, members of the media telling stories of our country to three billion viewers in their homes, and one lasting legacy. 

Infrastructure and public spaces
New construction in the city, upgrades to public spaces and the laying of the FIFA Fan Mile following Green Goal 2010 initiatives, uplifted the ‘face’ of the city and will improve the flow of traffic and people long after the event’s end.

Improvements have been made to Cape Town’s rail system with the addition of Century City Station, the revamping of Cape Town Station, and upgrades to train facilities.

Public transport
Government has used the FIFA World Cup™ to fast-track infrastructure and transport developments. There has been a restructuring of road-based public transport services into a smart integrated system, with the introduction of the Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) bus system. Investment has also been ploughed into long-distance public transport and non-motorised transport facilities. Capetonians can now travel around the city centre on MyCiti buses for as little as R8 per journey and take a shuttle to or from Cape Town International Airport for only R50. 

Strategic improvements have been made to Cape Town International Airport’s central terminal building – which welcomes visitors to the city – as well as to the upper and lower roadways and passenger loading bridges. The Home Affairs Department is also implementing an advanced passenger processing system at airports across the country, which will ensure that visitors are processed efficiently with special attention being paid to security. This system will be used at airports for many years after the final whistle is blown.

Cape Town Stadium and training venues

cape town tourism

Cape Town Tourism staff having some fun in the streets. Photo by Skye Grove

Cape Town Stadium has been built to FIFA standards under green construction practices and is set to become the leading stadium in South Africa for hosting sports, cultural, music, entertainment and community events. SAIL / Stade de France is currently working on a comprehensive plan for future events at Cape Town Stadium, which we hope to share with locals in the not-too-distant future. In addition, training stadiums and venues, camps and base camps have also been upgraded and will be used for years to come.

While the tangible benefits to Cape Town of hosting the World Cup will be visible to residents on a daily basis and help make our lives more comfortable, the intangible benefits are more difficult to even begin to quantify. The spirit, excitement and sense of pride that Capetonians and visitors alike gained as a result of the beautiful game have been amazing. Cape Town broke all the records on July 3, 2010, when Germany played against Argentina; an unprecedented 300 000 people gathered in the city centre to be a part of the celebration!  More than 153 000 people used the Fan Walk on the day, the FIFA Fan Fest™ was bursting at the seams and the city’s fan jols were also very well attended. 

In short, comments Cape Town Tourism CEO, Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold, “The tangible benefits of hosting the World Cup would include things like public transport, safety and general infrastructure improvements. These are things that locals can see. The intangible benefits, on the other hand, include sustained economic development and this is something we all need to make sure continues in the years to come. But the fact that the world has taken notice of us, on such a massive platform as the World Cup, will definitely have long term benefits for us, particularly in the tourism industry”.

Cape Town Tourism is proud to say that it has again partnered with the Ubuntu Festival. This celebration of civic pride, which is at an all-time high right now, is set to start on July 16, 2010, ending on a high on Nelson Mandela’s birthday on July 18, 2010. It will yet again take place in St Georges Mall, from Mandela Rhodes Place downwards. Programme highlights include how to contribute your 67 minutes of community work, a cook-off with celebrity chef Jenny Morris, top local bands and the Cultural Cuisine Quarter.

While we brace ourselves for an orange invasion today, as the Netherlands get ready to take on fellow semi-finalists Uruguay, let’s fully embrace the last match day in Cape Town and ‘show dem’ what creative, colourful Capetonian gees looks like!

Visit www.capetown.travel/2010 for more information on the final match in Cape Town, as well as entertainment, park and ride facilities and the Ubuntu Festival. 

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