Above all expectations, South Africa has hosted ten months ago one of the best FIFA World Cup in history. However, once again, you may have been asking which legacy this event has left to South Africans or at least what the country has gained out of it. To find an answer, we should assess the fact around us. One way of doing is by looking out of your window, what do you see?
The year 2010 saw the first FIFA World cup organised on an African soil. After years of polemics and pessimistic arguments from overseas media, South Africa won the BID and promised to hold the best tournament. With an event of such magnitude, consequently, millions of rands have been invested into infrastructures such as road, accommodations, leisure and tourism by both the private and public sector.
Today, the prospect of new market, first time buyers/investors, expectation raised with hundreds of thousands fans entering the country last year has surely left some local investors better off or worst.
Ten months after the event, looking back, which investment has been worth? I look out of my window.
From my office at SANGONeT 29th floor UCS building (http://tinyurl.com/69upgws), the Protea Hotel Packtownian’s (http://tinyurl.com/643foz) rooftop is six floors below my window. I have eye witnessed fourteen months ago the refurbishing of the Hotel, especially its rooftop as they created few square meter four-holes artificial green pitch Golf on the pavement.
Keeping things short, to juge by what I see in the past weeks, the Hotel’s small Gold green has been an attraction.
First I was stroke in December to see a group of people on the Hotel roof for the first time. A group of Chinese with camera zoom were taking pictures. Were they of those expected to come back after the world cup?
Since, I have seen people/couple of young and old, playing to get balls in the holes - apparently they enjoy the game.
What do you see? I have seen more than once music/show company’s actors and actresses in production at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre (http://tinyurl.com/5rvpw8z) tinning under Jozi’s sun on the rooftop. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and they seem having fun playing ‘Golf’. Hopefully they will come back…
Two weeks ago the rooftop was seemingly set for a night civil wedding. Unfortunately I had to leave office and have lost the picture I took.
The Hotel is hundred meters from the Civic Theatre and it is the second biggest Hotel in Braamfontein after the Devonshire Hotel - Orion (http://tinyurl.com/6btojoy). Thus, I would mislead to conclude that the busy on the roof/Parktownian Hotel is a fall out of 2010 World Cup or what so ever investment they have made.
Nevertheless, the point I am trying to make is that millions in investments made last year will in a long run translate into assets and entrepreneurs will rip benefit. Operators should get creative and market infrastructures build for and around the 2010 FIFA Work Cup. There has been fear that built world class stadium stand as white elephant due to management/maintenance cost. And it’s unfortunate that marketings of Project like Rea Vaya (http://www.reavaya.org.za/ ) have gone to sleep soon as the event was over.
Initiative such as which produced Bono’s U2 mega concert into the Soccer City has to be encouraged until South Africa hosts another major event. Who knows? With the unpredictable Africa, turmoil such in Libya if they have to happen in Gabon or Equatorial Guinea, South Africa will be hosting the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations again.