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Following the success of winning the Soccer World Cup bid for 2010, South Africa has announced that it will bid for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
Popular past South African rugby captain François Pienaar has just been appointed the Director of the South African World Cup Rugby Bid Committee.
South Africans were euphoric when the FIFA President announced that South Africa would host the Soccer World Cup, the win being attributed to the magic of Madiba, former President Nelson Mandela, who had travelled to Zurich for the presentation by the South African delegation. This was one of his last official activities prior to his retirement. It is the first time a Soccer World Cup will be hosted in Africa, and South African's opponents for the bid all came from the African continent.
The spin-offs of the Soccer World Cup are tremendous, with estimates of R 13 - R 30 billion being injected into the economy and 160 000 jobs being created.
For the tourism industry the opportunities are expected to be enormous, with 400 000 visitors expected - by contrast the Cricket World Cup attracted 18 500 visitors to South Africa. Not only is the number of tourists a tremendous boost, but the fact that the Soccer World Cup will take place in June and July 2010, traditionally the quietest time in Cape Town and the Western Cape, is a huge advantage, even though Cape Town will not host the opening or closing functions, nor the final game. But Cape Town is very likely to feature on the itinerary of visiting soccer fans anyway.
Other benefits will be huge infrastructure improvements, including public transportation, airport upgrades, more soccer facilities and greater attention to crime prevention and security.
(Reprinted with permission from Whale Tales Newsletter June 2004)
Readers are invited to submit their comments below:
Unfortunately the SA bid did not work out as it should have done.
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