The Running Commentary

The Fever Rises!


In just a few hours, Cape Town, indeed South Africa will host the final pool draw for the 2010 World Cup of Soccer. Words like “lockdown” and “protocol passes” being bandied about in terms of the event, make you sit up and take note.

 It is happening people, little old South Africa is hosting one of the biggest sporting events the globe gets to experience. We are going to have billions of people watching us! As a South Africa I am immensely proud of this.

 There were many sceptics who felt that this was too big a project for South Africa to handle, but it would appear that we are going to show the world that we can. The stadiums all appear ready to be handed over by the end of this year, 6 months before the start of the event. Many South Africans will attest that this is awesome in itself. They all look absolutely awesome!

From an infrastructure point of view we see some seriously great things – The Gautrain project, the Integrated Rapid Transport System, Road network improvements, hospitals and more – sure all of these projects (including the stadiums) are over budget, but they are or are being done. The impact these are going to have on all South Africans will be positive for years to come.

I am excited to see how the people of South Africa are getting behind the entire event. I am equally excited to see that, just like everywhere else in the world, store keepers, restaurateurs, hoteliers, airline operators and the rest are seeking to get to retirement off just this month of business. I know that this may be a bit controversial but come now chaps did we truly believe that we would be any different to the rest of the world?

So forgive me for being perhaps a little too patriotic today, but I cannot help it. We have our big issues as a country: Unemployment, Crime and Aids and we need to resolve them. Let’s not put them on the back burner because we are hosting this great event, but let’s also not loose sight of the fact that we want the global stage to see that we have the ability to stage huge events.

We want global investment and the surest way of attracting this is confidence. This confidence comes from watching what the government does, but it also comes from watching the people. “Great” economies like the UK and the USA are failing, not because the governments are not succeeding in fiscal management (some disagree with me on this point) but because their own citizens have lost confidence. Their own citizens are doubtful about their countries, when this changes then the economy will grow.

We will be able to cement our place as the launching pad into the rest of Africa at the same time showcasing our great country. So let me say it again, I am Proudly South African! I love what we have been able to achieve as a country Viva South Africa Viva

EconomypassionPrideSoccerSouth AfricaWorld Cup

Mike • December 3, 2009

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