The World Cup and South Africa

As the World Cup took the world by storm this summer, one can only imagine how our orientation began … with more discussion about the impact of the World Cup on South Africa and its economy.

To dig deeper into this discussion, we read numerous articles on the issue and discussed some key points as highlights of the discussion, which included:

  • Hosting the FIFA World Cup was a financial boost to the economy of South Africa. Visitors from around the world came, bought tickets, hotel rooms, food at restaurants, and souvenirs at thousands of shops and local businesses
  • The World Cup also helped change the world’s perception of South Africa … as a country that is becoming more industrialized, more technologically savvy and more forward-thinking in terms of how to best use its resources for the greater good
  • Despite this, struggles remain … outside investments have led to trickle-down economics in the country, with the wealthier benefiting and the poorer citizens not seeing much benefit
  • Xenophobia sparked after the World Cup led to fear among citizens from other countries, like Zimbabwe, in the country with jobs in the services industry … this does not help their perception around the world
  • What’s next? South Africa plans to compete to host the Olympic games in either 2020 or 2024 … but then the question is even if they do win, then what? They still have enormous problems and income differences among the classes of people that desperately need to be addressed

While the World Cup stadium will now be used as a national Cricket competition (I don’t understand the game either!), the country hopes to also utilize the new national infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels and highways) to help attract further international investment.