World Cup legacy


2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa

The 2010 Fifa World Cup™ is about to take place in South Africa. Whether you plan to be watching the games in a stadium or fan park on the southern tip of Africa, or on the screen back home, here's a collection of quick information on the tournament, and the host country, to help enhance your experience.

Has South Africa hosted big events before?

South Africa regularly hosts major international sporting events, and since 1994 has successfully managed some of the biggest – including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, 2003 Cricket World Cup, A1 Grand Prix (2006-), 2009 Indian Premier League, and 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

But the Fifa World Cup™, the world's biggest single-code sporting event – in terms of television audience, bigger than the Olympic Games – is in a class of its own.

For four weeks starting 11 June 2010, South Africa will be the centre of the world. The 2006 World Cup in Germany was the most extensively viewed event in television history. South Africa 2010 will draw even bigger audiences. The eyes of billions of television viewers, millions of international visitors and the cream of the world's sporting media will be focused on the southern tip of Africa.

We don't aim to disappoint.

Who are Bafana Bafana?

Our national football team is known as Bafana Bafana – "the boys, the boys" in isiZulu. The nickname comes from the fans' cry that went up during the team's triumph at the 1996 African Nations Cup (also hosted in South Africa). Since the end of apartheid and South Africa's sporting isolation, Bafana Bafana have twice qualified – in 1998 and 2002 – for the Fifa World Cup.

What's the difference between football and soccer?

Nothing. While the game is largely known as football in Europe, in the former British colonies – including South Africa, the US and Australia – it's mostly still called soccer (from the British Football Association, best known for the FA Cup).

What's a vuvuzela?!

Some would say it's South Africa's national musical instrument. It's a big plastic trumpet, brightly coloured, and is blown with gusto by all fans at every football match in the country. The sound it makes is something between the bellow of a constipated elephant and the buzzing of a giant swarm of baritone bees, but South Africans like it.

Will South Africa benefit from the World Cup?

It has been estimated that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will sustain an estimated 695 000 jobs and have a gross impact of R93-billion on South Africa's economy. A projected 373 000 foreign tourists will visit South Africa during the World Cup, each spending an estimated R30 200 on average per trip.

However, the indirect spin-offs from improved perceptions abroad could have an even greater, longer-lasting impact, not only on South Africa and its development but on the continent as a whole. A successful World Cup will help change the perceptions that a large number of foreign investors hold of Africa.

Can I make use of the 2010 logo?

Only accredited Fifa partners and sponsors are allowed to use the 2010 Fifa World Cup logo in their publicity and advertising.

In which stadiums are the games being played?

2010 Fifa World Cup matches will be held in 10 stadiums: two in Johannesburg and one in each of the other eight host cities. Together, the 10 stadiums will host 64 matches and seat more than 570 000 people during the course of tournament. Five of the 10 stadiums already existed but were upgraded, with Johannesburg's Soccer City – venue of the opening and final match – undergoing a major upgrade. The other five stadiums were built from scratch. See:

Where can I find photos of the stadiums?

There are hundreds of photos of stadiums – plus fans and host cities – in the MediaClubSouthAfrica.com image library. Quick, free registration gets you access to the library.

Which cities are hosting matches?

Nine South African cities will stage the 2010 Fifa World Cup. For very quick info and links, see below. For full information, see MediaClubSouthAfrica.com: 2010 Fifa World Cup host cities

2010 Fifa World Cup: host cities

Johannesburg

The economic hub of Africa, Johannesburg is a bustling, sprawling city of contrasts, spread across the small but densely populated province of Gauteng.

Cape Town

South Africa's oldest and loveliest city lies in Table Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, in the south of the Western Cape province. Beautiful buildings, the nearby winelands, long white beaches and a rich cultural life make Cape Town South Africa's most favoured tourist destination.

Durban

A warm subtropical place and the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, Durban is a major tourist destination with the busiest port in South Africa.

Tshwane/Pretoria

Tshwane/Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, lying north of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng. Over 150 years old, it is a place of grand monuments, delightful architecture and lovely open spaces.

Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth

Known as the Friendly City, Port Elizabeth lies in Nelson Mandela Bay on the windswept Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape province.

Mangaung/Bloemfontein

The former capital of a Boer republic and now capital of the Free State, Mangaung/Bloemfontein – the Afrikaans name means "flower fountain" – is a pretty city with thousands of rose bushes and some poignant memorials.

Rustenburg

Its tranquil Jacaranda-lined streets belie the fact that the Rustenburg area in North West province is one of the world's most heavily mined regions, with a wealth of platinum underground.

Nelspruit

The capital of Mpumalanga province lies in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River, about 330km east of Johannesburg.

  • MediaClubSouthAfrica.com: Quick city profile
  • Nelspruit 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Mbombela Stadium
  • World Cup matches: five first-round matches

Polokwane

The capital of Limpopo province is ideally situated near the border of the wildlife-rich, world-famous Kruger National Park.

  • MediaClubSouthAfrica.com: Quick city profile
  • Polokwane 2010 website
  • Nearest airport: Polokwane International Airport
  • World Cup stadium: Peter Mokaba Stadium
  • World Cup matches: four first-round matches

What's the match schedule?

Are tickets still available?

Yes – but they're running out fast! More than 95% of the 2.88-million purchasable tickets for the 64 matches of the 2010 Fifa World Cup had been sold by 28 May. The final round of sales is under way: for information on availability, how to buy, and types of ticket, see:

Where can I watch if I can't get tickets?

The 2010 tournament is guaranteed to be, as South Africans say, a jol (a party). Fans who can't make it to the stadium will be able to catch the excitement and atmosphere of World Cup football at official Fan Fests across the country. Here, you'll be able to watch all matches live on world-class giant screens in a safe and secure environment – for free. There will be live music and entertainment as well as lots of good South African food and drink on sale, and you'll get the chance to learn the Diski Dance, the official World Cup dance which combines funky South African moves with popular football tricks.

What time zone is South Africa in?

South African Standard Time is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2). During June and July – when the tournament will take place – South African time is the same as that in continental Europe, and an hour ahead of the UK. So matches that kick off at 9pm here will be comfortable viewing for Europeans, while US viewers will be taking a lot of early lunches – and Socceroo supporters will be starting their day at five in the morning!

What will the weather be like?

The World Cup will take place in the southern hemisphere winter – but it's warm here in Africa. Johannesburg will be dry, with sunny days and fairly chilly nights. Rustenburg, Pretoria and Nelspruit will be warmer, but Bloemfontein will be cold. Polokwane in the north will be dry and hot, warmer than most European summers. Durban will be pleasant and warm, with some humidity – and the deliciously balmy Indian Ocean to swim in. And while Cape Town is magnificent in good weather – and it can have good weather in winter – in June the city is generally cold, wet and windy, and its ocean icy cold!

How do I get to South Africa?

By air – unless you have a boat or rugged overland vehicle. Over 50 airlines and more than 30-million passengers a year move through South Africa's 10 principal airports, including the three major international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

How do I get around South Africa?

We've invested more than R40-billion to ensure that our public transport infrastructure can handle the World Cup traffic safely and efficiently. In the cities, road, rail and bus routes have been massively upgraded. Between the cities, commuter buses provided by established operators, as well as "midi-bus" taxis, will be on constant stand-by.

The interactive website www.findyourway.co.za, featuring real-time route and traffic information, has been designed to help you plan your trips within and between the nine host cities. See also:

What can I bring into South Africa?

Find out all about what you can and can't bring in to South Africa – including cash, medicines and consumable goods – what the duty-free limits are, and whether you'll be taxed on purchases you make in South Africa, here:

Where do I stay?

"The hotel sector in South Africa is first-rate," the Fifa inspection team said in its country report. "There are enough hotel rooms to accommodate everyone taking part in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, including media representatives and fans from around the world." Other options are the many bed & breakfast establishments in and around the host cities, and over 150 backpacker lodges.

Will I be safe?

Rest assured, South Africa has gone to enormous lengths in its security preparations to see to it that every visitor to the country will be safe during the World Cup. At the same time, you can help by taking the usual sensible precautions and following some basic safety rules:

What if I fall ill?

"On the whole, the health system has excellent facilities and perhaps one of the best private health systems in the world, drawing on modern technology and highly qualified specialists and medical staff," the Fifa inspection team said in its report. "We have to add that there are fully equipped infirmaries with adequate first-aid facilities to meet every need in the stadiums proposed for the 2010 Fifa World Cup."

What are the people like?

South Africa is a nation of over 49-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Visitors to the country always remark on how warm, friendly and welcoming South Africans are. We've had a difficult past, so we don't waste time being difficult people! And we're expert at having fun.

"We can say that the people of South Africa were always friendly, very boisterous and constantly celebrating during our visit to the country," Fifa's inspection team said in their country report. "[They] would stop and show their joy and support of the country's commitment whenever our group passed by."

Are there lions in the streets?

Er, no. But if you want to see wild animals, you won't have to go far to do so. An hour's drive from such urban jungles as Pretoria and Johannesburg, you can see lions, elephants, buffalo and hundreds more species in their natural environments. There are wildlife lodges and game parks – including the huge and magnificent Kruger National Park – across the country. Simply take your pick.

What's the beer like?

Cold and delicious! South Africans generally drink bottled beer, although most pubs offer a range of draughts. The major producer is South African Breweries, now a huge multinational doing business across the world. Lager is probably the favourite, followed by pilsener. In and around the stadiums, you'll only be able to drink Budweiser – an official Fifa sponsor.

And the food?

Yummy, exotic and varied. South Africa's people have diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs, and their food is a correspondingly rich smorgasbord. For the more daring, we offer culinary challenges from crocodile sirloins to fried caterpillars to sheep heads – delicious! For the less brave, there are indigenous delicacies such as biltong (dried, salted meat), bobotie (a much-improved version of shepherd's pie) and boerewors (hand-made farm sausages, grilled on an open flame).

In the space of a single city street or shopping mall you'll find Italian restaurants, two or three varieties of Chinese cookery and Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese and Indian food. Not far away will be Congolese restaurants, Greek, even Brazilian and Korean establishments – and, everywhere, fusion, displaying the fantasies of creative chefs.

Other than watch football, what else is there to do?

So, so much, but where to begin? Try here:

And the nightlife?

Pubs, wine bars, township taverns known as shebeens, nightclubs, a variety of restaurants, mainstream theatre, avant-garde theatre, dinner theatre, movies ... there's no shortage of places to celebrate or cry into your beer after the match.

If it all gets a bit much, where's the best place to go to avoid the whole show?

There are many remote places to escape to in South Africa's varied landscape, from the massive Drakensberg range of mountains, which run like a spine down the length the country, to the weird rock formations of the Cedarberg mountains in the west, the Northern Cape's haunting Richtersveld area, and the vast plains of the Karoo desert. Or you could just find a secluded beach on the country's 2 500 kilometres of coastline and bask in the African sun.

SAinfo reporter

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material

2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa

Soccer is our Number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 sport! (Image: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee)

Gauteng ready for Afcon spectacle

FNB Stadium, previously Soccer City, South Africa's flagship 2010 Fifa World Cup stadium (Photo: Ndaba Dlamini, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)

Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province (Photo: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee)

Image library: 2010 Fifa World Cup

2010 image library

Free photos of 2010 stadiums, fans, teams, celebrations.

Where we are

Here's where you'll find us
You'll find us on the southern tip of Africa - where two oceans meet.

At a glance

The quick guide to South Africa

Quick guide

Got three minutes to spare? Here's why South Africa's going to surprise you.

South Africa: fast facts

Fast facts

Our land area, population, GDP, infrastructure, tourist attractions and more.

South Africa photo galleries

Photo galleries

People, coastline, wildlife, architecture, industry ... take a quick photo tour of a country as diverse as it is beautiful.

MediaClubSouthAfrica

MediaClubSouthAfrica.com

Helping the media cover the South African story.

Weather forecasts

South Africa weather forecasts

Snap daily forecasts for 20 cities and
towns.