KZN counts World Cup benefits

3 August 2010

An estimated R3-billion was injected into the KwaZulu-Natal provincial economy by South Africa’s successful hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, with the long-term benefits expected to exceed this by far as the “intangible” effects of the tournament kick in over the coming years.

Discussing the impact of the World Cup in Durban last week, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said the global marketing exposure the province received during the World Cup “has firmly put us on a world map as a serious global player, and will immensely grow investment opportunities and greatly boost the tourism industry.

Mkhize said roads across the province had been built and upgraded over the past three years to ensure that a smooth transport network was in place for the World Cup.

Over R4-million had been spent on developing seven new stadiums to encourage the growth of sport in the province.

Over the course of a two-year, R21-million World Cup legacy project run by the Department of Education, over 5 000 students had been trained in various areas.

Out of 2 836 students who trained in hospitality services, languages services, travel and tourism, and information and communication technology, 2 411 students had provided services at Moses Mabhida Stadium during the tournament.

Mkhize said the training of volunteers had also contributed to increased safety in the province.

“Our security agencies were instrumental in ensuring that South African received a 9/10 rating from Fifa as 2010 World Cup host. The Department of Community Safety and Liaison’s Volunteer Social Crime prevention project was also a resounding success’.

KwaZulu-Natal hosted five World Cup teams – Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, Greece and Paraguay – in various parts of the province during the tournament.

This had ensured that fans were brought closer to the World Cup action, as most of the teams interacted actively with communities close to their base camps. Mhkize said it also paved way for possible friendly matches in the future.

While he was pleased with the overall performance of the province, Mkhize there was still work to be done to cement Durban’s place among the top tourist destinations in the world.

“While we remained the most loved and preferred domestic tourism destination, our performance internationally is not where we would like to see it, hence our decision to go on an aggressive international marketing campaign.”