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How Much the After Effects of the 2010 Soccer World Cup Cost the South African Economy

Updated on August 29, 2013

A huge success for who?

There was so much hype and apparent excitement surrounding the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

People went on about how it would boost tourism to the country, how it would create jobs for a few thousand of the unemployed millions in the country, and how the country would benefit from it all.

Sure, a lot of people benefited from selling World Cup memorabilia, guest houses and accommodation establishments benefited from extra guests, shops benefited from increased sales, and a lot of workers benefited from building the World Cup stadiums (and now there is talk of demolishing them because of the fact that they are too expensive to maintain). Eskom definitely benefited from the increased electricity usage (not that they passed the additional revenue down to the consumer in the form of savings...useless specimens they are). Transport providers benefited over that time as well, with many providers having provided additional transport for eager fans and supporters.

Not many folk though, considered the after effects of the World Cup. You may be asking, "What after effects could there possible be from hosting one of the biggest sporting events of the year?"

First and foremost, the construction workers who built the stadiums are once again unemployed, as there is no more need for them once the stadiums were built. Many other companies have also laid off workers, because there is now no work for them, and unemployment has once again risen to record highs (although that is by no means unusual here in South Africa, where unemployment levels normally hover around 35% to 45%).

Thee stadiums that were built to host one or two games, have now ended up standing like white elephants, because we simply do not have the capacity to fill them with any of the other events that are hosted here. Each of these stadiums are costing the humble taxpayer in the region of around R35 000 000/$4 667 000 a year to maintain/upkeep. Multiply that by the number of stadiums that have been built...I think you understand where I am coming from.

With the influx of foreign visitors to the country, they have also unfortunately brought along with them a host of sicknesses and germs that were previously not known to us. Strange viruses will once again abound, very much like what happened in 1995 after the last major sporting event here (hint - think rugby).

Crime rates continue to soar as a result of the rising levels of unemployment because of the fact that the poor people who had temporary jobs have been kicked to the kerb once again.

Another scenario that most people will not want to think about, but which has taken place, is the rise of child prostitution. Parents had to be far more vigilant with their children, knowing their whereabouts even more so than ever before - and this scenario has unfortunately worsened since 2010.

Unfortunately, with having a lot of foreign visitors, many local businesses saw fit to inflate the prices of goods and commodities drastically. With the exchange rate of our Rand versus that of the pound, dollar or euro, one can safely say that the locals bore the brunt of these increases, as their salaries were definitely not increased accordingly over the past few years. Once the visitors have returned home, the locals were still be left with these highly inflated prices, which have drive inflation higher than it ever was.

I know this all sounds rather negative, and it would seem like I put a damper on our country hosting sporting events of this magnitude, but at the end of the day, what has the real cost been to the locals? Inflation, as well as even more unemployment than before. Our politicians and leaders need to think a little harder before applying to host an event such as this again, because we certainly cannot afford it any more than we could back in 2010.


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    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, MmmMmmGood019. The really sad part now though, is that those stadiums are too big to be used for any local events, and they will cost around $5million a year per stadium to upkeep...

    • MmmMmmGood019 profile image

      MmmMmmGood019 7 years ago from tysui

      You are absoluotly correct. It is a wiser choice to host a world cup in a country that can afford it. They must have spent billions of dollars, and that is just too much for a country near the poverty line. Fantastic Hub.

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you, equealla. So often, it has been said that I 'think differently to everybody else,' which is always taken as a compliment.

      It's always good to find optimistic people like yourself in today's world, because they do seem to be far and few between.

      Thanks for stopping by. Much appreciated :-)

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Well, Fifa has come and Fifa has left. Fortunately it went smooth and the crime was not more pronounced than usual. Thank goodness for that. There was a great spirit amongst all, and for some there was quite a few eye openers towards what is happening in SA.

      I must agree though that my concern for the post-Fifa phase, we are entering now, shares your sentiments. It is still too early to see the impact, but we already feel the increased cost to services and goods. It was raised for the event, but now stays at a high-ho! Add to that the people not having a job anymore, we wonder how long it will take for crime to escalate further.

      I know a lot of the older generation people whom has expressed their fear for the future after Fifa, long before the event.

      I have once been accused of being a "pathalogical optimist" and my optimism did not dissapoint me most of my life. I still believe our country will be able to sort out the problems facing us, and I do believe in the good of this place. I agree it will not be easy, but it is not impossible.

      Perhaps facing our realities is what has always helped us to overcome. There are countries trying to hide their weak spots, and it is busy escalating into un-solvable issues for their future.

      Great hub, it shows great thinking, which we need here for our future.

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks swosugrad09. Must say that I like your profile pic as well :-)

    • swosugrad09 profile image

      swosugrad09 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great insight. You never really think about the costs during big events such as this one. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shona Venter profile image

      Shona Venter 7 years ago from South Africa

      You're quite right, Betty. We are now already seeing just how much frivolous spending has taken place in so many areas, in the name of hosting a single sporting event.

      I am sure that a lot of the wasted funds could have been put to far better use to provide housing, clean running water and basic sanitation to a large part of our starving population instead.

    • Betty Reid profile image

      Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

      Shona, you have some great points about the World Cup. It is definitely a gamble for a country to put that much money into one event.