The road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ began shortly after the final whistle of the 2006 tournament in Germany. For South Africa, it started three years prior, when the country was named as host for the football world’s biggest event in a vote on July 21, 2004.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa
The 2010 FIFA World Cup™, being held in South Africa, was the first World Cup to be held on African soil. Football fans from around the world will once again be able to experience the excitement, passion, and joy that can only be found at this tournament. The month-long event was held from June 11 to July 11, 2010.
Preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa
The South African government has budgeted R130 billion for the FIFA World Cup™. This includes the construction of 10 new stadiums at a cost of R30-billion, upgrading of airports, and the building of a new rail network. More than 12,000 people have been employed on the stadium's construction, while another 100,000 will be employed to build the infrastructure. The government has also introduced special tax incentives for potential investors.
Stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa
For the first time, a World Cup was played on African soil. The 10 stadiums would be distributed throughout the country, with two stadiums being located in the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces.
- Cape Town Stadium: Located at Cape Town, this stadium would host the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. It has a capacity of 66,000 seats and is owned and operated by the City of Cape Town.
- Green Point Stadium: This is the stadium that would host the first match of the 2010 FIFA World-Cup™, and is located in the City of Cape Town. It has a capacity of 60,000 seats.
- Durban Stadium: Located in the City of Durban, this stadium has a capacity of 40,000 seats.
- Mbombela Stadium: Located in Nelspruit, this 40,000-seater would host matches jointly with the Pretoria Stadium.
- Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium: Located in Port Elizabeth, this stadium will host matches jointly with the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Moses Mabhida Stadium: This is the stadium that will host matches jointly with the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
- Newlands Stadium: Located in the City of Cape Town, this stadium would host matches jointly with the Cape Town Stadium.
- Peter Mokaba Stadium: This is the stadium that would host matches jointly with the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Pretoria Stadium: This is the stadium that would host matches jointly with the Mbombela Stadium.
Public transportation in South Africa
Public transportation in South Africa is fairly efficient. The Gautrain, which is a high-speed train, runs between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The Metrorail operates in the city of Cape Town, while the Sprinter trains (light rail) operate between the suburbs of Cape Town and the ferries that cross False Bay. Intercity trains also run between Cape Town and Durban. The main bus companies operating in South Africa are the STA, Intercape, SA Express, and Greyhound. Intercity trains are more comfortable than the buses, but they are slower, while the buses are cheaper, but far more uncomfortable. There is also a ferry that travels between Cape Town and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Culture and Customs of South Africa
South Africa is a diverse, multicultural society. It is made up of people from all parts of the world - descendants of the original inhabitants (the Khoisan), the Dutch and French who settled there in the 17th and 18th centuries, immigrants from Britain, Ireland, India, China, and other parts of Africa. In recent years, people from all over the world have come to South Africa as a result of political change, civil conflict, and economic migration. South Africans are friendly and outgoing, but they are also independent. It is a country where black and white people live and work together in harmony, even though apartheid (a system of racial separation) only ended in 1994.
Language Guide – Travel in South Africa
The official language in South Africa is English. However, it is common for people from other parts of Africa to speak their native language. The most common languages are Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans.
- Zulu: Zulu is the most common indigenous language in South Africa. It is spoken by about 10% of the population.
- Xhosa: Xhosa is the most common indigenous language in the Western Cape. It is spoken by about 8% of the population.
- Afrikaans: Afrikaans is the most common indigenous language in the Northern Cape and Western Cape. It is spoken by about 6% of the population.
The FIFA World Cup™ is the biggest sporting event in the world. Every four years, fans from around the world flock to the host country to celebrate the sport they love. The road to the FIFA World Cup™ is long and challenging, but the joy and excitement that can only be found at this tournament makes it all worthwhile.