Cape Town is Africa’s creative and lifestyle capital, and a proud host city for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. There are few places in the world that can match Cape Town’s scenic beauty and superb tourist attractions. Cradled by majestic mountains and fringed by oceans, South Africa’s oldest city boasts breathtaking natural beauty, a melting pot of cultures, and a fascinating history. Our rich cultural and architectural heritage and warm, friendly people add a special quality to this jewel on the southern tip of Africa. For these reasons and more, Cape Town is the recipient of numerous international tourism awards and visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
Cape Town Stadium is set to become one of the world’s sporting landmarks. With its state-of-the-art facilities, outstanding design, and incomparable setting at Green Point with the backdrop of Table Mountain, it will be an iconic image of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Built at a cost of R4,5-billion, the stadium is the result of an exhaustive process of planning, public participation, environmental impact assessment and feasibility and sustainability studies. It is one of the biggest planning and construction projects the City of Cape Town has ever undertaken.
Cape Town residents who aren’t interested in the stadium or don’t understand soccer still have very good reason to appreciate the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This is because the event is giving Cape Town an injection of more than R12 billion into its economic base. This will come in the form of new and upgraded infrastructure, which will make Cape Town a better place to live in for many decades to come.
Apart from the beautiful stadium, Cape Town has been preparing itself for years now, with a range of important developments around the city that are now nearing completion. Key new infrastructure improvements are upgrades to the airport, the rail system, several major road interchanges, the Grand Parade, and the Philippi and Athlone stadiums and the redevelopment of the Green Point Common as an urban park and sport precinct. Cape Town needs all of this for 2011 and beyond, but it’s 2010 that has kick-started it into actually happening.
These investments directly benefit citizens and will also help us to promote further economic growth and job creation as we head toward 2020. For example, as a result of government investment improving the prospects of Cape Town’s CBD, the area is benefiting from between R20 and R30 billion in new private sector construction projects. Many are related to 2010, for example hotels, but they are also built because their shareholders feel Cape Town is a sustainable investment destination, with good infrastructure and services.
With all of these preparations from the side of government, setting the stage for this event, I would like to encourage the citizens and businesses of the Cape Town to make the most of the opportunities it has created. It is an opportunity for celebration and excitement. It is an opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Cape Town has the honour of hosting the 2010 Final Draw on 4 December at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. At this event the match order of the 32 participating teams will be determined, after which the teams will decide where to base themselves. The draw is another important showcase for our city and will be watched live in some 200 countries.
Before the end of the year, there will be weeks of events, starting with the switch-on of the festive lights on Sunday, 29 November. We will have the Final Draw event itself and public viewing in Long Street and after that we should be celebrating the completion of our stadium on 14 December, the Province and the City will host FIFA and the soccer family, FIFA will visit Robben Island, FIFA’s first Football for Hope Centre will be opened in Khayelitsha, the Sony Fevapitch soccer tournament will be held at the Waterfront and Cape Town will host the World Broadcasters Conference.
We live in a very beautiful city, and, with our stadium and our infrastructure upgrades, it just got even more beautiful. I hope it can inspire us to take Cape Town to new and even greater heights in the future. Let us be bold, let us consider all the incredible things that are really possible for us
Alderman Dan Plato, executive mayor of Cape Town