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We felt it, now it is gone!

2010-07-13 07:32
I'm glad to say that we managed to pull off a great African World Cup. Yes we had a few hiccups along the way but weighing up all the positives against the negatives I'd say we achieved at least an A.

But this World Cup could never have happened without the few who helped put this event together so I think they deserve a special round of applause and a thank you.  So on behalf of all South Africans, I'd like to thank those individuals who worked their butts off in order to fund this amazing spectacle, our taxpayers!

After we won the bid, planning sprung into place. We need stadiums, roads, the Gautrain, upgraded airports and other supporting infrastructure and to do this we needed billions of rands. The government got some major construction companies to get our stadiums ready. To anyone with half a brain, there should never really have been any doubt as to whether the stadiums would be ready in time.

Companies such as Interbeton and Grinaker-LTA, who completed Soccer City, are world class operations with massive reputations. Their foreign holding companies have massive investments in South Africa and expect big returns and thus were never going to let this project fail. I'm 100% positive that they could have built a million-seater stadium in time, question was only how much was our government willing to pay. That decision was made and through vastly improved administration by SARS, taxes were collected faster than ever and this helped fund our soccer stadiums.

As for the future of these stadiums, no real planning was made for after the SWC. Maintenance costs for some stadiums run into the millions and without regular, full-house events they will run at losses. It is expected that ratepayers would fit the bill for maintenance until the stadiums would start turning a profit.

The same bunch of taxpayers has been pumping their hard earned cash into financing roads. I must say this money was spent wisely as we have wonderful highways up here in Gauteng, after being widened and re-tarred. And these taxpayers will continue to finance these roads by means of tolls. It is expected that someone driving from Pretoria central to Johannesburg central will pay around R1000 per month just on tolls.

So with taxpayers' funding, the stadiums, Gautrain, airports and roads were ready and it was time for the main event. So they filled ticketing stations and went online and started paying for tickets. This is of course one of the major factors in hosting a World Cup, and that is ticket revenue. Once again the taxpayers forked out billions of rands in order to pack the stadiums.

After spending well over R40bn and for committing themselves to spend billions more in the next few years, I think our some five million taxpayers are the real heroes who made this World Cup happen.

Thanks again on hosting an excellent event!

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