South Africa comes down from World Cup high
Six months after the football World Cup kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africans are coming to terms with the fact that hosting the premier international sporting event boosted national pride but attracted a third fewer visitors than expected.
The World Cup brought in welcome foreign currency, but football tourists spent about a tenth of the government’s multi-billion euro tab and the global recession has dulled the return on investment.
The money spent by the 310,000 visitors pales next to the government’s 3.6-billion-euro outlay on the extravaganza.
Much of this went on infrastructure benefitting South African, but some of the new football stadiums now lie empty.
Consulting firm KPMG surveyed 100 of its top clients and found that just 22 per cent felt they had benefited from the World Cup. The year before, 45 per cent thought the tournament would have a positive impact.
South Africa's economic growth slowed from 4.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 to 3.2 per cent in the second and 2.6 per cent in the third, the periods covering the June-to-July World Cup.
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