Was the World Cup worth it? Posted: 1536 GMT Will South Africans see the World Cup differently once the tournament has ended? Now is the time that people starting asking whether or not hosting an event like the World Cup was worth it. With the benefit of hindsight, the columnists will make assessments on how successful the tournament has been. The economists will start calculating whether the country could afford it. The good citizens of South Africa will wonder what to do with themselves after years of planning and now weeks of hosting one of the worlds biggest sporting tournaments. The feel-good factor is still around South Africans havent felt this positive about each other and the country in a long time. As one commentator put it, "You would think someone had put Prozac in the water." However, the warm, fuzzy love-fest will soon wear off. Or will it? Cynical, tough people by nature, South Africans will soon start to ask hard questions of their national and local governments. How will the authorities make sure that the 10 World Cup stadiums dont become empty, expensive, unused "white elephants?" The main stadiums in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban will most likely be used for local sports and cultural events. However, there are many doubts about the long-term benefits of having huge international-size stadiums in small, regional towns like Rustenberg, Nelspruit or Port Elizabeth. Will these stadiums slowly fall into disrepair? How will authorities manage to pay for these giant structures looming large in their communities as they try to tackle the pressing social problems of housing, education and unemployment? Another obvious success of the World Cup has been the visible policing. Forty thousand extra police officers have been on the beat and a comprehensive security plan has kept locals and foreigners safe and secure. The experience of being able to catch transport or walk in cities after dark and feel safe has been an epiphany for crime-weary South Africans. Statistics are not yet available but it appears that there has been a significant drop in crime in the past month. So many are already asking why cant it be like that all the time? It seems with political will, South Africa can be a safe and peaceful place. The big push will now be to ensure that the gains made for a month of football will endure long after the final whistle. Posted by: CNN Correspondent, Robyn Curnow Share post | 41 Comments | Add a comment | Permalink J.C.Seixas July 8th, 2010 4:23 am ET For sure, it's going to happen almost exactly as it happened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after the 2007 Pan American Games. Some "white elephants" like the housing made for the athletes are still unused and people, who where supposed to occupy them, simply won't buy because they are not suited for living, unless they make expensive structural changes. During the competitions, safety for foreigners and locals was top priority. After the competitions ended, crime rates went back to the way it was before and even worse. Rio de Janeiro received a major "makeup" in public services, but again everything went back to the way it was before. So, it is most likely that South Africa will suffer the same consequences as Rio did. Third world countries share the same type of political figures, who almost praise for poverty to get elected, and only work hard when there is a spotlight on them. Krishna Desiraju July 8th, 2010 5:07 am ET Manufactured happiness is very expensive, and one pays in the long run! Proud South African July 8th, 2010 5:28 am ET The prophets of doom are at it again. They just have to pen something negative about S.A. The WC has gone in for 3 weeks without ANY Security Incident. Firstly, they said South Africa does not have the Infrastrature to host the FIFA WC. Then they claimed that the crime is too high...Now they are saying we wasted money on building these world class stadiums. When is this persimism going to end? Those stadiums were NOT built by donor money. The stadiums were built by South African Taxpayers's money..GET IT? What makes this so called journalist think that the stadiums at the regions will become white elephants. By the way we have our own national events (Believe it or not) and those stadiums will be used. We have athletics, Rugby, national soccer to name a few minority July 8th, 2010 5:55 am ET well done S.A and keep it up,we love u and u did your best for your country and also for the world and i believe that u guys are doing an awesome things to show the world that u guys are bold to take those challenge to bring africa to a greater height in the eyes of the world. "Say no to racism" SA boy July 8th, 2010 7:04 am ET Small regional towns? It takes over 40 minutes plus at speed limit to travel from one end of Port Elizabeth to the other. When the IPL was hosted in SA (out of SECURITY FEARS over India), PE was rated higher than some of the other larger cities for spirit and atmosphere. It has been so again for the World Cup. It is not NY but stop insulting my country with crap reporting such as the above. As proud South African wrote, this was done with our tax payer money. If the government deemed this more important than what you wanted them to do with our tax money, get over it at least we are not pouring billions into pointless wars with ideological enimies. In our more respected papers, the income from the cup is rated to be quite close to expenditure. We did not build accomodation, just stadiums. We had those before, you know we just added a few more. The value of this event in SA is to show the world how wrong they are about us. That has been proven. Some people just cannot get over that. Rainbow July 8th, 2010 7:20 am ET I agree that South Africans are cynical people as the article states. But they are also people that seem to seek constant reassurance that they deserve their place in the world, that they really do measure up, that SA really is 'different' to the rest o Africa in all the right ways and the 'same' as Africa in all the right ways. They should be commended for doing a great job in this WC, but they should focus their energy (cynicism?) on holding their politicians accountable for running the country properly and bringing lasting change and benefits to those who need them. kolobe(south african) July 8th, 2010 7:32 am ET the west media having a go at us again. what is it that you want from south africa?the english delivered the wembley stadium 2 years late and we delivered 10 on time but still cant get credit.the world cup for us was more of a marketing event than anything else. you didnt even see african children with files all over/gun totting kids..well thats the image institutions like cnn spread around.its unheard of here. maybe you should concentrate on eastern europe...the people there have flies on them. i hope africa forges stronger relationships with the east proudly african July 8th, 2010 7:57 am ET CNN at it again. Why is it that you people get the joy from negative news about Africa. Give credit where is due and suggestions on how to move forward not. And if you don't have anything better to say please keep quiet or mind your business (i.e. the BP Oil Spill, Your wasteful Spending in IRAQ and Afganistan etc...) Geo Mundaden July 8th, 2010 8:05 am ET Its really an great achievement for South Africa to have conducted the FIFA world cup. There is always cost to all / any achievements which may not repay immediately. What is the immediate return for all the billions/ trillions spend on these space voyages / advanced military weapons . Same way its only for the future if its utilised in way its maintained at a minimum standard which will be an asset for the future. Try start a Football league in a small way which might be a rival to EPL. South Africa Tried-- no doubt .. its an achievement for all the South Africans.... Good luck for the future ... South Africa Anco July 8th, 2010 8:08 am ET Sure, some of the structures will not be used as often as liked, but looking beyond that, my country is much better off because of this World Cup. Not just because of the improved police force or the wonderful new infrastructure, the upgraded airports and train stations and bridges, but most of all national pride. We pulled this World Cup off and we did it almost 100% perfectly. This is something to be proud of, all of us, rich or poor. We are better off because of this World Cup, it brought us together again. Yes, crime will increase again, but we proved to ourselves and the world that we can make a difference in this country and now we can continue building on that. I'm proud of my country, proud of my people, don't worry about us, we'll be fine... Nasser July 8th, 2010 8:30 am ET To be fair, the Rustenburg stadium is not a new stadium, its been up since 1999. It was renovated by the Royal Bafokeng tribe, with no expense to the SA tax payer. Judge July 8th, 2010 9:36 am ET Port Elizabeth is the 5th Largest City in South Africa and has more than 1.2 Million People living there. How can you classify them as a town? They are also classified as a Metropole. Please check your facts. Common Man July 8th, 2010 9:38 am ET Before providing all your comments, did anybody check that the column is written by Robyn Curnow who is a South African !!! I understand the feeling towards your own country and definitely the great work that South Africa has done/proven with the hosting but, I suppose Robyn had no intention to show less of any of the efforts and dedictation put in by the SA govt. or the people. The questions posted by her are very valid and legit and NOT emotional. It will definitely be a question for the Govt. and "you" as taxpayers to figure out what will it really take/cost to maintain/sustain the facilities built/provided for the WC. For surely ALL KUDOS to SA for hosting such a magnificent event !! Malcolm July 8th, 2010 9:41 am ET We created jobs, we taught new skills, we got the job done on time, we upgraded our infrastructure, we proved that we can do it. To adapt a phrase YES WE COULD! But that is not the legacy the legacy is the brilliant marketing the overwhelmingly positive feedback and a renewed sense of national unity. You cannot put a price on that. As for crime we all have problems. At least we are not facing a terrorist threat at the moment. South Africa is a fantastic place to be and those who visited will agree! Thomas July 8th, 2010 10:05 am ET I find soccer cheap and pointless ,what's the point when you have referee's that can't even make a correct call? FIFI is a joke it's a socialist ruled game. They need instant-reply or stop playing this phony game all together,I'm not going to watch it anymore players fall on the ground not even get hit ,just to get a foul.This offside stuff is even more ridicules just cause the other team can't keep up they call it offsides get rid of it.Rule's are like running a socialist Country.........enough said phumy July 8th, 2010 10:29 am ET African are proud to be part of this history. we are all positive about our Africa. STOP PULLING US DOWN ITS ENOUGH NOW. Syeed Milky July 8th, 2010 10:30 am ET Well done South Africa. You have shown the world and the skeptics that you can do it. Regarding the newly built structures, those can be used for promoting regional sports programmes. Specially planning activities in the locations that might be used less likely at this moment. South Africa already has popular games like cricket and rugby also to play in these venues. m July 8th, 2010 11:34 am ET It has been a very expensive way to "create unity". End of the day south africans will still have to face each other. The "haves" (whites) have been very priviledged and benefitted over generations and the" have nots" (blacks,indian,chinese,coloureds) have been excluded also for generations. The new haves (usually blacks and indians) have benefitted very rapidly via various "deals" many of which are corrupt This corruption would increase much more rapidly.... South African July 8th, 2010 12:03 pm ET I am proud to call myself a South African. I am also not blind for what is going on in my country. We are glad that the WC came to us and that it is such a success, the only thing that worries me is as was said before, what is going to happen with the stadiums, yes it will be used for future events but I wonder if the crowds that will go to events there be enough to keep the stadiums in shape. When they have started building all these new stadiums and airport I asked myself is it really neccessary? Why didn't they just upgrade other stadiums and rugby fields. Why didn't they use that money and support the poor and welfare. Yes, many jobs have been created but will those people really still have jobs after this event.? I am just wondering. Hesham Shawish July 8th, 2010 12:07 pm ET Wow...it seems that there's been some very bad reporting here..lots of angry S.Africans. This year's World Cup wasn't just a proud moment for South Africa, it was a proud moment for the WHOLE of Africa. It really was history and made me so emotional at times, to think of the unity and goodwill that has come out of it for the whole continent and when Mandela is still alive as well. The effects of the tournament will be felt for year's to come!! History is happening. Roll on Sunday's final!! African Queen July 8th, 2010 12:37 pm ET Hear! Hear! As a Kenyan, I'm proud that South Africa put up a world class show for the whole world. Stadiums, transport, security, infrastructure, entertainment, food and everything else was beyond standard. The marketing will be a huge success for tourism and investors. God bless our Africa!!!!! Gillos July 8th, 2010 12:40 pm ET On a global scale, annually how much is spent on defence worldwide even where the threat of war is non-existant... i think the money (in this case) definately went to a worthy cause.. well done SA weebie July 8th, 2010 12:54 pm ET I'm not South African but this article is written by a stupid clown. Just goes to show how much of a joke American Schools are now. Rustenburg was privately built and funded and Port Elizabeth is a huge city. Polokwane and Nelspruit are the only dodgy ones but still those venues were built cheaply. zc July 8th, 2010 1:04 pm ET To: Thomas A few billions people could care less if are not watching this beautiful athletic game. You can continue sitting at ballpark, staffing yourself with beer, hotdogs and hamburgers watching corrupted and steroided lazy players with the belly slightly smaller than yours playing the game baseball. Richard Adlam July 8th, 2010 1:39 pm ET Shakespeare said it well..... "better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all".... Lucke July 8th, 2010 2:39 pm ET For sure! now millions o people around the globe know what South Africa is, what she has, where it is... This is commercially very interesting in the long term... Not just lions and elephants. Lala July 8th, 2010 2:45 pm ET Thomas, nobody is forcing you to watch it. If you don't like it, don't watch! But millions of others DO enjoy it en do want to watch it, so why abolish it just because you're a sore loser? Jose July 8th, 2010 3:45 pm ET Congratulations to South Africa for the magnificent World Cup tournament. Everything has been gone through seamlessly making this event one of the greatest in the sport history. As a Brazilian and being Brazil the next host, I hope we can follow the same path as South Africas and bring a memorable tournament to the world. For those who think exclusively on the negative side of everything and those whose put money first and above all, should also think that live is short. If we do not enjoy life what is the purpose of living? World Cup is enjoyment; lets celebrate life while we have one AZ July 8th, 2010 4:32 pm ET This honestly has been the most exciting World Cup by far even with the bad officiating.... Great job SA.... ZEL JAM July 8th, 2010 5:42 pm ET They (the west) are so jealous cant stand the fact that the world cup is the GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH . Get a life Samuel Jumbo July 8th, 2010 5:48 pm ET Yes, the World Cup is worth the troubles of hosting the continents, the euphoria of cheerful fans, jeers and cheers of soccer, the thrills and frills of seeing dream teams upsetted by newcomers would make you wish the games last forever. Samuel Jumbo, Nigeria. joel bame July 8th, 2010 5:50 pm ET SHAKIRA IS NOT CREATIVE,FOR SHE CAN NOT COMPOSE HER OWN MUSIC FOR THE WORLD CUP.SHE HAS PLAYED OVER THE CAMEROONIAN ARTIST INTELLIGENCE AND CLAIM THEIR CULTURE,WITHOUT REASONABLE COMPENSATION.SHE IS A WOLD CLASS MUSICIAN AND SHOULD BE CREATIVE AND NOT TO USE AFRICANS CREATIVITY TO ENRICH HERSELF.WE ARE NOT HAPPY WITH OUR CULTURE SHE COPIED. ADDED TO THAT,IT IS NOW TIME FOR THE WORLD TO RESPECT AFRICA AND GIVE US THE PLACE WE DESERVE IN THE WORLD FOR WE HAVE PROVEN ENOUGH. Viviane Menezes July 8th, 2010 6:07 pm ET You can save this post for the future. As soon as the world cup finishes in Brazil in 2014 you can publish the same text, only by changing "Rustenberg, Nelspruit or Port Elizabeth" for "Manaus, Cuiabá, Natal and Brasilia." Mark d July 8th, 2010 6:14 pm ET To all you S.A. people. I love your country and your people, don't let them reporters get to you!! South African July 8th, 2010 6:28 pm ET A poorly written article, obviously written by a person with a negative disposition Arthur uzo July 8th, 2010 6:34 pm ET What an arrogant anti-african comment. What SA does with the stadium is nobody business. This men of bad news had all there prediction wrong.., none of the can't be, will be, shouldn't be, must not, will not..happen during the WC. Now they are predicting another dooms after the WC. My answer to them is SHAME ON YOU ALL: rob July 8th, 2010 6:34 pm ET Seems like a lot of S.A. read CNN.com, is that cause its a popular site in S.A. or because they left the glory land and moved to the U.S.A in search for oppression and low paychecks ? Either way seems like CNN business should open an African site and discuss other "news". Herk July 8th, 2010 7:20 pm ET (South African) We are a young democracy and we need tourism. You give us a common "friend / customer" to concentrate on so we all- of- a- sudden realize we are a nation!! I am still speechless in the afterglow of merely participating in the Fanwalk in Cape Town. I have not seen cynicysm evaporate this quickly from staunch Afrikaners through any argument or other way. We embraced everything almost immediately, and it brought black and white closer. And you as our visitors deserve a lot of credit for acknowledging us in your hundreds of thousands and helping to make that epiphany come about please come again!! Magnus July 8th, 2010 8:39 pm ET I last came to South Africa 18 years ago. With all the bad press that I've seen on the country between then and now, I wasn't sure what to expect. Let it be known that I walked away extremely impressed. It wasn't just the fact that the facilities, infrastructure and organization was superb or the fact that after two weeks roaming around the country I never once felt remotely unsafe. What really impressed me was that basically everyone I met was helpful, positive, informed, and focused on solutions rather than problems in short, the sort of people I'd like to work with. As a businessman, I will certainly be looking for opportunities to do just that and I will happily tell the world they should be doing the same. South African July 9th, 2010 9:08 am ET @ Magnus i like to say thank you, people like u can change the world not that stupid people who always find something to talk about blowing hot air South African at heart July 9th, 2010 11:56 am ET Well done, South Africa! You have done yourselves proud. Most importantly, you have shown that if Africa is given a chance, and has access to the same resources as the rest of the world, you can openly and evenly compete with the best. My hope is that this event will show that given a chance, and when treated as an equal partner with the rest of the world, Africa has the skills, talent, willpower and briliiance to shine.