NYT article: investing in South Africa around World Cup


The Confederations Cup is almost over and brought with it a lot of drama, excitement, and surprises, particularly if you’re fans of either Italy (losing), Egypt (defeating Italy), and the USA (what?!?!).  it was a great prelude to what should be an even more exciting event next year!  The New York Times, in a recent article, has now even deemed South Africa ready to host the World Cup after their successful running of the Confederations Cup.  This is great news; all doubters should now just focus their efforts on hoping their team qualifies!

And while I had little doubts (mostly due to being optimistic) about South Africa’s readiness, my interest in this article lies more in what was stated near the end.  The article included the following:

Facing criticism that many South Africans would receive little benefit from the World Cup, organizers said they set aside $225 million in procurement contracts for small and midsize South African businesses.

And to ensure that South Africans will not be priced out, 120,000 tickets will be given to disadvantaged fans at no cost, including 40,000 to workers who helped build the World Cup stadiums. Some 575,000 reduced-price tickets will be sold to South Africans for as little as $20, organizers said.

Now this is more like it.  Regarding the first paragraph, I would be very curious to know how those contracts have been handed out and how (and if) those business, mid-size and small, will be supported to be sustainable after the event.  I’m sure there will be many an entrepreneur looking to make a quick buck during the event, but the real question is how many of those budding business people will be able to continue to make it work after the excitement has abated, the tourists gone home? This sort of economic development are the things that will contribute to the country and the  legacy of the event.

For the second graph, I’m wondering how they are subsidizing the distribution of free and under-market priced tickets?  I think it is absolutely wonderful and I salute them, but am wondering if sponsors are underwriting the tickets or if FIFA is just eating the cost.  That is not a small price to swallow and I for one am proud that they are doing this, but who are “they” and how are “they” doing it?  Don’t “they” want some press about it.  I would appreciate any ideas from readers if they have insight on how these sort of ticket giveaways are supported.

The full article can be found at this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/sports/soccer/28soccer.html?_r=1&hpw=&pagewanted=all

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