OK. So I may be prematurely basking in the glow of what appears to be a very successful World Cup, but I’m already looking forward and pondering: what next for SA?
I think the answer is obvious – the Johannesburg Olympics 2020.
And why not? We’ve now got the stadia, the experience and most of the infrastructure to host a major event, such as the Olympics. So let’s get the NOCSA to pull finger and submit the relevant proposals.
It’s not that we need another expensive sporting event to drain our coffers. Nor is it that important to impress upon the world that Africa is capable of playing the big leagues (the World Cup has already done wonders for our continental reputation). It’s just that, as a nation, we really need what Helen Zille has called ‘immutable deadlines’.
You see, in place as comfortable and laid back as southern Africa, we must have something definite towards which we can work. Without a new set of goals and imperatives, I fear that the country will drift back into our traditional state of torpor in which nothing gets done. So let’s tie up as many major international events as we can – the rugby world cup, cricket world cup, any bloody world cup will do as long as we can keep up the momentum which has thus far delivered new airports, new roads, new public transport initiatives and so on…
The thing to acknowledge is that we are now caught in a vicious circle. We’ve spent a fortune on a whole slew of expensive public works projects and the only way to keep them running sustainably is to find new events with which to fill them. And I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. We now have the capacity, so let’s get ready to utilise the space soon to be vacated by our FIFA overlords and, in this way, we can keep the good times rolling. IMHO.
[Originally posted 22/06/2010]