Saturday, 30 August 2008

Mother City visit: Miserable Mom gets a facelift

When I was growing up, there would be Winters in Cape Town that would be cold, and grey and wet. This weekend is just like those Winters of my memories.

Having landed quite late on Friday evening, I was fortunate to get to my parents just minutes before the heavens opened and the rain poured for quite some time. Saturday morning was quieter, but no less grey and ferocious. The Northerly wind is blowing at gale force strength at times, and it is really not a pleasant experience going out. I took some photos while out today, but as you can see, could not even SEE the mountain through the cloud and precipitation.

I was out today, travelling to Somerset West and to Big Bay in Blouberg. And I got to see that, despite being miserable (well, this weekend anyway the Mother City is preparing herself for the football World Cup, under going a fairly major facelift in areas – preparing herself to not just looking beautiful, but to be more welcoming to visitors.

And that got me thinking, there was and continues to be a lot of argument about the pros and cons of hosting such major events as the Olympics and the Football World Cup. But the “success” of such events is very subjective. South Africa’s Beijing Olympic Games experience was anything BUT a success – with just a single Silver medal. Businesses, sponsors and corporate partners will measure “success” purely in monetary terms.

But perhaps more importantly (in my mind at least) is the legacy that such an event creates for the general public, the people living in the host country.

And it occurred to me that in the years I lived in Cape Town, I cannot recall the N2 motorway ever undergoing such building work. I cannot recall the amount of road works that I saw today, as the transport system of Cape Town receives some long overdue attention.

To my mind, the legacy of the event, the manner it enriches the lives of the people of South Africa – not in monetary terms but in uplifting their lives and way of life – these are the measures that will ultimately prove whether the Football World Cup is a success or a failure.


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