PICS: Cape Town mayor reflects on 10th anniversary of 2010 Fifa World Cup
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Cape Town - Mayor Dan Plato, who was also City of Cape Town mayor during the 2010 Fifa World Cup has reflected on the biggest-ever sporting tournament in South Africa, which began a decade ago today.
The mayor said that the event was a golden opportunity to build Cape Town and the country as a popular tourist destination. Plato said that it also proved what can be achieved by working together, and especially during the current global coronavirus pandemic, "we can help stop the spread if we all play our part".
"I have fond memories of the world cup, having been Mayor at the time. I remember all the work that went into the planning and hosting this mega tournament. It was challenging, but the reward was the unifying power sport had across all groups of people.
"To see the thousands of people singing and cheering for their teams was an incredible sight. For those wonderful weeks, we moved closer to that rainbow nation which the late Tata Madiba dreamt of," said Plato.
Cape Town - 04/12/2009 - Nelson Mandela with a message at the Fifa final draw at CTICC. Picture: Brenton Geach/African News Agency (ANA)/Archives
Cape Town - 30/11/2009. The International Convention Centre will be the scene for the glitz, glamour and razzmatazz associated with FIFA events, as a who's who of the footballing and celebrity world descends on what South Africans call "the Mother City". Picture: Mxolisi Madela/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Johannesburg - 09/06/2010 - Bafana Bafana supporters come out in their thousands to cheer on South Africa's soccer team as they parade through the streets of Sandton ahead of their match against Mexico and the opening of the World Cup on Friday. Sandton, Johannesburg. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives.
Johannesburg - 09/06/2010 - Supporters come out in their thousands to cheer on South Africa's soccer team as they parade through the streets of Sandton ahead of their match against Mexico and the opening of the World Cup on Friday. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/ African news Agency (ANA) Archives.
Siphiwe Tshabalala of Bafana Bafana makes his way past Efrain Juarez of Mexico during the opening match of the FIFA Soccer World Cup at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday June 11, 2010. Picture: Masi Losi
Johannesburg - 11/06/20 - Soccer City, Soweto. World Cup South Africa vs Mexico. Picture: Etienne Rothbart/ African News Agency (ANA) Archives.
A total of 309 554 international tourists visited South Africa during the world cup, with a third of that total coming from the African continent. A quarter or roughly 24 percent were visitors from Europe and 13 percent were from South America. Plato said that more than half of the total visitors had never been to Cape Town, South Africa.
As a result of the successful tournament and the many other experiences visitors were exposed to, Plato said that Cape Town's tourism industry grew to employ roughly 300 000 people across the city and province.
"As we go through the challenging times of Covid-19, let us look to the world cup as an example of what can be achieved when we all work together, of what a happy and nostalgic moment it was, and as a reminder of what Cape Town is capable of. If we work together, we can stop the spread of the coronavirus, and we can only do this if we all play our part. Please continue to wash your hands regularly, wear your face mask and practice social distancing.
"Please share your memories on social media with us, we would like to hear from you. We are #OneCityTogether," said Plato.