Address of the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) in the plenary of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 7th World Forum on Educational and Social Legacy of the FIFA World Cup, Durban, Republic of South Africa
7 Dec 2010
Theme:“Giving voice to youth”
Mr Hichcam El Guerrouj, Member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Commission for Culture and Olympic Education
Mr Nick Fuller, Head of Education, London 2012 Get Set Programme
Ms Christiane Paquelet, Administrative and Cultural Director, NOC Brazil
Professor Yoganathan (Yoga) Coopoo
Mr Alan Harris, YOG Young Reporter
All protocol observed
Ladies and gentlemen
South Africa has hosted a string of mega-events since 1994, including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2002 United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, and now the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In 2009 alone, lesser major events such as the IPL Cricket Tournament, the Confederations Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy took place on South African soil.
Mega-event promoters assure all parties of excellent benefits. Even if the event generates a monetary loss, it is believed that the benefits in terms of international exposure and tourist arrivals will be more than compensated. Since around 1998, however, a new wave of studies from previous host countries has suggested more mixed effects.
For example, assumptions are that mega-events will boost the economic growth of host cities and have a long-term positive effect on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). One Korean study of sports events since 1954 found a modest pattern of increase in the year following an event, but another study found no statistically significant correlation.
A study of income and employment data after the 1994 Football World Cup in the United States found that nine of the 13 host cities suffered subsequent declines in growth. Overall, the 13 locations suffered losses on balance of over US$ 9 billion.
Studies on the impact of mega-events on employment and economic opportunities are similarly mixed. Economic projections tend to overestimate the benefits and underestimate the costs of such an event. For example, most jobs related to mega-events are created in the construction and tourist sectors, but tend to be short term and often menial, and the extent to which most workers will share in the increased skills development and profits generated is not clear. The influx of foreign tourists associated with mega-events should benefit the local curio sector substantially.
Yet merchandising opportunities around mega events are often jealously protected by international sporting organisations through stringent rules and regulations which prohibit curio traders from benefiting from the influx of tourists.
However, a number of studies have indicated the potential importance of the more ‘intangible’ benefits of mega events such as the World Cup. Sport has historically been employed as a means to enhance nation building and provide us with socio-cultural ‘touchstones’. As President Zuma in his address to the country on the opening of the World Cup explained:
The South African flag has become the most popular item on the shopping list of South Africans and this augurs well for nation building. This explosion of national pride is a priceless benefit of the world cup tournament.
The “Football Friday” campaign was highly successful in getting the whole nation wearing the Bafana Bafana yellow football top, and thus showing support for our national team. It was beautiful to see that our whole country had turned yellow. For a good few months we could feel something special. Nobody could say what it was. It did not matter. We all agreed that the World Cup was here, and we could feel it. Kenako! This campaign itself inspired Bafana Bafana, and demonstrated once again, the uniting power of sport. When Bafana were sadly knocked out of the tournament, all South Africans united behind the remaining African teams.
When all African teams were knocked out except Ghana, you will recall how we united behind them as Africans, and even coined the name BaganaBagana. Most German supporters in the country also united behind Ghana after Germany was knocked out. Friends, this clearly illustrates that sport is a universal language, one that gets all people, no matter what their background or status, to pour their energies and emotions into supporting their stars.
It instills a sense of patriotism, like no other activity in the world can. We in the Olympic Movement must therefore use every opportunity we can to capitalize on this lesson that Africa has to offer. Find interesting and creative means to get a whole country to buy into and support with heart and soul.
Ladies and gentlemen
It is clear that millions of our people have waited for years and looked upon this tournament with hope, pride and a sense of belonging. Sport has always played an important role in our historical mission to build a united, non-racial and prosperous South Africa and a better world. Almost all sports in our country, such as rugby, athletics, swimming, hockey, netball and cricket have made a contribution to build social cohesion and human solidarity.
Importantly in a globalising world, mega events play a complex role in the developing countries who host them. On the one hand such events link hosts to the international community in significant ways, facilitating capital flows and international networks but at the same time often play an important role in local nation building efforts.
Thus developing countries generally tend to use sports mega-events in ways highly distinct from developed countries. As a result of unequal global power relations developing countries often seek to use mega-events to meet specific political or foreign policy goals such as image enhancement and profiling.
Mega-events allow host countries in the developing world to engage in international activities beyond ‘objective’ measures of their international capacity and allow them to compensate for the lack of sources of power and influence in the international sphere. On the other hand mega-events need to be understood in relation to, among other things, the sociology and politics of nations, particularly the nation-building of host nations, and the motivations of participant nations in terms of the presentation and recognition of national identities.
We are currently in the process of assessing the costs and benefits of mega-events such as the World Cup. We have partnered with our sister department of Science and Technology, who have engaged the Human Sciences Research Council to conduct the study
This study seeks to systematically examine claims regarding the effect of the World Cup on social cohesion and nation building through the collection of empirical evidence which will make it possible to dispute, expand or detail these impacts in order to assist in the process of translating these impacts into long term, sustainable, positive effects on social cohesion and national reconciliation.
There is evidence from other countries that an event such as the World Cup can have a long term positive effect on social cohesion and reconciliation. Du Plessis and Maennig, for example found that the 2006 World Cup had considerable intangible benefits for Germany including a change in image and nation building. The 2006 World Cup helped to alter previously negative perceptions of Germany to one of the country being perceived as hospitable and welcoming.
It also assisted with nation building in relation to the division between East and West Germany, and legitimised patriotism previously viewed as too reminiscent of the Nazi era. The 2010 World Cup may have provided an opportunity for South Africa to project a contemporary, reinvigorated image of Africa, to celebrate African culture and identity and to enhance South Africa’s pride and identity.
Major international sporting events are also positively associated with enhancing the prospects for, and quality of, a democratic life. It is argued that people feel empowered by the successful staging of sporting mega-events and by succeeding in the eyes of the world. Altringer argues that events such as the World Cup lead citizens to develop a sense of common purpose with their fellow country men and women and feel a greater sense of ownership of both the event itself and the community of which they are part.
Pillay therefore argues that major international sporting events constitute striking moments of intense identity formation, projection and patriotism providing the society with opportunities to build and project common political identities.
On the other hand there are analysts who argue that sport has an inflated status as nation builder and social unifier and that it is nothing more than ‘ninety minutes patriotism’. Sport as a nation-builder, according to this view, has a limited potential. Hendricks warns against the possibility that sport can be exploited by governments, political parties and dominant groups striving to achieve particular outcomes that further their own agenda. Coakley and Klein note that although football may have brought people together in Brazil, there must be doubt about whether that had any impact on the political and economic realities of that society.
In particular, they ask questions about whether (a) some groups benefit from the “unity” more than others, and (b) whether the “unity” has any impact on issues not relating to sport. Hendriks therefore concludes that the World Cup will not impact significantly what he perceives as the foundation upon which nation-building can be achieved, for example improvements in the economy, education, communication, health, and other critical aspects of the lives of the majority of the country’s people.
A number of analysts have pointed to the need to put in place co-ordinated ‘legacy’ plans in order to try and capitalise on any of the potential benefits of the 2010 World Cup. Labuschagne, for example, notes that the effect of sport on nation building could be made more enduring by careful planning and deliberate efforts to ensure that its benefits are felt as widely as possible.
Fairweather also argues that a legacy plan is needed to ensure that as many sustainable benefits as possible are generated by mega events for the host city, region and country. Labuschagne notes that the media also plays an important role in the process of social and racial integration through sport in a divided country, for example positive coverage of the Rugby World Cup, in newspapers such as the Sowetan, which re-named the Springboks, a national team previously emblematic of segregation and apartheid, with the colloquial name, ‘Amabokaboka’.
Amongst the different areas that our research is looking into are the following:
- public confidence in state institutions (institutional trust)
- social trust (trust in others) in cross-country comparison
- national pride
- national identity
- race relations and redistributive policies
- attitudes to inequality / relative deprivation
- fear of crime
- attitudes to service delivery
- constitutional values
- moral attitudes
- social networks / organisational membership
Sport and Recreation South Africa has also tasked The Human Sciences Research Council with consolidating a report on the 2010 FIFA World Cup legacy projects, programmes and initiatives within both the governmental and the non governmental sectors. The report has been described as a ‘legacy audit’. While some overlap is to be expected, two broad categories of legacies have been identified, namely, tangible legacies and intangible legacies.
Tangible legacies include physical infrastructure (for example roads, stadia, sports labs, sports houses, fan parks and dream fields), economic outcomes and greening initiatives (by the national department of Environmental Affairs, City of Johannesburg, other host cities, etc).
Intangible legacies on the other hand refer to the social and ecological impacts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and include contributions to the image of the country, social cohesion and nation building, ecological sustainability and skills transfer. These are examples only, and a detailed list of each type of legacy will be developed as part of the study.
Ladies and gentlemen
The purpose of the audit is to document legacy projects across all sectors, including those initiated by government, non-governmental and private business organisations. The audit will identify strategic legacy projects, which it will focus on rather than attempting to cover every legacy project that was initiated as a result of the World Cup.
Critically, the audit will not simply describe legacy projects but will also seek to probe links between mega events such as the World cup and the development objectives of the country, as the World Cup has been widely posited as a catalyst for development in South Africa.
The audit will lay the basis for a future comprehensive impact study by examining the developmental intentions of various projects so that it will be possible to later measure these projects against their stated developmental objectives. This will make it possible to properly assess the developmental benefits of the World Cup, and will help inform strategic decision making about the hosting of future mega events.
This project is, therefore, intended to serve as a blue print for future mega events. While the audit is not an impact assessment of the world cup, the project report will be expected to begin to articulate possible foci/questions for such an impact study - to be conducted later when the impact of the World Cup over time can be properly assessed. As well as a descriptive account of the initiatives in place, it is important that the audit tells a story of how a mega sports event can become the catalyst for achieving the country’s development goals. The objectives of the audit are:
- to create a historical record of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
- to consolidate lessons for future mega events
- to ensure public accountability
Some of the specific questions that the audit needs to address in this regard include:
- What were the intentions behind each initiative?
- What was the thinking of the country when it used the event to achieve its developmental goals?
- What examples are there from other countries that South Africa could learn from, particularly for future mega events?
Ladies and gentlemen, “Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”
The World Cup in South Africa has lived up to this philosophy. South Africans have opened their homes and hearts to the football and other sports fans from around the globe. Our hospitality was second to none. There were no holds barred. We knew that the whole world had its eyes on us. The whole country rallied behind the call to embrace our visitors and spoil them with our traditional friendship and sincerity.
The players of our national team, Bafana Bafana were disciplined, and demonstrated fair play. Our football fans have been really disciplined throughout the tournament, and there was no significant incident at the stadia. We respected all who came to our land, and welcomed them to explore the streets and canteens in our townships.
Many of them enjoyed the experience so much that they mentioned that they would certainly return with their families and friends. This is what universal understanding is built on. It is only when there is such universal understanding, and this feeling of brotherhood or sisterhood prevails, that we can truly say that sport builds peace among people. Let us therefore ensure in future mega events that social cohesion is promoted as an outcome.
When it comes to education, we have benefited tremendously from hosting the World Cup. Firstly, our German friends ensured that there was skills transfer from their 2006 World Cup experiences. These skills covered a wide range of specialised areas, from football administration, to the planning of a mega event, the preparation for the tournament, marketing, ticketing, engineering and construction, risk management, financial management, etc. We also learned about good customer care, hospitality, infrastructure development, transport, security, law enforcement, etc.
This learning will stand us in good stead for the future. We can even assist our next southern hemisphere host of the 2014 World Cup, Brazil. And in the spirit of Olympism, we will. Therefore, may the spirit of Olympism be spread across the length and breadth of our beloved land South Africa, so that all our people are exposed to its philosophy and the positive lessons, values and attitudes.Long live Olympism! Long live Sport!
I thank you!
Source: Sports and Recreation South Africa
Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
7 Dec 2010
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