Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg is to undergo minor upgrades for 2010. It has a capacity of 60 000 and will host five first-round matches, one second-round and one quarter-final match. (Image: South Africa 2010 Local Organising Committee)
Artist's impression of the 30 000-seat Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga province. It will be specially built for 2010 and host four first-round matches. (Image: Mbombela Local Municipality)
SA 2010: Did you know that there are robots on the street corners in SA?
Here are some of the frequent questions SA Info website addressed.
Fifa decided that the 2010 tournament would be hosted by an African country, with five countries - South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya - in the running. In 2004 the organisation's inspection committee announced that South Africa had the potential to organise an "excellent" World Cup - compared to Egypt and Morocco's potential to organise "very good" World Cups, Tunisia's potential to organise a "good" World Cup, and the probability that Libya would "face great difficulties in organising a World Cup to the standards required".
Well, what's the place like?
Believe it or not, we have cities. With roads. And skyscrapers. And electric lights. And traffic jams. South Africa is the powerhouse of Africa, the most advanced, broad-based economy on the continent, with infrastructure to match any first-world country.
You can drive on wide, tarred highways all 2 000 kilometres from Musina at the very top of the country to Cape Town at the bottom. Or join over 7-million international travellers who disembark at our airports every year.
Two-thirds of Africa's electricity is generated here. Forty percent of the phones are here. Twenty percent of the world's gold and 77% of its platinum is mined here. And almost everyone who visits is astonished at how far a dollar, euro or pound will stretch ...
Images Courtesy of SA Tourism
We're on the southern tip of Africa (that lozenge-shaped continent east of America, south of Europe and west of China), where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. We have nine provinces: Gauteng, the smallest and most densely populated, adjoins Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga in the north; the Northern Cape, the largest province with the smallest population, is in the west; the Free State is in the middle of the country; and the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape lie to the south.
And the people?
South Africa is a nation of over 46-million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs. Africans are in the majority at 37.2-million, some 79.4% of the population. The white population is estimated at 4.4-million (9.3%), the coloured population at 4.1-million (8.8%) and the Indian or Asian population at 1.1-million (2.5%).
And we're good company. "We can say that the people of South Africa were always friendly, very boisterous and constantly celebrating during our visit to the country," Fifa's inspection team said in their country report. "[They] would stop and show their joy and support of the country's commitment whenever our group passed by."
Of course! The 2010 tournament is guaranteed to be, as we South Africans say, a jol. As in Germany in 2006, public viewing areas accommodating vast numbers of fans watching the games on giant screens are likely to be set up. And you can always watch the tournament and get to know the locals at our numerous pubs, restaurants and sports bars.
What's the beer like?
Cold and delicious. South Africans generally drink bottled beer, although most pubs offer a range of draughts. The major producer is South African Breweries, now a huge multinational doing business across the world. Lager is probably the favourite, followed by pilsener. In and around the stadiums, though, you'll only be able to drink beer produced by Budweiser, an official Fifa sponsor.
Are there lions in the streets?
Um, no. But if you want to see lions - and leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffalos and more - visit one of the many wildlife lodges and game parks across the country, which include the huge and magnificent Kruger National Park.
What benefits will South Africa get for hosting the World Cup?
It's been estimated that the 2010 World Cup will create some 129 000 jobs, contribute around R21-billion to the country's gross domestic product and another R7.2-billion in government taxes, with the 350 000 visitors spending a whopping R9.8-billion.
Are South Africans nice people?
Visitors to the country always remark on how warm, friendly and welcoming South Africans are. We've had a difficult past, so we don't waste time being difficult people. And we're expert at having fun.
Can I use my hairdryer?
Electricity is generally 220/230 volts, 15 amps, and is supplied through either 15-amp three-prong or 5-amp two-prong plugs, in both cases with round pins. If you're bringing anything electrical, bring an adapter – or you could buy one here. Generally, the 110V video chargers work safely on the 220V supply. Television is on the PAL system.
Is it true that there are robots on the street corners?
Yes, there are. In South Africa, traffic lights are known as robots, although no-one knows why. A pick-up truck is a bakkie, sneakers are takkies, a barbeque is a braai, an insect is a gogga and an alcoholic drink is a dop.
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