Cape Town | One Stadium: Two South Africas

A decision to build a world cup football stadium in a wealthy white enclave has raised issues of development for Cape Town’s most marginalised citizens

01 June 2010
Residents of Delft, a township on Cape Town’s margins, say that as the World Cup approaches, they’ve been forgotten.
© THAHEER MULLINS
Residents of Delft, a township on Cape Town’s margins, say that as the World Cup approaches, they’ve been forgotten.
© THAHEER MULLINS

WORLD CUP FANATICS leaving Cape Town International Airport face a fork in the road leading to two very different South Africas.

If visitors turn left on the N2 highway, or Settlers Way, and drive past the awe inspiring Table Mountain and the chic cafés and bars of Long Street, they will reach the affluent oceanfront community of Green Point. Here lies the new 60,000-plus capacity Cape Town Stadium, completed just in time for the 2010 World Cup, which South Africa will begin hosting on 11 June.

Look around, and it’s easy to see why it was built here: on one side, the blue waters of the Atlantic sparkle; on the other, Lion’s Head, a sleek brown hill, stretches upwards towards the ubiquitous mountain. The stadium is a white-ribbed oval with a bowed roof, skirted by parking lots and golf greens. It cost 4.51 billion rand (27 billion rupees). This is the Cape Town that World Cup organisers are anxious to show off.

Coel Kirkby is a freelance writer based in Cape Town. He has written for the Guardian and allAfrica amongst others.

Keywords: World Cup football FIFA Coel Kirkby Cape Town Atlantic sparkle tumeleng Kotsoane Blikkiesdorp Green Point Delft
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