Is the World Cup benefitting the South African property sector

Are there any signs that the South African property sector will benefit from the influx of World Cup visitors?

“I have to admit that to date I have seen very little evidence of this,” said Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties “I am inclined to feel that those who promoted the potential spin-offs so bullishly were, in fact, not that well informed. However, it does seem clear that the long term effects of this event will be felt for some time.”

He had hoped, said Clarke, that interaction with top level businesses, for example in the banks’ private boxes at several of the new stadia, would lead to worthwhile discussions and new deals - but so far this has not happened.

“We have met with several delightful top ranking visitors who have become good friends but who have so far shown very little interest in the business potential that awaits entrepreneurs here,” said Clarke. “They are very much in holiday mode and as yet there seems no likelihood of this situation changing.”

Despite this, said Clarke, he does believe that South Africa, and the Cape in particular, are having a big impact on visitors, many of whom will return. This, he said, had been confirmed by some of those with whom he had talked.

“FIFA have already said that their TV viewing numbers will be higher than ever before in the history of soccer and many of my staff have testified that visitors are finding the open and friendly welcome from South Africans refreshing - especially after the rather sour reception and exorbitantly high costs to which some were subjected at the German World Cup.”

Clarke, who will attend several World Cup games, had high praise for the 1 000 South African Police Reservists who were bussed in at short notice to take over the management of the Green Point Stadium after the contracted security guards ‘let the side down so disgracefully’.

“The police conduct on that occasion was so helpful and exemplary that every one of them deserves a medal. That type of behaviour is exactly what is needed to stimulate confidence and investment in South Africa - and this is the message we need to get through to every single South African who comes into contact with a visitor from across our borders.”

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