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Public funds and residents’ perceptions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup: A case study of a non-host area
Studies conducted on mega events reflect a focus on the host community, with minimal attention given to non-host areas. The hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was anticipated to bring major contributions (social, economic and environmental) to the country. Expectations were high among residents in the mainstream locations (host communities) and those on the periphery (non-host communities). South Africa as a developing nation was privileged to have hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup despite its challenges of service delivery. As a result of the latter, the interpretation, value and meaning of hosting the event by those on the periphery may not be the same as those in the host area as major infrastructural developments take place mainly in the host area. Amid the service delivery protests that took place before the event, this article focuses on how residents in the Cape Winelands District Municipality perceived the expenditure of public funds towards the hosting of the mega sport event. Questionnaires were administered to 1250 households. The results revealed mixed reactions. While residents were concerned about public spending on the event, by and large they did not isolate the costs with the value of hosting. Moreover, some residents perceived the event to have delayed basic services in their area. Specific attention should be paid to these aspects when considering future mega event bids such as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.