BRYANSTON – a record high (85%) of South Africans supporting the preparation ahead of the World Cup has surfaced in African Response’s latest 2010 Barometer – measuring perceptions of readiness ahead of the World Cup in around the major metropolitans in South Africa.
“I was there”
With all of the ticketing phases almost complete, leaving some triumphant and others wondering how they missed out, 51% of respondents say that it is likely they will be attending one of the matches in June / July. This has gone down from October last year where 55% expected to be there. Likely attendance is highest in Durban with 54% saying they will probably go to a match, and lowest in Cape Town, with 45% making their way to the stadiums. Most likely to go are those aged below 34 years of age while the older age groups demonstrate less interest in being there in person.
Those who don’t make it to the stadium will almost certainly be watching the games on TV, with 89% of South Africans intending to do so. For those who believe that soccer is a game only enjoyed by men, it will be surprising to learn that 86% of females are looking forward to catching the games on TV.
Many South Africans have demonstrated the intention of staying at home with their kids to watch the matches. With the school holidays having been adjusted to fall at the same time, parents have a longer holiday to find activities to entertain their children:
- 26% are keeping the kids at home and safe with them;
- 9% intend to take them to some of the games at the stadiums;
- 16% intend on watching the games on TV with their children;
- 10% have not decided yet;
- 8% say their children will be spending some of the time with other friends and relatives; and
- only 4% are planning on going on holiday during that time.
After a disappointing 2009 and being the lowest ranking team in the tournament, just over half of South Africa (55%) have faith that Bafana Bafana will be ready for the World Cup. This has remained mostly on a par with the last few readings neither going up or down. However, it seems that the fans will still be behind the team regardless as only a quarter of those we spoke to were willing to actually say Bafana Bafana will not be ready.
Get Ready to Sing!
Patriotism and national pride is noticeably on the up already and learning our national anthem should be at the top of anyone’s list in preparation for the tournament in June. 45% of South Africans state that they know the whole anthem with 50% saying they know bits of it. The good news is that only 6% don’t know the anthem at all. Capetonians and Durbanites have the most learning to do with only 40% and 43% respectively knowing the national anthem whilst those in the youngest age group (16-24) will make us proud with their rendition of Nkosi Sikelela – 58% of them knowing the entire anthem.
“Happy” to be a South African!
With World Cup fever and the national pride about to burst, respondents were asked what one word described their feelings about being South African during this period of time. One quarter used the words “happy” or “glad” to describe the feeling, while one-fifth used the words excited / thrilled / optimistic and 19% prefer the word “proud”.
In our stadiums we trust
Looking at the various elements of preparation, South Africans have demonstrated the highest amount of confidence in our stadiums – 89% of people proclaiming that they will be ready and this has shown a big increase since October last year – where 81% stated we would be ready. With a plenitude of photographs circulating the media, we have really started to understand the amount of work involved and how far the stadiums have come. Those in Durban are most confident of stadium-readiness with 96% agreeing that they will be ready.
Restaurants (88%) and Accommodation (84%) have also scored highly in the confidence stakes, again particularly in Durban, with lower scores coming from those in Cape Town.
With an estimated half-a-million visitors arriving in South Africa soon, our Airports have really had to upgrade their services and facilities to make visitors comfortable and ensure that travelling is pain-free. 81% of South Africans deem that the airports with updated technology, systems and staff will be all set when the first World Cup visitor lands on their runway.
Confidence in our public transport has seen a slight increase from last year while confidence in roads has remained unchanged. It is hard not to notice the work going into this if you are on major roads at any time of day and night, and is a constant reminder of what we’ll be dealing with in a short few months’ time. Confidence in public transport is highest in Johannesburg (76%) while Durbanites are most confident in the roads (73%).
69% believe that policing and security will be well-equipped for the 2010 World Cup and this has also increased from 65% in October last year. Following the budget speech where it was stated that R22.9 bn will be spent on policing, it is hoped that this will contribute to tighter security before 11th June this year.
South Africans are most concerned about our electricity supply ahead of 2010 – only 59% agreeing that we will be ready. Always the confident group, Durbanites (53%) are surprisingly the least confident, while a comparatively high percentage (68%) of those living in Pretoria believe that we will be able to meet the electricity demands that the World Cup will bring.
Host with the most
South Africans have a reputation for being warm and friendly people but the first real test will come up in a few months’ time. When asked whether the South African people are ready to play host during 2010, 87% of South Africans believed they were and 89% believe that the whole nation is looking forward to the event. Durbanites are most pronounced in this sentiment with 93% believing that we are ready to host. Capetonians, despite being comparatively critical of the various elements of preparation, show a lot of confidence that we will be ready (87%) as well as believing that the whole nation is looking forward to the World Cup (91%).
However, South Africans are cognisant of the fact that there is still work to be done ahead of the World Cup and 61% agree that we need to focus on policing and security if our visitors are to leave our shores having had a good experience in our country. 20% also agree that we need to focus on being hospitable, in terms of showing people around and helping with queries. There is a handful of people (6%) who believe that sharing cultural traditions, behaviours and heritage sites will guarantee a great trip for our visitors.
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