I was delighted when I heard one of the Cape Town tourism people talk about an ‘afterglow’ instead of a hangover that Cape Town was experiencing after the mafifa World Cup. I loved the idea; it sounded positive and sustainable. But it seems the afterglow has turned into a hangover.
The WC month was nothing short of miraculous in many ways. South Africans were on their best behaviour. We all listened when Zuma asked us to behave! There wasn’t a peep from Mal-enema, embarrassing us with his usual uncontrolable spewage. Our politicians, in general, kept a low profile and were mostly polite for a change. On the ground, people made a brilliant effort to be friendly, engaging, hospitable and patriotic. Our TV screens were filled with colour, music and feel-good stories. Vuvuzelas were a global hit. Our cities looked magnificent and our stadia were commented on in glowing terms. Special courts dealt with crimes, special traffic cops managed congestion and we all seemed to follow all the rules so much better. Â We really put on a great, glamourous show while the world watched.
But now that the cameras are no longer on us we seem to be sliding into that murky, messy ‘nobody’s watching’ behaviour. We seem to be taking the WC out of the World Cup. The streets are grimy again. Taxis are driving in the yellow lane. Mal-enema is back. The DA is accusing, the foreigners are fleeing, civil servants are threatening to strike. You know; the usual. We are probably no different from most countries in the world.
But for that month…