Cup showing an unexpected SA – Zille
WESTERN Cape Premier Helen Zille says the country’s successful hosting of the World Cup has presented the world with a picture of South Africa that people didn’t expect.
She told the Cape Town Press Club yesterday that when the BBC interviewed her in their studio on top of Somerset Hospital, they had expressed amazement there hadn’t been the expected crime wave.
Zille said she pointed out to the interviewer there also had not been man-eating, poisonous snakes in Wayne Rooney’s locker – a reference to the British press’s earlier horror stories of what to expect in South Africa.
“We’ve done ourselves proud, but I never celebrate until the party is over,” Zille said.
“I’m a great believer in Murphy’s Law, which says that if anything can go wrong it will.”
The premier said she’d become a major convert to the power of sport to unite people after witnessing the extraordinary scenes of nation-building at Orlando Stadium when the Stormers took on the Blue Bulls in the Super 14 final.
While Green Point had not been her first choice for the stadium when Fifa told her it was either Green Point or Joburg she had decided to make the most of it.
On whether Capetonians could expect similar advances in housing as in infrastructure put in place for the World Cup, Zille said there had been huge political will to get everything in place for the World Cup.
“We had to turn projects into special cases and get exemptions.”
But when it came to building houses, an array of laws hindered delivery – a situation she had asked President Jacob Zuma to review.
“Even if we had taken every cent we spent on the World Cup and spent it on housing, we’d probably still be fighting,” she said.
Zille told the gathering she was never happy unless she had something to worry about and confessed she had been worrying about the World Cup for the past four years. But her focus would now shift to coming elections in 2011 and 2014.
She said she was already changing to election mode and anticipated many bumps ahead.
POSITIVE PICTURE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille addresses the Cape Town Press Club.