Cup show­ing an un­ex­pected SA – Zille

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - HELEN BAM­FORD

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.

PIC­TURE: JEF­FREY ABRAHAMS

POS­I­TIVE PIC­TURE: Western Cape Premier Helen Zille ad­dresses the Cape Town Press Club.

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