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Tag: Soccer World Cup

A few days ago, I saw an article which said that the German soccer team were advised by their security firm that when they came to South Africa next year for the Soccer World Cup, they should wear bullet-proof vests when they venture out of their hotel rooms.

The reason for this is that South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and they just trying to be careful. It is overreacting a slight bit, but does give a very interesting view as to how South Africa is viewed on the world stage.

Crime exists everywhere in the world, but South Africa has one of the highest rates of crime. Now, how exactly do South Africans handle this war zone we live in? We just simply carry on with life.

Crime is the number one topic we South African love to complain about (justifiably so), yet life goes on. We may live behind electric fencing and burglar bars, but very few fear walking down the road. We know that there are risks, and we try to minimise them as much as possible – you could say that South Africans are a heck of a lot more street-wise than our overseas counterparts. We don’t show off flashy items such as cellphones or expensive jewelery in risky places, and are always aware of our surroundings.

But has it reached a point where we need bullet-proof vests? I think not. We may be street-wise but we certainly are not petrified of getting gunned down.

I will say I understand the German security firm’s stance, and I certainly think that South African crime is out of control, but I still feel safe enough to walk down the street leaving the body armour to the security guards who patrol our streets.


I am beginning to get a little tired of hearing about the 2010 Soccer World Cup every second of the day. It is great that we, South Africa, are hosting it, but it drives me insane as to how people are just using it as an excuse for everything from marketing campaigns to changing laws.

I encountered a good example this weekend.

Claudia and I were driving through Observatory, in Cape Town, and Claudia told me that she saw a sign at the Engen garage we had just driven past saying that they accepted credit cards to pay for fuel. this lead to a little argument, as the law in South Africa prohibits paying for fuel with credit cards, so I thought she had been mistaken.

As it turns out, I was wrong (and did apologise). It was indeed illegal to buy fuel on credit card. That is why for decades, South Africans have had to have garage cards in order to buy fuel on credit, instead of being able to use their credit cards. This, however, was changed last month, I discovered. The law was amended and it is now legal to buy fuel on a regular credit card, and Engen has been the first fuel retailer in South Africa to begin accepting them.

Now, what has this to do with the Soccer world cup, you may ask? Well, the reason they changed that law to allow credit cards is to make it easier for foreign tourists coming over here next year for the soccer. What makes this event so special that government can change laws like this just for that. I mean, for years we have had to put up with it, and now suddenly we hosting a sporting event, and they able to change it.

Yes, it will make life easier for our tourists, and, heck, it will even make life a lot easier for me, but I really think that the reasons for why it is happening are somewhat flawed.

You can read more from an Engen press release