Dreams realised and others deferred (1) The executive

2010-07-08 12:29

The executive

The chief executive of Fifa’s South Africam Local Organising

Committee, Danny Jordaan, has been toiling for the World Cup bid since 1994 –

and he has been working non-stop since May 15 2004, when South Africa’s right to

host was announced.

“It’s been a very difficult and challenging road, but I am happy we

are ready to deliver this World Cup with everything more or less in place,” says


He is postured serenely on the stands peering over Ellis Park

Stadium after a final pre-tournament stadium visit.

There are hints of

exhaustion under his eyes, not surprising in light of his fast-paced schedule

and sleep deprivation, hopping from one province to another in one day.

His journey to the World Cup has been a long one. He attended the

World Cup and the Fifa congress in the US in 1994.

After his return this executive of SA football decided to make a

bid for the 2006 World Cup, which was lost in July 2000.

From teacher to political activist to sports administrator, Jordaan

was formerly a member of the South African Students’ ­Organisation, Parliament

and, finally, the vice- president of the South African Football Association.


think I lived in challenging but very exciting times,” says Jordaan.

From ensuring the infrastructure of ­stadiums and airports to

arranging transportation and ­accommodation for all the World Cup teams, Jordaan

looks forward to delivering on the games and finally getting some rest.

“It’s been a tough, long and ­incredible journey,” he says.

“But to see liberation in your lifetime, to see and be part of the

first democratic government of our country, to be part of a team to win the

right to host the World Cup and then to know now it’s time to deliver on the

promise of that World Cup, and to see how South African people are embracing the

event ... to walk tall in the world; that is an incredible journey.”

The street vendor
Hellen Matuludi escapes from the sunlight under the green tarpaulin over her

wooden shack.

Across the street the newly constructed Soccer City Stadium

glistens in the sunlight. Here Hellen cooks and sells food to nearby


This has been her livelihood for five-and-a-half years. She

­arrives in the early hours of the morning, usually at around 5.30am.

The two

pots of pap, meat and vegetables, nourishment for the construction workers

across the street, have usually disappeared by the end of the day.


collects her earnings in plastic bags and empty cigarette containers. On average

she makes R100. On a good day she might make R300.

Her son, Jacob Matuludi, who works in recycling, helps her out when

he is not working.

He says the shack used to be nicer, with tables and chairs

and even speakers to play music so that visitors could “chillax”.

But they have

had to move at least twice in the past few years to avoid ongoing construction,

and those amenities have since disappeared.

“We keep moving. First they tell us to go there and then they tell

us to move there,” he says, his arms flailing as he points into the


But Hellen knew those days would come to an end.

She hoped the

World Cup would mean more business from the flocks of visitors pouring in from

all over the world.

Instead, with the commencement of the World Cup, Hellen and

her fellow street vendors must pack up and move out.

“I feel betrayed by the government,” Hellen says.

Her arms, the

tabletop and her cellphone alike are coated with a thin layer of flour. She

begins wiping the ­table, packing up for the day.

She will be back tomorrow and

every day after that, until the City inevitably tells her she must leave.

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