African immigrants? perceptions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup? and its ?African? legacy

10 Apr 2017

This study appraises the post-event perceptions and experiences of African immigrant residents, with respect to the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa. The study is unique, in that the subject matter covered has not yet received systematic attention in the research literature on mega sport events in South Africa. In the vast body of scholarly articles that has emerged on the dynamics and consequences of the 2010 event, there have been increasing studies on citizens? perceptions, however a few, if any research have examined the attitude and perceptions of African migrants. Given that the latter social category has been relatively marginalised in terms of South Africa?s recent political economy, and the World Cup was framed as ?an African World Cup?, this research contributes to an under-researched dimension of the politics of mega sport events in South Africa. Through a multi-method approach, drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methodology, the study offers insights into the way in which a sample of migrants (n=400) in and around the city of Cape Town viewed and framed experiences of the post-event. The key findings of the study reveal perceptions and experiences related to certain predefined African legacy intentions to have been largely positive, as the majority of resident African immigrants in Cape Town perceived that the event has benefited African citizens in terms of job creation, accelerated the development of African football, increased tourism and investment opportunities in Africa etc. The article recommends the need to undertake further empirical studies in order to test, verify and provide precise evidence on how, and to what extent, African countries benefited from the 2010 mega event.