Thu Oct 20 21:56:36 SAST 2016

Politicians who fail to score at Green Point will be shown voters' red card

By unknown | Dec 29, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

There's much to be gained - and lost - politically from the construction and running of the Green Point stadium to be built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

There's much to be gained - and lost - politically from the construction and running of the Green Point stadium to be built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

So it comes as no surprise that there has been much sniping and grandstanding regarding the situation in Cape Town between the two main political players.

An extraordinary situation is developing where mayor Helen Zille and the DA have a chance to cement their place in the minds of soccer-lovers and the voting public.

No matter that nationally the DA is facing a crisis of identity and its leader Tony Leon is about to leave its helm. Being a successful part of the World Cup is an opportunity that might never arise again for the party.

And it's Zille and a number of her coalition partners who will get a huge boost in 2010 when some of the world's greatest soccer players stride on the turf of a spanking new Green Point soccer stadium.

Come the next elections, voters are sure to hear that the city, led by Zille, brought the beautiful game to the Mother City.

That's dependent, of course, on if the politicians get their act together to make it happen.

On the flip side, it will be a huge loss for the ANC leadership, in the form of its leader James Ngculu, secretary Mcebesi Skwatsha and, lately, former ANC provincial leader and premier Ebrahim Rasool.

Intent on infighting for positions and influence over the past few years, the ANC imploded and lost the city council in the March 1 local government elections.

With that they also lost bragging rights over the World Cup because soccer's world governing body signs agreements with the cities that host games. And that means Zille gets to bask in the limelight again.

The latest battle Zille is waging, and most successfully, is with Rasool and MEC Tasneem Essop over the process involved in building the stadium. To cut a long and technical story short - Rasool made an embarrassing about-turn last week after having accused Zille of incompetence earlier in the week.

Now Rasool has said that Zille was right all along, but stopped short of actually saying he was wrong. Clearly, there will be a great deal of tongue-lashing of the lawyers in the province responsible for the bad legal advice in the first place.

The politicians will inevitably continue to fight.

But anyone seen to prevent a World Cup from happening on Cape Town's shores is likely to pay a high price at future polls.

Rasool and Essop have about two weeks to sort out their side of the rezoning of the area where the stadium is to be built. They would be well-advised to consider the potential negative fall-out from failure to get it right.

The same goes for Zille because she has to do some work to start building after rezoning permission is given.

But at the moment she is enjoying the moral high ground while her opponents squirm.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT