THE first Fifa World Cup finals in Africa did not only disappoint the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, but also sent dreams of a quick buck for hopeful entrepreneurs crashing.
One such emerging entrepreneur is Elizabeth Mthembu, 51, of Zone 9 Meadowlands in Soweto.
The hopeful businesswoman is crying foul after she paid R650 to a promotion company, WCS Big5, to put her home on the programme for home stays during the tournament.
Mthembu claims she also spent R15000 to give her home a "2010 makeover" since she was expecting foreign tourists as her guests.
"I feel like I was stood up and crooked," Mthembu says.
"I want my R650 back. I have a headache because the World Cup is coming to a close and I must now find money to repay the loan sharks."
Mthembu says WCS Big5 had promised her huge returns from hosting football fans.
Her dream came crashing down like a ton of bricks when the many expected foreign visitors did not materialise.
"It's as if this World Cup is only for the chosen few who are making a lot money." Mthembu laments. "We are left stranded with massive bills."
But Mthembu's friend and neighbour, who did not want to be named, was surprised that her neighbour had been planning to coin it without telling her.
Said the neighbour: "I saw this coming. I did not believe this would work. My friend will now have to pull herself out of this mess on her own. Had we worked together things might perhaps have been different."
Earlier WCS Big5 had informed clients of the disappointment when expected tourist numbers decreased by 50percent from a projected 450000 to less than 250000.
But Mthembu says the company kept sending her text messages to the effect that they were continuing to market her home to prospective tourists.
WCS Big5 sent an e-mail asking clients to review proposed rates from R750 a person per day, including dinner and breakfast, to R450 for bed and breakfast.
WCS Big5 managing director Christo Maritz says they had no control over what happened.
"We only advertise accommodation via the website," he says. "Tourists visit the website and choose their accommodation."
But Maritz says if people do not get guests the fee they paid will be refunded.