Editors Blog


World Cup Stadium Construction Is Breathtaking, But What's Hiding in South Africa's Shadows?

June 11, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


Apparently, there’s a little soccer tournament starting today called the “2010 FIFA World Cup”. I understand it will attract hundreds of millions of viewers from around the globe.

A couple days ago I received a press release from Owens Corning touting its glass fibers which are used in the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. The newly redesigned stadium is indeed a site to behold. 

According to the company’s press release, “the newly redesigned stadium features fibreC® concrete panels from Rieder Smart Elements, reinforced with Cem-FIL® AR fibers, which reduce the weight and thickness of the concrete by up to 10 times compared to conventional panels. They are 100 percent recyclable; and enhance building life and durability with resistance to corrosion, fire, UV light and temperature variations.”

Congratulations to Owens Corning and other manufacturers that supplied state-of-the-art products for the stadium and other new facilities constructed for The World Cup.

I am not much of a soccer fan, but I am looking forward to seeing televised images of this stadium and other venues used for the matches. Architects, engineers and construction pros have gone to incredible lengths to design and build iconic facilities to capture the world stage.

In addition to the stadium in Johannesburg, a new stadium was constructed in Cape Town. While visiting South Africa last November, I snagged the attached photo of the stadium under construction.  Even from our mountain top perch, it was an awesome site. I look forward to seeing the finished stadium full of cheering fans.

While journeying through Cape Town and Johannesburg, we were impressed with the beautification program that was well underway. It was hard to miss the freshly paved roads, new hotels, and numerous infrastructure improvements.

I hope the televised coverage of The World Cup will reflect the beauty of South Africa, for it is a land truly blessed with incredible vistas and wildlife.

And yet I hope the coverage doesn’t stop there.

The world also needs to see that a huge percentage of South Africa’s population continues to live in squalor. The trip I participated in last year went into the Cape Town communities of Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Capricorn, Woodstock, and Red Hill.

While some of these communities included homes that might barely qualify as entry level in the U.S., most were shacks, many without running water, bathrooms, or electricity. Many of the people I met were beyond discouraged. They have no hope or dreams.

The sad truth since the end of Apartheid is that living conditions for millions of South African’s have not improved, and in some cases have become worse. The housing “settlements” (i.e. slums) hide the abject poverty so many endure.

My guess is some enterprising news organization or documentary journalist will take a camera crew away from South Africa’s tourist zones and expose what’s lurking in the shadows. I encourage you to watch and see for yourself.

Maybe you’ve considered a “vacation with a purpose”.  Most humanitarian organizations, church groups and work teams would love help from anyone with construction skills - even beginner level - join their ranks for a week or two.

Many organizations are working in South Africa to help those living in desperate situations. Three groups I can recommend personally are Extreme Response (www.extremeresponse.org), Living Hope (www.livinghopeusa.org) and Habitat For Humanity (www.habitat.org).

Enjoy watching The World Cup, but take a moment to consider those who are living in the shadows.
You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con