South Africa 2010 Host Cities

Johannesburg | Durban | Pretoria | Cape Town | Port Elizabeth | Bloemfontein | Rustenburg | Nelspruit | Polokwane

Johannesburg

Johannesburg

nesburg is the largest city in South Africa and is the only city that has two stadiums that will host matches, Soccer City and Ellis Park. Johannesburg is the capital of the Gauteng Province. It is in the top forty of the world’s largest cities and has the largest economy of any city below the Sahara Desert.

Located in South Africa’s eastern plateau area, Johannesburg sits at an altitude of 1753m. The city enjoys a warm climate virtually all year round with the exception of a few cold nights in the winter months.

Despite being the transportation hub for the whole of South Africa, until recently Joburg wasn’t considered a tourist destination, but with so many people having to travel through the city has begun to develop in terms of a tourist staying point.

Sport plays a large part of life in Johannesburg and the city plays host to a number of sporting teams. The Premier League sides the Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates all call Johannesburg home as do a couple of First Division sides. The famous Wanderers Cricket Ground which hosted the cricket World Cup final is situated in the city and Super 14 side the Lions play their home matches at Ellis Park.

Durban

Durban

Durban is South Africa’s third largest city in terms of population. It is famously known for having the busiest port in the whole continent and is KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest metropolitan area.

Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is built on the Indian Ocean side of the country. Although reasonably close to the south of South Africa, the city enjoys a mild sub-tropic climate drawing its warmth from the mild temperatures of the Ocean. Summers are warm but wet and winters are mostly dry and mild.

The city is highly popular with tourists because of its coastal location and its many tourist attractions including the Golden Mile, the popular stretch of beachfront and busy promenade, uShaka Marine World (one of the world’s largest aquariums) and Suncoast Casino and Entertainment Centre.

As a sporting city they rarely come bigger than Durban across Africa. Home to three Premier League clubs, AmaZulu, Thanda Royal Zulu and the Golden Arrows it is a hotbed of football supporters. The city also plays host to the Super 14 side the Sharks, has a successful provincial cricket team known as the Dolphins which has produced some of South Africa’s greatest players and is home to the country’s most prestigious horse race. The city has a wide range of international standard facilities for a number of sports and it is believed that Durban will attempt to make an impact on the international sporting stage by bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Pretoria

Pretoria Point Stadium

Pretoria is the de facto capital of South Africa and is located in the northern province of Gauteng. Despite being the capital it is probably one of South Africa’s lesser known cities.

The city of Pretoria is approximately 30 miles north of Johannesburg in the north east of South Africa. It sits at an elevation of 1,370 and is located in the Magaliesberg Range. The city enjoys a warm climate with an average yearly temperature of 25 degrees Celsius; snow fall is very rare and receives a moderate amount of rain particularly in the summer months.
Not renowned for tourism, there are a number of places of interest to visit including Melrose House where the treaty to end the Anglo-Boer war was signed.

Like most cities, sport plays a large role and Pretoria is home to the reigning Premier League Champions, the Mamelodi Sundowns. The Sundowns are joined by Supersport United which is also a Premier League side. Another popular sport in Pretoria is rugby. Domestic side, the Blue Bulls play at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, which will be used in the 2010 finals, as do the Super 14 side the Bulls who were champions in 2007.

Cape Town

Cape Town

Cape Town is the second most populated city in South Africa. Often thought to be the capital of the nation, it is arguably South Africa’s most famous city and is one of the world’s more well known metropolitan areas. It is the capital of the Western Cape Province and sits in the shadow of the world famous Table Mountain.

Located on the Atlantic coast of South Africa, Cape Town can be found at one of the most south western parts of the country. The area of Cape Town is highly mountainous with over seventy peaks rising over 300m. The climate of the Cape Peninsula is classified as Mediterranean and is largely determined by a number of different winds that blow across the region. The area receives a varied amount of rainfall, with the Newlands suburb being rated as the wettest place in the country.

Cape Town is by far and away the most popular tourist destination in South Africa. The breathtaking backdrop of Table Mountain is reason enough to come but many people come for the beautiful beaches and various water sports than are available. Stunning marine life such as humpback and killer whales, dolphins and Cape fur seals can be seen around the waters of Cape Town and the cold waters of the Atlantic are a place where the Great White Shark can be seen. For those with a sense of history a trip can be taken to Robben Island to see where the inspirational Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.

Again, sport is hugely popular in Cape Town. The city hosts two Premier League football teams, Ajax Cape Town FC and Santos. The Green Point stadium is being built especially for 2010 and will seat 70,000. The Western Province competes in South Africa’s domestic rugby championship and the Stormers represent the region in the Super 14. The Springboks often play in Cape Town and the city hosted one of the 1995 World Cup semi finals. Cricket is another well supported sport within the city and the Newlands cricket stadium has hosted a number of international matches. Like Durban, Cape Town wants to make an impact on the Olympic stage. The city finished 3rd in the voting for the 2004 games and will go head to head with Durban for South Africa’s bid for 2020.

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth or PE as it is known to the locals is situated on the east coast of South Africa and is located in the East Cape Province. Located over 700km north of Cape Town the city stretches along the 16km of Algoa Bay. Nicknamed the “Friendly or Windy City,” Port Elizabeth is one of the country’s major seaports.

The climate of Port Elizabeth and the surrounding area is subtropical and receives light rain throughout the entire year. The average, maximum daily temperature for the year is 22 degrees Celsius although it can get reasonably cool in the winter months, which is when the 2010 World Cup shall take place.

Port Elizabeth is often referred to as the water sports capital of South Africa and is one of the reasons why the city attracts so many tourists. There are opportunities to scuba dive, surf, fish and windsurf to name a few as well as dolphin watching tours. Port Elizabeth is also located at the end Garden Route which takes people along the Cape Coast and the area around the city gives access to game watching opportunities.

Like all cities in South Africa, Port Elizabeth has a number of high class sporting facilities for a wide range of sports. Where it differs is that it has no Premier League football side of its own. However, when matches are scheduled in the city the fans turn out in large numbers. PE is home to the oldest cricket ground in South Africa and the Sahara Oval St George’s regularly host test matches. For the 2010 World Cup the brand new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is being built and will be a legacy to the city once the finals finish.

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa as well as being the capital of the Free State Province. In Afrikaans and Dutch the city means “fountain of flowers” and Bloemfontein is often referred to as the “City of Roses” which gives it a romantic edge. It is a relatively small city with approximately 370,000 people living within the city limits.

The city of Bloemfontein sits nearly 1400m above sea level and is located towards the centre of South Africa. Given its location on the border of the Karoo, a semi-arid region, the summers are hot, 31 degrees Celsius, but with regular afternoon rain and the winters are cool. With the World Cup taking place across the winter months, frosts often occur at that time of the year which will benefit teams from colder areas during the finals.

Sport is, again, very popular in the city. Bloemfontein is one of two homes for Premier League side Bloemfontein Celtic, with the other being Botshabelo, nearby. Rugby is another popular sport with the city having both a domestic side in the Free State Cheetahs, who currently hold the Currie Cup, and a Super 14 side in the Central Cheetahs. Cricket, motorsports and soaring are all of large interest within the city as Bloemfontein also has a number of quality sporting venues at its disposal.

Rustenburg

Rustenburg

Rustenburg, which is Afrikaans and Dutch for the “City of Rest” has a population of just below 400,000 people and is located in the North West Province of South Africa. The city itself sits at the base of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range which provides the city with a spectacular back drop.

Located to the north of South Africa, Rustenburg enjoys a warm climate with sunshine all the way through the year but with enough rain to help keep the soil fertile and the farmers happy. The fertile area surrounding the city was what brought people to this part of the region originally, but now Rustenburg’s claim to fame is that it is home to the world’s two largest platinum mines and the world’s biggest platinum refinery. This has helped the city become South Africa’s fastest growing metropolitan area.

Although the city has no Premier League team of its own, the Royal Bakofeng Sports Palace is a stadium worthy of hosting important matches and only a few minor alterations are being made to ensure its readiness for South Africa 2010.

Nelspruit

Nelspruit

Nelspruit is the capital city of the Province of Mpumalanga. The city is home to over 200,000 people which makes it the smallest of all the host cities that have been chosen to host matches at South Africa 2010. The city is located along the banks of the Crocodile River and sits 330km east of Johannesburg and is said to be the gateway to the world famous Kruger Park.

Located in the north east region of South Africa, Nelspruit enjoys a sub-tropical climate meaning it is warm but also enjoys a reasonable amount of rainfall. As a result of this it is a fertile growing region which produces a third of South Africa’s tropical fruits, tobacco and coffee.

The warm weather and the proximity to Kruger Park has made the city of Nelspruit a popular tourist destination and the city has reacted in kind and has developed a wide range of facilities and activities to entertain travellers before or after they have entered the park.

Like Rustenburg, Nelspruit doesn’t have its own Premier League team, but the city is building a new stadium for the 2010 finals. The state of the art Mbombela Stadium will be the envy of grounds across the country and will be left as a legacy to the city. Once the finals are over, the brand new arena will be used to host key football and rugby matches to give the people of the region a chance to see their heroes.

Polokwane

Polokwane

Polokwane, which means “Place of Safety” is the capital city of the Limpopo Province in South Africa and is situated in the heart of the Rainbow nation. It is located halfway between the Zimbabwean border and the de facto capital of South Africa, Pretoria.

The city sits at over 1200m above sea level which has an effect on its climate. The majority of the year in Polokwane is dry with a summer wet season. The average temperature across the year is quite mild, given its location with a high of 22 degrees in summer and as low as 11 degrees in winter.

Despite being so central, the city still has a number of tourists visit it each year. The main reason behind its visitors are the opportunities to enter the Game Reserves to see wildlife at its most natural or for those with a more violent temperament, it is also South Africa’s premier game hunting region.

As with Nelspruit and Rustenburg, Polokwane has no Premier League football team, but the region has commissioned a new stadium for the 2010 World Cup finals. Initially there had been plans to upgrade the existing stadium, but they were scrapped in favour of building a new venue. The stadium is to be named the Peter Mokaba Stadium after a former political activist prominent in the apartheid era.

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