Stone World Blog

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

June 11, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ 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 (, Living Hope ( and Habitat For Humanity (

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.



Image Galleries

November 2013 Stone Products Gallery

Take a look at some of the latest stone industry products.


Stone World Magazine

April 2014 stone world cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of Stone World, check out an extensive preview of Coverings 2014, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April. Also learn more about various types of limestone that were used to build private residences.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine


2014 Spring

This issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design includes our annual focus on Kitchen and Bath design

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Training Program

How formal is your training program for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Stone World Store

How to Polish & Restore Marble Flooring

This video will show you step-by-step how to resurface and polish marble flooring from grinding and removing lippage and scratches to achieving a highly reflective polish.

More Products

Italian Trade Commission Coverings exhibitor preview

Italian Trade Commission logo 2

The Italian Trade Commission is presenting a large group of the most innovative and internationally renowned Italian suppliers of dimensional natural stones. We hope your busy schedule will allow you to join us for a “genuine” espresso in booth N. 4045 and explore the exciting Italian natural stone resources offered by our exhibitors. Check out Italian stone producers exhibiting at Coverings 2014 here!


Stone Industry Education

stone industry educationStone Industry Education is sponsored by Stone World Magazine and Marble Institute of America. The SIE events will help you: strengthen your skills, build your business, and  increase profit in your shop.  Check out to register for upcoming fabricator and installer seminars.


facebook logo Twitter  YouTube