The public World Cup viewing area in Knysna has been a boon to 20 township residents who have been paid R300 000 to decorate the streets and the ‘FanSquare’ in Thesen Harbour Town.
Decorations co-ordinator Melissa Daitz said nineteen women and one man made 45 000 flowers from plastic bags which were included in the colorful decorations lining the streets.
The flowers were used to create giant soccer balls.
Daitz said the group of 20 had been paid 65c per flower, which worked out to a total of R29 250, and they had also provided Memorial Square and the Mayors office with decorations.
“We used 100% recycled materials in the community project, local business donated funds and materials and it’s a local design – a real South African community spirit,” said Daitz.
She added that the group of 20 from Concordia and Thembalethu townships now planned to form a co-operative in order to start a commercial venture.
The Knysna has an entrance free, public 2010 Soccer World Cup viewing area situated in Thesen Harbour Town.
All matches are to be screened live on a big screen with ‘stadium type’ seating which can accommodate between 250 and 300 people at ‘Fan Square’ free public viewing.
One of the FanSquare organizers, Steff Mulder, said he went to France to watch the World Cup in 1998, when Bafana Bafana qualified.
“There were lots of little public viewing areas in the villages, everyone could come together and celebrate . . . You want to share the experience in a public or community viewing area. Everyone in Knysna can come together and almost, in a festival atmosphere, celebrate the whole thing,” he said.
Mulder said that although the FanSquare was not an official FIFA event he had liaised with FIFA to ensure he didn’t step on its toes.
The stage in front of the big screen showcases locally sourced live entertainment, including a combined can-can / gumboot dance, live bands, drummers, diski dancing, a choir and dj’s between the games.
Mulder said that for the “big games” a crowd of up to 500 could be accommodated by rearranging the seating and that a licensed bar and a variety of food would be on sale, with ample secure parking nearby.
He added that the venue would be made available to interested parties for Oyster Festival related activities on July 4, 5, 8 and 9. — West Cape News