FIFA 2010 research into the economic legacy for micro-traders

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GCRO conducted longitudinal research amongst a sample of small and micro-scale traders in Gauteng in order to assess the extent to which the 2010 FIFA World Cup had fulfilled their expectations for economic development. We administered a survey questionnaire to a group of respondents over 3 phases of the research. The baseline study of June 2010 was conducted with 209 respondents in order to measure their expectations. The number of respondents was whittled down to 150 in subsequent phases of the research in November 2010 and July 2011.

The graphs can be viewed by the particular phase of the survey (June 2010; November 2010 and July 2011) as well as by each of the business classifications of the sample of respondents (bed and breakfast operators, craft sellers, food vendors, street vendors, tavern/pub owners and food vendors). The drop-down menu on the left hand side of the graphs allows for the selection of either the phase of the survey or the business classification of the respondents. Slightly different questions were asked during each phase of the survey so as to reflect the timing of the tournament as well as allow for comparability across the different phases.

Profit Expectation

In June 2010 we asked respondents if they expected their profits to increase, decrease or stay the same. The graph on profit expectation shows uniformly high expectations across all the various business sectors represented at the outset of the survey in June 2010. Given the timing, this finding appears to simultaneously reflect the excitement and optimism of the event being held for the first time on the African continent and embody the hopes of respondents for a financial boost from the event. In November 2010 we asked respondents if the profit they had made was more than they expected, less than they had expected or as they had expected to make during the World Cup. During this phase of the research the graph presents a somewhat different picture, with some categories of business having dropped to as much as half of their previous levels of expectation. In the concluding phase of the research in July 2011 respondents were asked if they expected their profits to increase, decrease or stay the same in the next year. Levels of optimism similar to the baseline survey of June 2010 are shown to be renewed amongst respondents during this phase.

Benefit to Business

In June 2010 and Nov 2010 we asked respondents if they agreed, disagreed or felt neutral about the statement that their businesses, “benefited directly from the World Cup”. However in July 2011 we approached the issue of benefits to business in a different way. We asked respondents to respond to the statement: “I believe my business is going to be more successful in the future”. Overall this graph shows a similar trajectory to the finding on profit expectation. It appears to show initial high expectations, followed by a drop as a kind of post-event reality check and culminating once again in an upward trend.


The issue of whether the World Cup contributed to long term business viability remains open. In the short-term respondents used profits to restock/equip their businesses, accumulate some savings and pay school fees and debt. The picture is less clear in the long term. Respondents cited the delivery of World-Cup infrastructure and services such as roads and pavements as key legacies from the event. Data also shows that respondents did not manage to access many skills development opportunities during the World Cup. It is possible to conclude the World Cup could have done more to support the development of small and micro-scale traders. A case can be made for promoting greater skills development and creating an enabling environment for the small business sector. Missed opportunities to strengthen the sector can be picked up by targeted government and private sector support.


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