The Springboks’ support comes in the run up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which begins in New Zealand on 9 September. The event is one of the largest international sporting competitions in the world, and the last tournament attracted a global television audience of 4.2 billion viewers for its 48 matches.
“I promise we’ll win the Rugby World Cup if you promise to vote for Table Mountain,” said Peter de Villiers, the Springboks coach.
The new Springbok ambassadors for Table Mountain include captain John Smit, Schalk Burger, Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira, Butch James, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Andries Bekker, Morne Steyn, Jannie du Plessis, Gurthro Steenkamp and Peter de Villiers. The Springboks join Table Mountain ambassadors such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jo-Ann Strauss, Liezel van der Westhuizen and Stuart Taylor.
The economic value of being voted one of the New7Wonders of Nature was highlighted in April in an independent impact report by Grant Thornton, an international organization of chartered accountants and management consultants. The report put the figure at $US1 billion over five years for South Africa if Table Mountain were to be selected.
Sabine Lehmann, chairperson of the Table Mountain Bid Committee said: “South Africans have to make sure that our flat-topped wonder makes it into the final seven. It’s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create a legacy, an opportunity that we can’t ignore — there will never be another election like it. Once the final seven are decided, that’s it”.