Die Kaap is Weer Oranje” (The Cape is orange again) reads a banner hanging in Green Point stadium on Thursday night as thousands of fans clad in orange cheered on the Dutch national team as they took on Cameroon.
It’s a scene reminiscent of the last few days in Cape Town as thousands of Dutch fans took over the city.
The Western Cape and in particular Cape Town and its surrounds have been inextricably linked with Holland since 1652 when traveller Jan Van Riebeeck landed there and founded the Dutch East India Company.
Many streets in the City like Buitengracht and De Waal and towns such as Stellenbosch were named after Dutch settlers who followed him.
And last week the Cape experienced its second Dutch invasion as fans of Die Oranje took the opportunity to revisit the history of the Cape
Members of the Royal Netherlands Football Association Supporter’s Club, dressed in their traditional orange colours, visited a number of Dutch settlements in the city and their world famous travelling campsite “De Oranjecamping” has even settled in the Boland town of Paarl, about one hour from Cape Town.
Jorg Groll, a member of the Dutch supporters club said, “we travel into the city everyday and have visited historical Dutch settlements like the Castle of Good Hope that was built by Dutch in the 17th century. We have also been to the Waterfront.”
Stephanie Breede, from Cape Town but who has a Dutch grandmother, says, “I’m here to catch up with my Dutch roots. This is so nice. It’s like a little Amsterdam. I like the Dutch music and the food is amazing. I’ve also had some lekker (nice) Dutch beer.”
The city of Cape Town also did its bit to make the travelling Dutch fans feel at home.
Organisers at the FIFA Fan Fest had traditional Dutch music and a Dutch master of ceremony to cater for the large “orange army” at the Fan Fest.
“This was done to cater for the large number of International visitors to the city. We wanted to make them feel welcome and give them something they could relate to. Many of the countries who’ve played in Cape Town has had some link with the City in the past and today it was the turn of the Dutch who have such an interesting history with the city,” said Cape Town 2010 spokesperson, Pieter Cronje.
Hawkers along Cape Town’s Fan Walk also did a roaring trade this weekend.
One trader, Steven Arendse said, “this is my most profitable day of the World Cup. I wish the Dutch would play here more often. I’ve sold about 50 orange vuvuzelas, 50 Dutch scarves and 30 orange wigs. Unlike the French and Italian fans I can understand them because Dutch and Afrikaans (one of South Africa’s 11 official languages) are very similar and that makes my sales pitch easier.”