||Press Conference: FIFA - COSATU negotiations to Buy Proudly SA products.
COSATU Western Cape
COSATU and Fifa will meet on Thursday morning to discuss ways in which to promote Proudly South African purchases for the World Cup.
A press Conference will be held at 09:30am on Thursday, 13 May 2010 at SACTWU Offices, 350 Victoria Road, 3rd Floor Industrial House, SALT RIVER, Cape Town. The Conference will be addressed by Dr Danny Jordaan (FIFA) and the Provincial and National Leadership of COSATU.
The announcement will focus on the need to ensure that the World Cup creates South African Jobs and promotes SA manufactured products. Should
no agreement be possible between Fifa and COSATU, an announcement would be made on further protest action.
For Questions please call COSATU W Cape provincial Secretary, Tony
Ehrenreich, at 082 77 33 194
We didn't sell out South Africa - Jordaan
Sapa 11 May 2010
LOC chief defends country's submission to FIFA's rules and regulations
JOHANNESBURG (Sapa) - Local Organising Committee chief executive officer
Danny Jordaan on Tuesday denied that South Africa had "sold out" for the
sake of the 2010 World Cup.
"The fact of the matter is that more countries are making bids... If you
make a bid then you accept the terms and conditions of the event," said
He was responding to a British journalist, who had asked whether the
country had "sold out" and many South Africans were being marginalised.
Fifa and South Africa have come under criticism, particularly from
abroad, that the billions of rands spent in preparation for the event
could be better spent in a country with severe human development problems.
South African writer Chris Rodrigues wrote a column on the
guardian.co.uk website which accused preparations for the World Cup of
making a "mockery of the struggle against apartheid".
There has also been criticism that local business people such as
informal traders were being marginalised by World Cup marketing and
hawking rules. Some informal traders have claimed that they have not
been able to navigate the complicated process of becoming vendors at
Other local businessmen have accused Fifa of draconian marketing rules
which prohibited the usage of "2010" and "soccer" together on merchandise.
Jordaan defended Fifa rules by arguing that branding, marketing and
protecting against copyright infringement were already part of South
"The World Cup did not change the commercial environment of this
country," he said.
Jordaan became testy when asked by a newly arrived reporter about
preparations for the World Cup at Soccer City.
The reporter, who arrived a day ago, noted the construction work around
the stadium and asked if South Africa was following the "Greek lesson"
of finishing projects only at the last minute.
Jordaan maintained that the current work around Soccer City was a "fit
out" and that construction had already been concluded.
"I think your comparison to Greece is out of order. I hope you have a
good time in our country," said Jordaan.
Author looks at dark side of Fifa
Craig Mckune (The Mercury) 27 April 2010
SEVENTY-FIVE days from now, when the 2010 Fifa World Cup is over, the
international football federation's officials will be flying away with
bags of money, saying: "Bye, suckers."
This is the view of British investigative journalist Andrew Jennings,
who claims Fifa has banned him from its press conferences so its
president, Sepp Blatter, would not have to answer potentially revealing
questions about corruption in the organisation.
Jennings authored a book on Fifa called Foul! The Secret World of Fifa:
Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals, and spoke at a Cape Town Press
Club lunch yesterday. He was co-launching a new book on the tournament,
Player and Referee: Conflicting Interests and the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The new book includes six World Cup case studies written by
investigative journalists, exploring conflict of interest between the
public and private sectors that fuel "manipulation through the use of
influence, political pressure, bribes, fraud and extortion".
According to Jennings, his exposés on various alleged cases of
corruption by senior Fifa officials had never been legally challenged:
"They won't sue me because Blatter cannot go into court, because if you
go into court, you have to be cross-examined."
In Foul!, Jennings details how a Swiss marketing company which
previously managed Fifa's marketing and broadcast rights, appeared to
have paid "industrial scale" bribes to top officials.
The Mercury has asked Fifa numerous times since February to confirm
whether Jennings was banned from its press conferences and why, but it
did not answer.
Jennings said: "It's South Africa's remarkable good luck that so
mismanaged has the ticketing process been that they will be able to
"They were never intended to have tickets, not if they were living on
the lower end of the economic scale."
He said South Africans would pay taxes to cover World Cup expenses for
years to come.
No contradiction in ‘poor’ Africa hosting a FIFA World Cup, Jordaan insists
Dennis Ndaba WORLD CUP AND SOCIETY 26 April 2010
The CEO of the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) Danny Jordaan
argued on Monday that, while it could not be denied that South Africa
and Africa had serious social challenges and competing fiscal demands,
it would be wrong to suggest that the 2010 FIFA World Cup was being
hosted at the expense of the poor.
"It is not correct to assume that it is at the expense of the social
challenges that we are facing.
"In the budget allocation, there is a drive to build infrastructure for
the World Cup, as well as an increase in social expenditure on
education, houses and fighting HIV and Aids," said Jordaan.
He disputed the argument that where there was misery, all the people had
was misery, adding that the continent was as entitled to orchestras,
concerts, church gatherings and sporting events as any other.
He pointed out that as far as the people of the country were concerned,
the LOC had taken specific measures such as the introduction of cheaper
Category Four tickets, to ensure that a broad spectrum of the population
could experience the spectacle.
"About 120 000 tickets for the World Cup will be distributed free, of
which about 40 000 will go to the construction workers who built some of
the stadiums. This has not been done at previous World Cups."
Jordaan reiterated that he takes cognisance of all the socioeconomic
challenges and that the LOC had taken some of the measures that it had,
specifically to ensure that the poorest of the poor would benefit.
"If one raised the issue with those football fans who have no house or a
job, [and ask] if they want the World Cup in the country, the answer
will be an overwhelming yes.
"[That's] because it is the generator of hopes and smiles to the faces
of our people . . . and we cannot deny the African continent the
fundamental pleasure and joy that football brings."
The country, he argued, would continue addressing its social challenges,
while the football event would offer at least one platform for Africans
to compete "equally with the rest of the world".
Cape traders to be moved ahead of World Cup
KARABO KEEPILE | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 26 April 2010
Street traders at the Grand Parade in Cape Town have been told to leave
the area from May 1 until the end of the Soccer World Cup because of
Fifa by-laws that relate to host cities.
"According to the host-city agreement, the city is legally obligated to
provide a stadium and a fan-fest area," said Thembinkosi Siganda, Cape
Town's director of economic and human development.
"After a location analysis the city identified the Grand Parade as a
fan-fest area and this was approved by Fifa."
The fan fest, or fan park, was first seen at the World Cup in Germany in
2006. It's an area in the host city with big screens, music and a place
for fans to watch matches for free.
But "there are currently over 300 informal traders operating at the
Grand Parade who will be adversely affected" by the development, said
Rosheda Muller, chairperson of the Grand Parade Limited Traders'
The Grand Parade, the main square in Cape Town, is surrounded by the
City Hall, the Castle of Good Hope and the Cape Town railway station,
and is currently used as a market place and parking area.
But it will soon be transformed into a fan-fest area where the public
can view all 64 World Cup matches on a giant high-definition TV screen.
More than 25 000 people are expected to gather at the public viewing
area, said Siganda, adding that there had been "significant investment"
The city plans on spending about R20-million on lighting, landscaping,
payments to the event organisers for operating the fan fest and
additional parking bays.
"Although traders won't be able to trade at the Grand Parade,
alternative locations have been prepared for them," said Siganda.
"The city wanted to put us at Harrington Square but we refused because
it is hidden away," said Muller.
After heated discussions, new sites have been agreed on.
These include the Drill Hall site, Corporation Street, Lower Plain
Street and the Castle, and are being prepared to accommodate all 344
"These sites are in close proximity ... not more than 100m away from the
Grand Parade," said Siganda.
Street traders were operating under a lease agreement with the city and
were required to pay a fee of no more than R80 a month -- which goes
towards security and cleaning -- to one of the five trading
organisations that operate at the Grand Parade.
The fee is expected to increase when the traders move to the alternative
sites, although this is yet to be finalised.
"There have been suggestions that the fee could add up to R20 to R40 a
day but we have to check equity fairness," said Siganda.
"This won't be a profit-making fee, but will be reasonable because
traders are being inconvenienced."
Grand Parade Traders have now had their trading leases suspended and
have received notice that they are not able to trade in the area. There
is also talk of introducing a permit for the traders who would be moved.
"I understand that they [the city] need to bind us to some sort of
agreement but I reject the permit system, it is like a dompas
[apartheid-era pass]," says Riedewaan Charles, vice-chairperson of the
Grand Parade Black Pirates Traders' Association and internal chairperson
of the Grand Parade Forum.
He says he will only agree to the permit if it clearly states that it is
for the duration of the World Cup and expires after the tournament.
"What about others that want to trade at the Grand Parade after the
World Cup, will they be permitted to without a permit?"
"We also want it written that we will be permitted to return back to the
Grand Parade after the World Cup."
Muller commended the city for the manner in which it had been
negotiating with the traders in the last two months, but she said street
traders were disturbed that they weren't consulted earlier, since "the
city had plans on being a host city a while ago".
South Africa was awarded the rights to host the soccer tournament,
defeating Morocco and Egypt in 2004.
"The mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille, signed the host-city agreement in
2006 already but the city only engaged with us a couple of months ago,"
"We are one of the biggest job creators when people are retrenched,
without skills or without degrees; we add great value to the country's
economy but we always get the raw deal," said Muller.
More than 50% of the traders at Grand Parade are Capetonians, while the
rest are from Nigeria, Senegal, Angola and Zimbabwe, among other
countries, she said.
While street traders have been promised that they will return to
normality after the World Cup, Muller said they want changes to be made.
"We only have a month-to-month lease and we would like to renegotiate
this with the city. We need security so that we know that we are secured
for the future."
Street traders have been working at the Grand Parade since the 1800s,
according to Charles.
Volcano blamed for SkyCar staying shut
Colleen Dardagan (The Mercury) 27 April 2010
VOLCANIC ash, which brought air traffic to a halt over Europe for a
week, is now being blamed for Durban's R350 million SkyCar's temporary
The Italian-made joyride at the new R3.1 billion Moses Mabhida Stadium
has shut down several times over the past three months, leaving tourists
stranded atop the 105m arch, initially without a secure evacuation plan.
In a statement released yesterday, the eThekwini municipality said the
stoppages were due to a faulty data cable, and a replacement having to
"It was discovered that the defective data cable was transferring random
inaccurate error messages from the SkyCar to the base station, causing
it to stop.
"The data cable is specialised and purpose-made for the SkyCar...
regrettably, delivery has been significantly delayed due to the
Icelandic volcano which has prevented flights out of Europe from
operating, and a massive backlog is being cleared over the next few weeks.
"We expect to receive the part and effect repairs by May 7 at the latest.
"However, our team of specialists is working around the clock in an
effort to re-open the SkyCar well in advance of this date," the
Zimbabwe: We will kill you after the World Cup:
FIFA World Cup SA: a Deadline for Death in Zimbabwe
“We will kill you after the World Cup,” promises ZanuPF district
Chairman Mike Chiwodza, backed by a gang of thugs gripping machetes and
barbed-wire clubs. Robert Mugabe’s ZanuPF officials are once more
terrorising villagers in Mashonaland East, using the FIFA World Cup of
Soccer closing ceremony as a deadline for death.
On the 8th and 9th April, 2010 ZanuPF thugs led by Chiwodza went from
home to home in the villages around Marambapfungwe district of
Mashonaland East, telling the people that as MDC supporters “your houses
won’t be burned this time because then that would be evidence. This time
we will abduct and kill you and get rid of your body in the Mazowe River
or down mine shafts.”
In the meantime, the thugs also demonstrate their power using acts of
petty cruelty. Those victims of the 2008 political violence who received
blankets from Red Cross have been told they have to give them back to
the MDC – ‘where they belong’. Red Cross blankets and other basic
necessities were donated to victims left homeless and traumatised after
their villages were razed to the ground after the last election.
Mugabe’s orgy of reprisals after being trounced at the 2008 polls was
code named “Operation Mavoteraphapi” (meaning How Did You Vote?).
This season’s food aid in the form of maize, beans and cooking oil
supplied by CRS Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and which is distributed
by the village chiefs, is being given to known ZanuPF members and is not
reaching all the intended recipients – MDC families are excluded.
On the 17th April, 2010 chairman Chiwodza and his group visited more
villages and elaborated on his previous threat not to burn their houses.
This time, he told the forced assembly of people, even if the MDC
activists and officials fled their homes, they (ZanuPF) would find their
wives and children and kill them after the Soccer World Cup.
These threats are real. Retired South African army generals
investigating post-election violence in Zimbabwe in 2008 uncovered ample
evidence of state-sponsored terror.
“What we have heard and seen is shocking. We have heard horrific stories
of extreme brutality and seen the victims,” said one of the generals.
“We have seen people with scars, cuts, gashes, bruises, lacerations and
broken limbs, and bodies of those killed. It’s a horrifying picture.”
South Africa has officially urged calm and nonviolence in Zimbabwe, so
that FIFA World Cup visitors will feel confident and secure out here in
Africa. But it seems that has been twisted by the ZanuPF element to
mean: “No murdering for now, but do what you like after the tourists
have gone home”.
Robert Mugabe, at his party’s Congress last December, promised another
election ’soon’. After his party was trounced at the polls in 2008 he
will not risk another defeat. Under pressure from the SADC negotiators,
a raft of electoral reforms have recently been prepared for presentation
to Zimbabwe’s legislature.
A reformed Electoral Act and administration would severely curtail the
Mugabe machine’s ability to rig the poll again. But conveniently for
ZanuPF, the GPA-formed Parliament is in recess until June.
Judging by the steady increase in the number of terror gangs, torture
centres and youth milita bases being deployed in the rural areas of
Zimbabwe, Mugabe’s ‘electoral campaign’ is already well under way. This
time thugs like Chiwodza won’t use half-measures; their orders are to
‘eliminate’ the opposition en masse.
The perpetrators will not fear prosecution since for over thirty years
there has been complete impunity for ZanuPF’s political terrorists in
Zimbabwe. Some of the police are complicit and the army actively assists
when required. Even so, reports indicate that the majority of the armed
forces (including the police) want to return to their professional and
non-partisan status and would welcome the real and lasting change to
democracy. Thus, the youth ilitias and party cadres are key to Mugabe’s
No dictator in Mugabe’s discredited and vulnerable position would wait
for electoral laws to be reformed before calling an election. It is
becoming increasingly clear that the clock is ticking towards a deadly
campaign to be unleashed in Zimbabwe as promised – right after the FIFA
World Cup. This could then be followed by an early election, possibly as
early as August this year, with the opposition MDC devastated and the
conditions heavily weighted in Mugabe’s favour.
Will the AU and SADC stand by and watch another slaughter, another
stolen election in Zimbabwe? Should Mugabe’s plan be allowed to unfold,
all the gains and goodwill brought to southern Africa by the FIFA World
Cup would be at risk.
SABC in world Cup bungle
Anna Majavu, Sowetan, Johannesburg 23 April 2010
WITH only 48 days to go before the World Cup kicks off, heads are expected to roll
at the SABC after officials failed to secure a venue from where the soccer
spectacle will be broadcast to millions of viewers throughout Africa.
This follows a bungle by SABC officials who failed to secure the Nasrec
Exhibition Centre for R3,8 million.
Now the national broadcaster is expected to pay R26 million for the Sandton
Convention Centre as an alternative venue.
SABC chief executive officer Solly Mokoetle is so angry he is threatening
to “chop off some heads” because of the saga.
Internal SABC documents in Sowetan’s possession reveal that SABC producers
told their bosses a year ago that Johannesburg’s Nasrec centre should be
used as broadcasting headquarters.
But former group executive of content enterprise Mvuso Mbebe said the
R3,8 million price tag was too high and cancelled the plans.
Ten months later, in February this year, SABC executives changed their minds
but by then Nasrec was fully booked.
The SABC then allegedly sublet space at the Sandton Convention Centre through a
“contact” of Peter Kwele, head of SABC’s 2010 project unit.
A deal was struck. SABC would give Kwele’s “contact” advertising worth R1million
in exchange for the venue. But last week the fee mysteriously
shot up to R26 million.
The documents reveal that SABC producers were given the go-ahead to work with a
budget of R87million – R1million of which would cover the venue fee –
and began all the technical work to get the venue ready.
But now the SABC has a shortfall of R25million.
Sowetan sources said the SABC’s general operating budget does not have a
spare R25million to cover the unexpected increase.
The source said the SABC was likely to borrow the money using
its government guarantee.
Last year, when the SABC admitted that it was R800million in debt, the
government gave it a R1,5 billion guarantee so that it could borrow money from banks.
Sandton Convention Centre management yesterday declined to comment.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the SABC did not wish to divulge
operational plans (including the financial resources), “as it will be tantamount to exposing ourselves to competitors”.
Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda’s spokesperson, Tiyani Rikhotso, said “
nothing to that effect has been communicated to us”.
Rikhotso said the SABC’s plans to broadcast the World Cup were
on track, as far as he knew.
Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the cabinet was also not aware that the SABC was experiencing hiccups.
South African business concerned over protests days to World Cup kick-off
APA-Pretoria 14 April 2010
APA-Pretoria (South Africa) With only 56 days to go before the kick off
of the 2010 World Cup in this country, the South African Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (SACCI) on Wednesday expressed grave concern at
protest actions being carried out by the municipal workers.
Over 130,000 members of the South African Municipal Workers Union
(SAMWU) took to the streets across the country on Tuesday, saying their
strike would run indefinitely until they achieve their objectives.
The South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is demanding better
pay and that the South African Local Government Association (Salga)
should introduce a job evaluation system for the workers.
Commenting on the industrial action, the SACCI said disruptions to
essential services would not be condoned.
"The inability of employees in business to get to work as a result of
disruptions to bus services impacts negatively on productivity and
constrains the ability of producers to deliver goods and services on time.
"This places a burden on the country’s hesitant recovery from the global
downturn as contracts are placed in jeopardy due to non performance by
traders," the SACCI said.
According to the Chamber, its members have said that access to
businesses has been hampered due to litter and bins that have been
strewn across the streets by the strikers.
"The fact that shops along the routes taken by marchers have had to
close through fear of vandalism impacts negatively on turnover.
"This in turn impacts on the ability of shop owners to cover expenses
such as the payment of wages to employees. This has a ripple effect on
the economy as workers’ disposable income is reduced," the SACCI explained.
Cities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town and the Nelson
Mandela Metro in the Eastern Cape Province have put contingency plans in
place to provide essential services to the public in view of the strike.
FIFA sidelines vendors
sport.iafrica.com 14 Apr 2010
At any South African football match, the scent of grilled meats and
simmering stews wafts through the gates as vendors serve up chicken
feet, sheep head and sausages to arriving fans.
But World Cup visitors will receive a more sanitised experience as
FIFA's stringent commercial rights put a stop to the makeshift kitchens
run by informal traders who normally ply their wares outside stadiums.
"This is a huge setback for us, given the fact that there will be no
other games during the World Cup where we can go," said Amos Ndlovu, who
has sold meats outside Johannesburg's Ellis Park stadium for 14 years.
"We are going to lose income. These FIFA people only care about
themselves and their rights," said the burly man from the shanty town
area of Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg.
Ndlovu's speciality are thick sausages known as wors and a spicy
home-made relish called chakalaka that he buys in bulk a day before the
Early morning on match day, he makes a 30-kilometre (20-mile) drive in
his dilapidated van to get a good spot near the gate and set up his
table and small gas stove. A big match day can triple his weekly income.
"We have permits from the city of Johannesburg. They have been happy
with us all along, then this FIFA came," said Ndlovu angrily.
The 51-year-old estimated he would lose potential earnings of 20,000
rand (3,400 dollars, 2,500 euros) during the World Cup.
He said his services are enjoyed by rich and poor, especially fans who
come straight to stadiums from their jobs and can't afford restaurant food.
"This is a uniquely South African experience. We were looking forward to
sharing it with foreign fans who have no idea how a sheep head is
served," lamented Ndlovu.
His sentiments were shared by Sam Khasibe, head of the National Traders
Forum, an organisation formed to discuss the plight of informal traders
during the World Cup.
FIFA regulations stipulate that only its commercial partners are allowed
to trade and promote their products within an 800-metre radius of
stadiums and fan parks in the country's nine host cities.
According to FIFA lawyers, the penalties for transgressors will be jail
time or a fine, based on the company's profit.
"FIFA is trampling on our rights, this is said to be Africa's World Cup
but how can that be true if Africans are not allowed to do business
during the event," said Khasibe.
A local concession company, Headline Leisure, will be the official
provider of food to fans in and around the stadiums, according to FIFA.
The cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town have also created databases of
accredited hawkers who will be allowed to sell their wares at non-FIFA
"We have created a database of informal traders in the city, so that
they are known and given an opportunity to benefit from the event,
without interfering with FIFA commercial rights," said Sibongile
Mazibuko, who heads the office in Johannesburg, site of the opening and
Mazibuko said the vendors will be allowed access to public viewing areas
not linked to FIFA.
Some vendors who trade away from the restricted zones are gearing up for
a bumper season.
Elliot Chitungo, who sells hand-carved wooden animals and crafts along
the busy stretch of road between the eastern host city of Nelspruit and
Kruger National Park, one of Africa's most popular safari destinations,
said he was looking at hiring extra people to help increase production.
"It is better to be overloaded than to be flat-footed. We are expecting
a lot of visitors coming through this road to Kruger Park," he said.
World Cup beds selling at varsities
THE ongoing strike at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has done little to
stop major refurbishments taking place at the campus to accommodate
tourists for the World Cup.The R20million upgrade, which will be
completed next month, will see more than 12000 soccer fans being
accommodated in single and double rooms with about 8000 beds.
Student protests continue
STUDENTS at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have continued with their
protest, moving to Howard campus yesterday.Hundreds of students, in the
second day of protests, gathered at the Shepstone building where they
were updated by student leaders about the ongoing talks between the SRC
Cosatu issues strike card to World Cup
Kea' Modimoeng & Sapa 4 April 2010
Cosatu has threatened to stage an indefinite strike that might affect
the Fifa World Cup if Eskom's 25% tariff hike is not changed.
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi submitted a Section 77 notice
to the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on
Thursday, calling for negotiations to start about the unfair treatment
of the working class and the poor. Failure to resolve the dispute could
lead to legitimate strike action by the trade union federation.
Addressing journalists after the National Union of Metalworkers of SA
(Numsa) bargaining conference earlier this week, Vavi said Cosatu's main
focus was to prevent the estimated 250000 job losses that could follow
the fuel and electricity price increases.
"Our interest to defend jobs is certainly bigger than the World Cup.
That is why we want the government and business to come to the party so
that we can agree on terms."
Vavi said if the strike action proceeded into June, it would be
impossible to tell workers to stop striking "just because there is a
World Cup taking place. Workers will not be the ones faulted by history
simply because they had legitimate demands".
Vavi also demanded that Eskom's capital spending be funded by, among
other things, a tax on short-term capital flows, a tax on luxury and
non-essential imports, and a one-off wealth tax on corporations and
"The funding for capital expenditure must come from the fiscus," Vavi
said when he handed over the Section 77 notice to Nedlac's executive
director Herbert Mkhize.
"We further demand a discussion on the electricity pricing policy with a
view to a review of all provisions, such as the cost-reflectivity, that
hurt the poor."
"We demand that the government desist in its attempts to privatise
electricity distribution and the generation of electricity."
Delegates at the Numsa conference expressed their determination to
embark on a strike "in defence of jobs."
Mkhize said Nedlac's first step would be to satisfy itself that the
notice complied with Labour Relations Act requirements.
Thereafter, it would, within seven days of receiving the notice, convene
an initial meeting of all the parties to establish whether the issues
raised could be resolved.
Usually, at least three meetings are convened to obtain a sense of
whether the issues are capable of being resolved.
"The first three meetings are critical," Mkhize said. "If we can't
resolve (the problems), then we declare the matter as having been
considered by Nedlac and we issue a certificate to the applicants to say
if they so wish they can invoke a 14-day notice that they intend
proceeding with the strike action."
Cosatu said its protest action would take the form of marches,
demonstrations, pickets and stay-aways directed at the departments of
energy, public enterprises, trade and industry, economic development,
co-operative governance and traditional affairs, and the Treasury.
Also targeted would be Business Unity SA, Business Leadership SA, the SA
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eskom and the National Energy
Regulator of South Africa.
Economist Mike Schussler said if the strike went ahead it would
"definitely" affect investor confidence in the country.
"Investors will ask themselves whether they can count on South Africa
for future investments and the answer will be no," Schussler said. He
added that the timing of the possible strike was significant as the
world would be watching closely to see how South Africa hosted a major
global sporting event.
Rebel World Cup gig on the cards
LLOYD GEDYE | JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 26 March 2010
Legendary musician Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse is leading a drive by angry
local musicians to stage a rival concert on the same night as Fifa's
World Cup kick-off celebration.
Local music professionals are furious that so few South Africans will
feature in the official Fifa concert. Their call to arms this week -- to
mount a free rival concert -- was made at Music Exchange, an industry
conference in Cape Town.
One delegate suggested the rival concert should be called "Fuck Fifa",
although he later conceded that the name would probably not fly.
Fifa's concert at Soweto's Orlando Stadium in Soweto will feature only
three South African acts -- Vusi Mahlasela, BLK JKS and The Parlotones.
African superstars Vieux Farka Touré, Angélique Kidjo, Tinariwen and
Amadou and Mariam will take part alongside international artists
including Alicia Keys, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas and Shakira.
South African music professionals are also simmering because Fifa
contracted American-based events management company Control Room to run
the concert, instead of a local company.
Mabuse said a rival concert is about "opportunities for South Africans.
Why should South African musicians be denied the opportunity to be
exposed to the rest of the world, when those that already have been
privileged enough to have opportunities get to come here and make money
and then go?" he asked.
The Fifa concert will be broadcast to millions of viewers around the world.
"Are we going to be silent about this?" Mabuse demanded. "Hell, no; it's
either there are more South African musicians involved in this concert
or there is not going to be a show."
Reacting to the controversially expensive tickets for the Fifa event --
priced at R450 to R1 150 -- Mabuse said: "We must do concerts for free.
We must go out and find our own venues on that day and perform."
Keevision chief executive Yoel Kenan agreed with Mabuse's idea, saying
of Fifa's control: "We are in an environment where this is the reality
and we are not going to be able to change it. We must ask how can we
leverage the World Cup to promote the music from South Africa. If we put
all our energy and resources together, we can do it.
"We can get YouTube and Puma as sponsors -- they are not Fifa sponsors
and they are all waiting for something to do. If it comes from the heart
and it's a South African project, I think people will feel it."
Fifa spokesperson Delia Fischer referred the Mail & Guardian to Control
Room, the American events management company organising the kick-off
concert. But she said only the first round of artists has been announced
and there would be more South Africans on the final bill.
Attempts to get comment from Control Room proved unsuccessful.
Disabled burn tyres in World Cup picket
The Pretoria News 26 March 2010
SA Disability Alliance (Sada) members burnt tyres at Safa house, south
of Johannesburg, yesterday in protest at the lack of accessibility of
World Cup stadiums to people with disabilities.
"We burnt tyres because they are our mobility, but they cannot get us
into stadia," said Sada executive Ari Seirlis.
Security guards extinguished three burning wheelchair tyres, while
protesters chanted and waved placards.
"LOC (Local Organising Committee) let us down" read a placard. Another
read: "Stadia no accessible for disabled, no legacy for us".
Seirlis said the alliance was not burning tyres because it was
fashionable, but because it showed the pain of the disabled at not being
able to attend any of the World Cup matches.
"We want to be there. We want to be part of the action, but the stadia
are not ready to accommodate us," he said.
About 100 members of Sada sang liberation songs as they rolled their
wheelchairs from the parking bays opposite Safa house to the entrance,
where a memorandum of demands was handed over to local organising
committee chief executive officer Danny Jordaan.
Jordaan said he would meet with the leadership of Sada on March 31 to
discuss issues raised in the memorandum.
Jordaan said only three stadiums were not accessible to the disabled and
that while people in wheelchairs had to buy tickets, the people pushing
the wheelchairs did not.
"We care about you," said Jordaan, explaining that there was a
memorandum of understanding signed between Sada and the LOC.
"If there are issues, we need to sit down and talk them out... we still
have to meet to discuss," Jordaan said.
Sada has demanded that the LOC ensure a safe and equitable environment
for all spectators with disabilities, including at fan park facilities.
It also wants an accessible transport plan approved and implemented by
all host cities.
Sada chairman Musi Nkosi said that during the Confederation Cup,
transport from park and ride sites was not accessible to people with
disabilities, with no facilities for deaf spectators and no
"Visually impaired persons are also not fully accommodated: they are not
allowed to bring a guide free of charge. They have to find someone who
can afford to buy a ticket to accompany them.
"We do not want to disrupt the World Cup events.
"It might be the first and last for Africa in our lifetime.
"We want to be part of it. I hope from this protest something will be
done for people with disability," Nkosi said.
This article was originally published on page 7 of The Pretoria
News on March 26, 2010
Cosatu say local artists shut out from 2010 events
Sapa JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 28 March 2010
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it supported
the campaign by local artists to benefit from the Soccer World Cup, it
said on Sunday.
Spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement that the trade union's
affiliate, the Creative Workers' Union of SA (CWUSA), had a right to be
He said this was after artists in the country and around the continent
were overlooked by both the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Fifa
for a concert ahead of the tournament at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on
Alicia Keys, John Legend, the Black Eyed Peas, Amadou & Mariam,
Angélique Kidjo, BLK JKS, Juanes, Shakira, the Parlotones, Tinariwen,
Vieux Farka Touré and Vusi Mahlasela are scheduled to play at the concert.
"In particular, it is a scandal that the World Cup concert will feature
only three local artists and nine-plus from elsewhere," Craven said.
"The federation urges all its members to support CWUSA's rolling mass
action at the 2010 World Cup LOC's offices in Nasrec to protest against
this plan," he said.
Craven said the trade union shared CWUSA's sentiments that "This [event]
is an African World Cup and it's for Africa".
"Creative workers are part and parcel in displaying the rich heritage of
our country and continent through their involvement and participation,"
CWUSA said after the announcement of the line-up for the concert.
The union demanded that the line-up for the June 10 concert be mainly
composed of South African and African artists.
The CWUSA also demanded that a publicly sanctioned procurement process
be put in place for all cultural events. - Sapa
Selling South Africa:Poverty, Politics and the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Why is it that governments can find billions of dollars for global
sporting events and little to deal with the grinding poverty that
affects impoverished populations? Canada applauded itself for the
$135-million in aid and disaster relief it sent to an earthquake ravaged
Haiti while spending nearly $6-billion on the two-week long Vancouver
Olympics. A similar contradiction is revealing itself in South Africa,
where massive amounts of public and private spending on the upcoming
2010 Soccer World Cup are expected to salve a faltering economy and
crippling poverty. Most South Africans, however, will see little direct
or sustained economic benefit from the games let alone muster the funds
to even purchase a ticket.
What is trumpeted as a branding and investment remedy to South Africa’s
economic woes may very well become another Greek tragedy – where the
legacy of the 2004 Athens Olympics has contributed to an economic
meltdown. These global games offer dual incentives to both local and
foreign business elites and little to a frustrated local population. On
the one hand, investment, sponsorship and tourism opens new markets to
foreign capital while local business elites profit from a heightened
global image. At least, this is the story sold by both the state and
World Cup planners. Central to this strategy is selling South Africa as
a marketable and consumable brand.
The transition from apartheid to democratic rule in South Africa has
been well documented. During this period, the pressures of both domestic
and foreign capital forced the emergent African National Congress (ANC)
government to follow the economic paradigms of the past and encourage
foreign investment. The sanctions that once crippled the economy gave
way to a period of increasing investment and relatively stable economic
growth. Promoting a comfortable and gentrified image of South Africa
perfectly serves the ruling African National Congress’s redistribution
through growth policy that is intended to drum up foreign investment
while selling off government owned assets. The Soccer World Cup
effectively opens these economic and political spaces necessary to
further neoliberal policies and development.
Spectacle During Recession
The recent mobilizations against the 2010 Winter Olympics by members of
Vancouver’s poor and indigenous communities indicate the contradictions
of increasing corporate welfare amidst economic recession and
instability. The effect of the economic recession has taken its toll on
Canadians, but its most vicious impact has been reserved for the
economies of the developing world. In South Africa, unemployment,
inequality and poverty have been greatly exacerbated by the global
recession. In late 2008, South Africa ended its decade long economic
growth spurt. The economy shrank by 1.8% in the final quarter of 2008
and by 6.4% in the first three months of 2009. A few weeks after
replacing ousted Thabo Mbeki as President, Jacob Zuma admitted, “we have
entered a recession.”
South African planners have estimated that the World Cup will contribute
approximately $5.5-billion (U.S.) to the economy and create 415,000
jobs, but these figures – like the supposedly positive economic impact
of the Vancouver Olympics – are ephemeral and unmeasurable. For the 50
per cent of South Africans living below the poverty line the games will
not lead to better housing, healthcare or employment. Government and
private sector rhetoric of ‘global competitiveness’ has also had to face
the very real image of a South Africa still scarred by deep racial and
economic divisions. The World Cup is the playing field for many of the
debates dominating South African currently: the nationalization of mines
and resource industries; land redistribution and privatization of energy
and telephone services. This debate also reflects the bad blood and deep
divisions between the ANC and its trade union and communist allies. The
international football body FIFA, and its corporate sponsors, want South
Africans to forget this debate is happening. Their belief that global
games are beneficial to the world is not only highly misleading, but it
presents neoliberalism as the only solution to national economic
development. It asks the leading question: How would South Africans get
better roads and sporting facilities if not for the World Cup? Their
discourse is hard to counter. Behind it are the powers of a world built
upon power relations – adding the sexiness of sport gives great symbolic
force to these unequal relations.
Like Coca-Cola and Adidas – both official sponsors of the World Cup –
South Africa is a brand. To foreign investors and business elite, a
stable rand and inflation rate are as desirable as a positive brand
image before the world. Like Clint Eastwood's Invictus, the complexities
of ongoing struggles in South Africa can be reduced to inoffensive
pabulum and fed to global audiences. The dominance of the global market
in South Africa is now reified by liberal Hollywood spectacle.
Globalization and brand recognition have led many nations to market
their identities as international brands. In fact, many developing
nations have little choice but to resort to these international
spectacles to lure the brands and investment encouraged by the IMF and
World Bank. As Essop Pahad, former minister in the Presidency told the
2010 National Communication Partnership Conference: “This event is about
much more than sports – it is about Africa and Africa’s ability to host
For one month an estimated 400,000 fans will descend on cities
throughout South Africa, and millions more will tune in to watch the
largest sporting spectacle hosted, for the first time, by an African
nation. Beer guzzling soccer fans at World Cup stadiums will have no
choice but to down American Budweiser and Coca-Cola in terms with strict
FIFA sponsorship rules. Fans will fill seats at stadiums costing over
$1.8-billion (U.S.) and travel on railways and roads specially upgraded
for them. From this vantage point they will see the World Cup’s real
winners: Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Sony, Hyundai, Visa, Budweiser,
Castrol Oil, Continental Tire, McDonalds, YingLi Solar and Indian IT
supergiant Mahindra Satyam. In addition, there are five national
sponsors, which include South Africa’s largest bank FNB, British
Petroleum and the semi-privatized telecommunications company Telkom.
This spending in stadium construction and infrastructure renewal comes
as the nation is experiencing its first recession in seventeen years
with GDP growth for 2009 now in the red at -0.3 percent. High levels of
private investment are supposed to dampen the negative impact of global
recession, but as some analysts have pointed out, the games need to do
more than just ensure a short-lived tourism boom. If public funds can be
found to pad tourist seats, then funds can, and must, be found to deal
with the impact of low economic growth on the most disadvantaged sectors
of the population. Township shack dwellers, for example, whose numbers
have grown by 50 per cent in the first ten year of post-apartheid
democracy, have little to gain from billion dollar stadiums.
For the embattled President Jacob Zuma and his fractured African
National Congress, the World Cup serves an invaluable political
function. It is a diversion from the many unresolved questions of
society, such as increasing income inequality, rampant unemployment, the
run-down health system, a national housing crisis and the president’s
battered personal image resulting from his apparently unquenchable libido.
To create a marketable image of South Africa, the national government
and the International Marketing Council of South Africa formed a 2010
National Communication Partnership. The group is working closely with
public relations firms across the continent to “change the image of the
continent from one which is perceived as poverty stricken and unstable
to one that is stable, prosperous and proactive.” The Council’s “Brand
South Africa” strategy was most recently featured at the 2010 World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where it pushed “South Africa’s
role in influencing the global economic agenda and building the
country’s reputation as a trade and investment destination.” The Brand
South Africa group is a private-public partnership made up of government
and domestic business elites, some of which are official World Cup sponsors.
The World Cup Local Organizing Committee chose “Celebrate Africa’s
Humanity” as its slogan. While these glib slogans are never truly
intended to reflect the complex diversity of national culture – see
Germany's “A Time To Make Friends” – this slogan simplifies issues
dramatically for viewers, investors and tourists. As Local Organizing
Committee chairman Irvin Khoza puts it: “Africa is a continent rich in
resources. But its biggest asset by far is the warmth, friendliness,
humility and humanity of its people.” It is not only South Africa being
viewed, sold, bought and broadcast; the entire continent is, in the
words of Brand South Africa, “open for business.” Former president Thabo
Mbeki hopes “the event will send ripples of confidence from the Cape to
Cairo – an event that will create social and economic opportunities
Selling Africa is tricky. Most African nations since independence have a
shoddy record of upholding human rights and democracy. A report in
African Business says distressing images of suffering in neighboring
Zimbabwe are threatening the branding campaign of the World Cup.
Blemishes like these have led spin-doctors to roll out an image
polishing campaign that makes situations like the national emergency in
Zimbabwe entirely separate from African development as a whole. When, in
fact, they are intricately linked. Thabo Mbeki’s policy of quiet
diplomacy with Zimbabwe drew fierce criticism in South Africa, and his
inability to prevent a social and economic meltdown in the country has
been blamed for the masses of migrant Zimbabweans still streaming across
the South African border. “From a branding point of view,” says Dr.
Nikolaus Ebert, the man responsible for branding the event, “the
greatest threat to South Africa’s image is blowback – the unintended
consequence of an unsympathetic or cynical foreign policy.”
But as the Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani says, South Africans have
always seen themselves as unique from the rest of Africa. Selling Africa
means highlighting the successes of South Africa’s wholesale embrace of
neoliberalism and distancing it from the unsavory actions of its
neighbours. The marketing and media campaign behind the World Cup will
no-doubt seek to smooth out the complexities of growth and development
while framing South Africa as the success-story of African
neoliberalism. A glossy picture its neighbours should attempt to emulate.
A national survey reveals that 74 per cent of South Africans are
optimistic about the employment and economic impact of the World Cup.
But does this mean they will directly benefit from the billions poured
into the games from their own pockets? The record indicates the
opposite. If the World Cup is to bring any domestic benefits, it must
serve the interests of ordinary South Africans before those of Budweiser
Global Games and Social Change
Media portrayals of South Africa have focused heavily on the alarming
rise in violent crime in South Africa and the daily-increasing rape and
homicide rates (50 murders a day). Domestic and international pressure
to take action on violent crime before the World Cup was so intense that
South Africa's chief of police told Sky News that his officers should
kill criminals if they came under attack. A British company has even
begun marketing a 2010 stab-proof vest for football fans visiting the
International concern has largely been for the safety of tourists and
players visiting South Africa during the tournament and not for those
poor and disenfranchised South Africans who face violent crime while
living in dire poverty. Indeed, few commentators have asked what benefit
the games will have for those living in townships in sight of the new
million dollar stadiums. Daunting economic problems remain from the
apartheid era – particularly poverty in black communities, lack of
economic empowerment among disadvantaged groups, and a shortage of
public transportation and housing. More than one-quarter of South
Africa's population currently receives social grants, leading some to
label it the largest welfare state in the world. South Africa has a 24
per cent unemployment rate with 50 per cent of the population living
below the poverty line. At the same time, the richest members of society
have increased their annual earnings by as much as 50 percent. According
to the Gini Index – a measurement of household income inequalities –
South Africa has the second most unequal distribution of income in the
world, just behind its neighbor Namibia.
For these reasons ordinary working South Africans may see the billboards
and advertising brought by the World Cup, but they are unlikely to see
the games themselves. The ticket prices to the big event are likely to
deter most of Africa's soccer enthusiasts. With 3 million tickets
available, less than 100,000 have been sold in Africa as most Africans
are not able to afford the expensive entry fees. Chief Executive Officer
of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Danny Jordaan said that it is the first time
in World Cup history that the host nation is not topping the ticket
sales list. According to FIFA, the cheapest ticket will cost 55 Euros
(570 Rand) for tickets that will entail the holder to sit behind goals.
The cheapest ticket for the final is going for 275 Euros (2,842 Rand).
At the bottom end of the economic scale, are those who will only be
impacted negatively by the World Cup. Like Cape Town’s street sellers,
who are reportedly being driven from the city’s streets by police and a
private security company. Police also recently relocated 600 people who
had been camping alongside an inner city railway line in Cape Town to a
transit zone on the outskirts of the city. While Danny Jordaan has
promised no evictions, the record is against him thus far. These forced
relocations draw on the legacy of apartheid era racial and spatial
segregation. In this practice South Africa is not alone. It is estimated
that the 1988 Seoul Olympics resulted in the eviction of 700,000 people;
and the 2008 Beijing Olympics displaced 1.5 million residents.
Udesh Pillay and Orli Bass, researchers with South Africa’s Human
Sciences Research Council, suggest “inequality may even be exacerbated
by the hosting of the World Cup... There is no proof that the hosting of
mega-events will result in meaningful job creation.” They argue that
billions invested in stadium construction and infrastructure renewal may
not trickle-down as many politicians expect. “The success of the games
will be measured not only in terms of how South African cities are made
more competitively global, but in terms of how an undertaking to the
poor and indigent can be fulfilled.”
Energy, Climate Change and Privatization
The cup will occur at a delicate time for South Africa's energy mogul,
Eskom. The national energy utility has warned that power cuts that have
plunged millions of households into darkness for years could continue
right through to 2010. “Eskom's power system will remain tight over the
next five years with an increased likelihood of power interruptions.
This trend is set to continue at least until the first new coal-fired
base load power station is commissioned in 2011,” the utility reported
Eskom is the continent’s largest energy utility and is the primary
source of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa. South Africa is also
the biggest greenhouse gas emitter on the continent, with 73% of African
emissions. Coal is the major fuel source used by Eskom, and the utility
used 94.14 million tons of it in 2001. Eskom receives its coal at rock
bottom prices because the high volume of supply contracts awarded to
coal companies allows them to sell non-export quality coal cheaply.
Despite these high emission levels, South Africa is already engaged in
doubling its electricity generation capacity from coal-fired power
stations by 2025.
While Eskom avoided the large-scale privatizations that swiped many
South African utilities from the public, it has consistently been on the
neoliberal chopping block. Increasing electricity prices and
restructuring led to some 20,000 Soweto households being disconnected
every month in 2001, until resistance from militant communities rolled
back the process. Access to water and electricity has become a key
struggle in South Africa's townships. One study conducted through the
South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council found that an estimated
10 million people have suffered water cutoffs and electricity
disconnections under privatization, mostly because they couldn't afford
new, higher rates. Instead of selling off large chunks of Eskom, the
government has moved toward partial privatization of projects, which has
been identified as a new source of funding in Eskom’s search for
solutions to its financial woes.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the grassroots
Anti-Privatization Forum (APF) believe that electricity should remain
publicly owned and controlled. The APF, which has actively campaigned
against electricity cutoffs, evictions, and supported workers’ struggles
against privatization in Johannesburg, has heavily criticized Eskom for
doing nothing to bring basic electrical services to the poor and for
continuing to rely heavily on fossil fuels. According to COSATU, the
privatization of Eskom would contradict the Government’s previous
commitment to enhance services for the poor and support economic
The partial privatization of Eskom and the on-going debate over
privatization and nationalization in South Africa plays into the
ideological battle being waged around the World Cup and within the
ruling African National Congress. Behind the rhetoric of global
competition and brand identity, is the fact that global capitalism has
not delivered the goods for the vast majority of South Africa’s
population. In the townships outside Cape Town and Johannesburg, dreams
of real liberation – and even basic service delivery – have been put on
hold while the country reintegrates itself into a neocolonial system
that is intent on draining further wealth from an already exploited
continent. As the late political economist Giovanni Arrighi commented,
“there may be little that most states can do to upgrade their economies
in the global hierarchies of wealth.” Global games represent one option,
but as his colleague John Saul points out “the fact is that Southern
Africa simply cannot compete with more powerful capitalist centers at
playing their own game.” •
Chris Webb is a South African journalist, scholar and activist living in
Toronto. His writing has appeared in Canadian Dimension, New
Internationalist, Canada's History and the Winnipeg Free Press. He is
the Publishing Assistant at Canadian Dimension.