Monday, July 12, 2010

Were the elephants at the waterhole black?

The whole of Africa is hung over. Its over now. The first ever Soccer World Cup on African soil. For once, we all stood united. African Unity. We rallied behind South Africa. We cheered for Ghana. We cried for Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria and Ivory Coast. But it was all capped yesterday. What a spectacle. Bright lights, magnificent images, wonderfull soccer. Spain took it. Iniesta broke the hearts of the Dutch. We got to know of Paul, the octopus.

Yet, after all is said and done, did we really feel part of it all. How much were black South Africans a part of this great indaba? Will black South Africans wake up today and feel better than they were before this soccer showcase? Will their lives have improved? Did they take anything away from the World Cup? Was the first ever World Cup held in Africa really African?

I think not.

In the townships of Soweto, Alexandra, Khayelitsha and others, today marks a return to the persistant problems. In fact, most black South Africans might from today turn against their brothers from other African countries in another episode of xenophobic attacks. The underlying point being that, nothing has changed. A few guys (read white) will pocket a few millions, whilst the crones in Khayelitsha must still struggle to put meagre food crumbs on their rotten tables. It is sad. It makes some of us angry. It is not fair.


  1. Posterity would judge us Pen P. Today, whilst rummaging through my economic mind, I realised that this event is just organised by capitalist multinationals to draw money into their pockets. Let's take it this way...

    Which companies did the Architectural drawings, the civil engineering works, the structural works and the building itself. Though some South Africans would have benefited from the actual labour input as in the laying of steel, blocks etc, can it be justified by the billions spent by the SA government on the tournament? Is Soweto poverty-free, are all the taps flowing etc

    Advertisement is one area that FIFA benefited a lot from. How many SA companies were able to purchase space for advertisement.

    It is like organising a concert and charging people to come. The organisers make their money and the people dance. Here we watched and with tickets soaring as high as US$ 2,000 I wonder if the average SA was able to attend. If a game, once touted to be for the poor, was truly for the poor. They have come and milked us dry. There is something in this ... there is a new wave of slavery going on and they have capitalised on it. Because we want to prove to them that we can actually do anything we set out to do, we put in so much of what we have and they in turn reap the benefits. China did in the Beijing Olympics... Let me give you some small stats concerning economic growth figures after the world cup

    1970--Mexico Growth rate in the world cup year 6.9%; Growth rate in the following year 4.2%

    1974--West Germany; Growth rate in the world cup year 0.2%; Growth rate in the following year -1.3%

    1978--Argentina; Growth rate in the world cup year -3.4%; Growth rate in the following year 7.1%

    1982--Spain; Growth rate in the world cup year 1.2%; Growth rate in the following year 1.8%

    1986--Mexico; Growth rate in the world cup year -3.7 percent; Growth rate in the following year 1.7%

    1990--Italy; Growth rate in the world cup year 2%; Growth rate in the following year 1.4%

    1994--USA; Growth rate in the world cup year 4%; Growth rate in the following year 2.7%

    1998--France; Growth rate in the world cup year 3.5%; Growth rate in the following year 3%.

    Thus, for the past 28 years only Argentina and Mexico had GREATLY benefited from hosting the world cup. Other factors could be the result of these downturn in economic activity, however as a Social Democrat I believe in the development of people. I believe in Development rather than Growth so that if BMW establishes a company in country Z and only 0.02% of the people benefits but it leads to the doubling of country Z's GDP, it doesn't mean that there has been development because in certain villages people would still be drinking with animals from the same stream.

    Let me end before I sabotage your post. Sorry.

  2. You should have gone on and on brother. It bothers me so much that after all is said and done, we are left with even emptier pockets. there is not going to be any difference in Alex, Soweto Gugulethu etc...As we write, they have gone back to their tin shacks, empty handed.

    Thanks for interesting reading brother.