Will the 2010 World Cup legacy be forgotten by the Poverty of South Africa?

2010 World Cup is all about legacy, and this is what this sport event will leave to South Africa as the country hosts the game, according to FIFA.

Sepp Blatter, the president of world football’s governing body of FIFA said the legacy will be left there, because as the country hosts the game, there will be a big boost to South Africa’s economy. The game, in fact, is the most-watched sport event.

But opinions are divided whether the country, where a quarter of its population is impoverished, is really going to benefit from the 2010 World Cup.

According to Blatter, “This [tournament] has to be about … legacy. Bringing boys and girls together, organizing schooling and health education, providing the tools and the incentive to fight against poverty and disease — that is the legacy we want to leave.”

Accounting firm Grant Thornton predicts a $1.7 billion income to the country’s economy due to the World Cup. The accounting firm added that the income would be coming from the tournament’s tourists who will be staying there for the month-long festival of soccer. Furthermore, the firm said that this would give the “Rainbow Nation” a boost in the economic growth for about 0.5%.

According to study, $12.2 billion worth of budget was used on indirect spending and infrastructure investment over the four years.

This kind of benefits would be a big help in the growth of the nations economy. South Africa is a nation where a quarter of its population are living below poverty line, according CIA World Fact Book, which means it would really be a legacy of the 2010 World Cup if such benefits mentioned above would really be received by the nation.

Based on statistics in South Africa, 25 percent of South Africans were unemployed during the first couple of months of 2010, unlike the United States that only have 9.3 percent unemployment rate during 2009 and during 2004 had 12 percent living under the international poverty line.

According to a study by the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz there were 3 million visitors that visited Germany for the 2006 World Cup, and left €2.5 billion ($3 billion) to the county’s economy.

However, South Africa’s economy has a different structure compared to Germany. This is because more than a quarter of its domestic labor force is composed of street traders or are employed in the “informal” economy, according to The Human Science Research Council (HSRC). Which means these street traders; hawkers and market vendors are missed out in the World Cup boom.

“The world cup has been a missed opportunity for the people who are employed in this so called informal economy,” said Cheche Selepe, a spokesperson for the World Class Cities for All Campaign (WCCA), a movement also associated with Streetnet International.

He also added that, “It has delivered poverty, eviction and children who find their parents now income-less. Many of the hawkers and traders have been moved [from the stadium areas] without any alternative,”

“The traders at Soccer City were there before the World Cup was announced, were there as the stadium was built, and were then moved on when the tournament started. You cannot move people without giving them proper alternatives to make a living.” he said.


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