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South Africa and the World Cup, for better or for worse?

July 12, 2010

A question I heard asked recently was whether the World Cup in South Africa had really benefitted the country and its people in the way it was expected.

Billions of pounds worth in investment has been pumped into South Africa, by external and internal sources. South Africa now boasts better transport links and extremely modern airports, not to mention, the publicity it has received.

Yet has this made South Africa a better place for its people? To a certain extent, I believe, yes. However, the gloss of the World Cup has covered the darker side. Flag
When the football stadiums were being built, local residents that were in the way of the  building projects were forced to move. A line used frequently in Western Media was “football will unite South Africa and will unite the world” or words to that effect, yet during the preparation for the world cup in South Africa, a local football club; with 97 members, was just bulldozed. They were promised somewhere new to play, however they still haven’t received it. If this is bringing the people of South Africa together with football, then it’s a strange way of doing so.

Many people will look at South Africa, look at the expenditure on the World Cup, and then look at those in South Africa: those are in poverty and those who are dying. They may then stop and think.
If they could spend billions of pounds worth on a World Cup, why couldn’t they spend some money on them?

In conclusion, yes, the World Cup benefitted South Africa. In terms of their economy and their quite corrupt government. However, has it really helped those in South Africa, who are most in need? Or did it just worsen their situation?

But, that’s just one person’s opinion. What do you think about this?

South Africa and the World Cup, for better or for worse?


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