Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup Losers

Socialist Banner makes no apologies for drawing attention yet again to the wasteful World Cup jamboree.
South Africa , a land of fabulous wealth, with 90% of the world’s known platinum reserves, 80% of its manganese, 70% of its chrome and 40% of its gold, as well as rich coal deposits. Plans to develop a satellite programme (in co-operation with India and Brazil). Ten stadiums newly built or upgraded at a cost of 15 billion rand. Rachael Zulu, a 43 year-old mother of two, says there is no way she could afford to buy a ticket to see the national side ''Bafana, Bafana'' play at any of the new stadiums. ''I don't know of anybody living here who is going to the World Cup; we are all poor .I don't know of anybody living here who is going to the World Cup; we are all poor,'' she says. In 2008 three-quarters of South Africans had incomes below 50,000 rand a year (83% were black ) – Only 0.6% of South Africans earned over 750,000 rand, (of whom three-quarters were white and 16% ,or about 30,000 individuals, black)
Rampant corruption and patronage throughout the public sector;
the world’s highest unemployment rate, with more than one in three out of work;
one in eight of the population infected with HIV/AIDS; public hospitals described as “death traps” by their own health minister;
80% of schools deemed dysfunctional;
terrible drug and alcohol abuse;
One in five teenagers aged 15-17 had tried to commit suicide
a crumbling infrastructure; lethal roads.
40% of the population still lives on less than $2 a day.
Although the world’s 24th-biggest economy, South Africa ranks 129th out of 182 on the UN’s Human Development Index (and 12th in Africa).

50 murders, 100 rapes, 330 armed robberies and 550 violent assaults are recorded every day. South Africa now has 300,000 private security guards, almost double the number of police. “We are scared to the point where we are no longer free.” Max Price, the vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town, said after the murder in March of yet another member of the university’s staff: “We no longer trust strangers and we hate what we have become.”

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