zondag 11 november 2007

Millions of slumdwellers evicted ahead of World Cup 2010 in South Africa

Nov 10 2007 - The shacklands of post-apartheid South Africa will only be removed to hide the shame of poverty ahead of the 2010 World Cup, slum dwellers are warning.

The ANC-regime is planning a mass-removal of millions of the country's poorest people in the vicinity of the soccer stadiums -- just to present a 'clean, healthy appearance' during the two weeks the FIFA international soccer tournaments are being shown on international TV.

FIFA has laid down tough laws about the appearance of host cities during the World Cup. With the World Cup being screened worldwide, Fifa has instructed that the locations of stadiums have picturesque surroundings -- similar to the Soviet Union's Potemkin villages, South Africa's millions of often desperately poor and hungry slum dwellers must be hidden behind pretty facades.

One Fifa rule, for broadcast states that no cranes or building sites should be visible on any city's skyline during the World Cup. This was one of the reasons the proposed Athlone stadium on the dreary, crime-ruled Cape Flats was turned down.

Cape Town's Green Point, with its backdrop of Table Mountain, was considered to be the perfect location. Cities such as Johannesburg have also started evicting inner-city dwellers so that footage shown of South Africa 'will project a good, clean country'.

The shackdwellers, who have not been told of their imminent evictions, have described ANC regime's grandiose, multi-million 'rehousing' plans as a way of hiding the shame of post-apartheid South Africa, where more people are living in abject poverty than ever did during apartheid. Monica Mjuqu, a shack dweller at KwaMyandu, near Durban, said the government didn't want visiting tourists to see that millions were being spent on a single event while the rank and file people of the country lived in poverty.

"They are just ashamed of us and want us out of the way so that visitors coming to the country won't see the conditions we live under," said Mjuqu.

"They know that tourists travelling to the Zwelithini Stadium will come in by train and will not be impressed by the slums. But why hide what we are? If they were truly concerned about us they would have built us houses long ago. They would not have waited for 2010," said Mjuqu, who has waited for a government house for the past 13 years. South Africa has thus far managed to build 1,5-m tiny new houses since 1994 - while some 7,5-million people are on the waiting lists and living in slum-housing.

Thembisile Mkhize, who is among the many dwellers who have spaza shops which line KwaMnyandu Station in Durban, said these forced evictions would see them lose their sources of income.

"I survive on this spaza shop. I hope that when they remove us and take us to our new houses, they will also provide us with an area where we can carry on with our business," said Mkhize.





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