South Africans ‘Betrayed’ By World Cup Organizers

So much for a World Cup legacy. This community was promised their lives would be transformed when a giant football stadium was built here four years ago outside the city of Nelspruit. Instead, the locals got corruption, murder, and overspending on a stadium that’s barely used anymore.
They first made promises of supplying us with water and the air conditioning of houses and the upgrading of roads. All that didn’t happen. They just built the stadium and disappeared.
REPORTER: So you feel you were lied to?
IMAAN DUBE, COMMUNITY LEADER: Yeah, we feel that they told us lies and they have betrayed us.
Four years after Africa’s first World Cup. The vuvuzelas have faded and the competition’s legacy is mixed.
Critics say the public is still paying for these overpriced infrastructure budgets that don’t benefit ordinary South Africans.
DALE MCKINLEY, URBAN DEVELOPMENT ANALYST: The infrastructure’s good but the question is ‘Why wasn’t the money used properly at the World Cup where we weren’t left with these kinds of debts?’ And then we’re paying two to three times over again and the prices of those services are beyond the means of a large portion of our population which can’t afford them.
And yet, this mass transport system has helped. And the fact is: South Africa was lucky its World Cup came after years of economic growth. There was cash to spare back then.
REPORTER: But of course it’s not all about the money. As with the Beijing Olympic Games, this World Cup was a statement of confidence, a sign that this whole continent was and still is changing.
Echoes of the 2010 final. The man who ran that show and is now advising the Brazilians says people expect too much from a football tournament.
Even if FIFA gives us all the money they made in the World Cup, it’s not going to address poverty and inequality.
The real achievement he says was about changing perceptions.
DANNY JORDAN: 2010 has certainly established the fact that Africa cannot be ignored.
A rebranding exercise?
A rebranding, a repositioning of the African continent as they say from “Afro-pessimism” to “Afro-positivism.’
But four years on and some communities have run out of optimism. Outside Nelspruit, they’re still waiting for their World Cup legacy.
Andrew Harding, BBC News, South Africa.
Source: BBC


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