July 14, 2010
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South Africa's hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup was a waste of money, the SA Students Congress (Sasco) said on Wednesday.
"Instead of wasting money on stadiums and other related luxurious infrastructure, we could have used the same money, energy, zeal and enthusiasm to provide water, electricity, houses and free education for millions of poor South Africans,' said Sasco president Mbulelo Mandlana in a statement.
Mandlana said apart from the pride and joy Sasco felt because the country hosted the event successfully, it was "ashamed that we spent billions of public funds on stadiums that will immediately turn into white elephants after the World Cup and whose maintenance will be costly for years to come".
"It is not just wrong but naked carelessness to starve the country simply for the prestige of hosting a world event."
He said South Africa had never before seen such efficiency as when meeting Fifa deadlines, while carelessness, scapegoat-hunting and sheer laziness were the order of the day in providing basic services.
"We hope this efficiency would reflect itself in the manner in which basic services are provided."
Now that the tournament was over, it was clear that the mobilisation of the South African population to support the World Cup bid because it would benefit the poor was based on a naked lie, Mandlana said.
He said the poor had not benefited financially nor had they enjoyed the honeymoon of the past month except on TV and through fan parks.
"Match tickets were far too expensive while street vendors could not even muster enough funds to sell products at the fan parks.
"Once more, the capitalist class has accumulated, and the working class has been left empty-handed but has been frog-marched to celebrate accumulation of the capitalist class," he said. - Sapa