South Africa 2010, Welcome to Paradise
November 5, 2009
So, Football’s quad-annual jamboree heads over to Africa for the first time in 2010. Africa’s great isn’t it? If you can forget the rampant Aids epidemic that devastates the Sub-Saharan region like a Scotsman at a free buffet. Or if you can forget the largely corrupt administrations that run the countries there into the ground. Or maybe if you put aside your concerns about the seemingly endless civil wars that take place in the continent. Yep, Africa is truly an amazing place to be, we used to call it “The Dark Continent” because we hadn’t explored it. Now we can call it the “Dark Continent” because of the sheer wealth of human tragedy that Africa experiences.
In the face of this, sending the World Cup to South Africa was always going to be a decision based more on emotion than on simple common sense. And indeed, why not South Africa? The Rainbow Nation, a true model of societal integration, great stuff.
Thing is, people aren’t really considering the main issue relating to SA, forget about President Zuma and his long running battles with rape and corruption charges prior to his becoming President. Forget about the shared border with Zimbabwe where thousands of refugees have fled to escape the tyranny of the Mugabe regime. They aren’t even considering the lack of South African footballing talent, I mean, I like Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena as much as the next man, but they’re hardly setting the Premiership alight.
No, the main issue here is…Crime.
Forget what 2010 chief Danny Jordaan says about Tottenham Hotspur, The England Rugby Union Squad and the England Cricket Team coming to South Africa and not having any problems. These are highly pampered and valuable athletes, protected up to the eyeballs with armed guards, of course there won’t be any problems. But I wonder what Jordaan would say if he was faced with a few simple stats?
Here are some figures that anybody planning to go to South Africa should pay attention to, these are total figures for 2009 so far.
1) Assaults – Over 550,000
2) Homicide – Over 21.000
3) Rape – Over 50,000
4) Kidnapping – Over 3,000
I’m really not trying to scare anybody with these figures, but they are fairly horrific. Anecdotal testimony suggests that a woman born in South Africa has more chance of being raped than of learning to read.
Should the World Cup be held there? Well, in the face of those figures above, beyond the emotional argument, there’s very little to recommend it. South Africa, like most of the rest of the continent, is still classed as “developing”, although it also has NIC (Newly Industrialised Country) status, which places it alongside the likes of India, Mexico and Brazil. The South Africans are spending millions on building new stadiums and infrastructure, money it can barely afford.
However, considering all of these things, I feel we should give the South Africans their chance, if Football has pretensions of being a true global game, then it should go to whoever wants it the most. Ultimately, South Africa needs to hold the World Cup, it needs the money generated through tourism. But far more important than that, South Africa needs the prestige, it needs to hold a flawless, spectacular and more importantly, a safe tournament.
you can find further info on South Africa’s crime by following this http://www.nationmaster.com/country/sf-south-africa/cri-crime