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World Cup 2010: Pushed to the limits 1

Over the past few month local authorities have done everything in their power to make anything or anyone that might tarnish the image of Cape Town during the World Cup disappear. That means goodbye sex workers, homeless people and those informal street vendors.

Vendors are not be allowed within a one kilometre perimeter of the Green Point Stadium. The Mayor used construction projects as an excuse to displace the souvenir market, normally held in the parking lot of the stadium. According to Sam Khasibe, president of the African federation of informal vendors, these regulations block vendors from reaping the benefits of the World Cup.

The homeless living near the stadium have been transferred to a camp set up in Blikkiesdrop in 2008. Now, 7,000 people live in this camp. It is made up of shacks and located 20 kilometres away from the downtown.

Andrew “Rasta”, 32 years old, finds himself living in one of these camps. “The camp is far from everything and transportation between the camp and the city is sparse,” he says. Nine out of ten inhabitants of the camp are unemployed and incidences of crime are high. Five months ago Badronessa a 37 year old woman arrived to the camp. Before she lived with her husband and five children, they lived in a shantytown located along the highway that links the airport and the city centre. There they lived in a shack made of pieces of wood and sheet metal, “it leaked less than the shacks they provide us with here,” says Badronessa.

More than 400,000 families are waiting to receive social housing. Blikkiesdorp could very well become a long term housing solution for South Africa’s poorest. Sitting on his bed, under a roof made from sheet metal, Andrew laments, “I love football but I don’t have a television to watch the games. From where we are sitting we won’t get to see any of the World Cup.”

By Clémence Petit PerrotSyfia

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