Thursday, April 2, 2009

Homeless Children Won't Be Cleared From Streets During World Cup

While in the past, the international spotlight was typically proceeded by an effort to temporarily rid the streets of homeless youth, South African officials are saying that this will not be the case during the 2010 World Cup.

[eThekwini municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe] said the city faced the challenges of providing services to rich international visitors as demanded by the national government and soccer governing body Fifa, while continuing to serve poor and vulnerable residents.

..."We have to use the event to our advantage to advance our economic, social and sustainability agendas. It (the World Cup) has given the city the opportunity to ramp up its investment in public infrastructure and to bring it to the poorest of the poor by building more clinics and providing social facilities," Sutcliffe said.

However, he said, while street children were a "visible" social problem, the city had the challenge of caring for eight groups of vulnerable people including the "invisible" poor.

"We have 100 000 households in the city who have no income and they contain about 500 000 family members. And there are those households living off casual labour," Sutcliffe said.

Street kids 'won't disappear' for 2010
Independent Online
April 2, 2009