As much as I suspect Thabo and myself will disagree on many issues in politics and economics, I agree with the basis of his argument.
I really think that the 2010 world cup is a "bridge too far". At best we will simply recuperate the massive capital costs of the construction of the stadia during the world cup itself. The only other seeming justification is the publicity that SA will receive. However this cannot be taken for granted. The inability of the police to cope with the potential rise in tourist crime that must accompany this event (criminals must also see this as an opportunity) might even prove the opposite.
At the same time none of these benefits address directly the real issues:
- The majority of the population live in dire poverty
- Absence of education for the poor and a decline in education standards in schools and tertiary institutions
- Declining skill levels in critical industries (science, education, IT, medicine)
- Failure of state owned companies essential for economic growth (SABC, Telkom, Eskom)
- Gross government inefficiency and lack of service delivery
Meanwhile the 2010 world cup allows us to engage in years of back-slapping, diverting focus from the issues that really affect the people of this country.
We are fiddling while Rome burns.