FIFA Games must be Xenophobia-free

19 February 2010

The World Class Cities For ALL (WCCA) Campaign calls for host cities to ensure a Xenophobia-free World Cup in 2010.

The WCCA Campaign is an international campaign that is demanding the inclusion of the urban poor in the preparations and plans for the World Cup FIFA Games being hosted in South Africa during June and July 2010.

WCCA Campaign organiser, Paul Shambira, said today, "We need firm commitments and action from municipal authorities to address the needs of the urban poor if we do not want to run the risk of seeing more attacks and riots against foreigners. The host cities should establish consultation mechanisms with representative associations of the informal economy so as to ensure ‘Xenophobia-Free Games`."

The WCCA Campaign is organising a programme of anti-Xenophobia forums in four of the host cities between February and April 2010. The objective of the workshops is to create awareness among informal economy workers of the risks of xenophobia during the world cup in the context of the recent attacks against foreigners. The workshops will also discuss ways to put inclusive urban planning on the agenda of the host cities."

The host cities where events will be held are Nelson Mandela Metro, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Tshwane and Mangaung. Organisations that will be invited to attend the workshops are the leaders of street vendors` and market vendors` associations, taxi operators` associations, taverners` associations and civil society organisations of the urban poor in the host cities.

Leaders of street and market vendors` organisations from African countries who are affiliated to the international federation of street trader organisations based in Durban, StreetNet International, which is leading the WCCA Campaign, will be invited to the workshops as guest speakers. They will celebrate a shared African heritage and discuss the common concern of the need for inclusive urban planning and the recognition of the informal economy by African cities.

Shambira continued, "Participation by the urban poor in the planning for international events, such as the FIFA World Cup is necessary to avoid the forced eviction of street and market vendors and the further displacement of the urban poor. The WCCA Campaign demand is for full consultation, social dialogue and negotiations with local governments in the host cities."

For more information:

Paul Shambira – WCCA Campaign Organiser
Cell 073 6245389 e-mail chitownsocialforum@yahoo.co.nz
Gaby Bikombo – WCCA Campaign partner organization -SIYAGUNDA
031- 2056070 073 2510686