7 May 2010
What is the World Class Cities for All Campaign?
The WCCA Campaign was launched at COSATU House in 2007, by StreetNet International, and other organizations of urban poor, including slum dwellers, migrant and refugee communities. With the South Africa FIFA World Cup in 2010 in mind, its aim is to help create greater global awareness about the need to rethink urban planning and services so as to actively support the needs and interests of informal economy workers and indeed create World Class Cities for All.
Governments hosting international sporting events seek to advertise their host cities as "World Class Cities" which are capable of attracting foreign investment; have modern-up-to-date infrastructure; smooth traffic flows; and no visible poor people or social problems. Municipalities attempt to "clean up the streets" through slum clearance programmes, which often increase the numbers of homeless, evict or relocate street vendors, and disperse street children, vagrants and sex workers. Such policies result in greater competition for the few livelihood opportunities remaining, and also result therefore in increased incidence of xenophobic attacks against migrant communities.
The WCCA campaign seeks both to organise and to strengthen the coordination between the most marginalised groups of urban society and to channel and support their demands to the municipal and national authorities. The campaign has a particular gender focus, as it is women who have less representational space, are most likely to loose their livelihoods as street vendors, or need protection from trafficking or xenophobic attacks.
The WCCA campaign has also been launched in India, in the context of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Lessons learned from 2010 will be used in establishing other campaign countries and in the context of the 2014 FIFA Games in Brazil.