Street and market trader leaders from Tanzania and Malawi to address Anti-Xenophobia Workshop in Johannesburg

26 March 2010

“We are 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,” Nkosinathi Jikeka said today on the occasion of the second of a series of events held by the WCCA Campaign to call for a `Xenophobia-free World Cup`. Nkosinathi Jikeka is one of the coordinators of the World Class Cities for All Campaign led by StreetNet International.

Jikeka continued: “We need firm commitments and action from Johannesburg local government 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. It is vital that Johannesburg as one of the FIFA World Cup host cities establish consultation mechanisms with representative associations of the informal economy so as to ensure `Xenophobia-Free Games`.”

The World Class Cities For ALL (WCCA) Campaign two-day Anti-Xenophobia workshop will take place on 29th and 30th March 2010 at Khanya College, Johannesburg as part of a series of workshops, forums, marches and other events in South African host cities to ensure a Xenophobia-free World Cup in 2010. The workshop will address the issues around Xenophobia and the informal economy as Johannesburg gears up to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The two international guest speakers invited to address the meeting from SADC countries Malawi and Tanzania on the concerns around Xenophobia are affiliates of StreetNet International. The guest speakers celebrate a shared African heritage and will discuss the common concern of the need for inclusive urban planning and the recognition of the informal economy by African cities` local government decision makers.

The international guests are Mrs Gladys Mpondo, a member of the Malawi national trade union of informal economy workers MUFIS, and Hassan Chamzim Deputy Secretary General of the Tanzanian Union of Industrial and Commercial Workers (TUICO).

The workshop will also be addressed by SAMWU president Sam Molote, and representatives from COSATU, the South African Council of Churches and and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council on the question of Xenophobia and the need for inclusive planning with the urban poor in the context of the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Jikeka concluded, “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.”

Further workshops to ensure a Xenophobia-free World Cup in 2010 are planned for Pretoria and Cape Town.

For more information:

Nkosinathi Jikeka – WCCA Campaign Organiser
Cell 071 826 8076 jikekan@yahoo.com
Paul Shambira – WCCA Campaign Organiser
Cell 073 6245389 e-mail chitownsocialforum@yahoo.com