World Cup’s Rural Shadow

When I was on DemocracyNow! last week, I managed, in my own stuttering-at-five-in-the-morning-oh-my-god-I’m-talking-to-Amy-Goodman-and-Juan-Gonzales kind of way to suggest two things about the current World Cup in South Africa. First, as S’bu Zikode told me last week

It is becoming clear that in the world cup we’re going to be excluded but our names are being used to justify the goodness of our country in the world. The country is divided. There are certain people who are benefiting and we are excluded – we want to tell the other side of the story. Some of us are homeless, hungry, don’t have freedom of expression.

In other words, the poor are being used by the World Cup. But the other point I wanted to argue was that World Cup can also, in a clearly asymmetric way, be used by the poor. This isn’t a story that makes it either to the press, or to the analysis about the ills of Fifa. Protests in Durban recently have tried to get the world’s press to shine a light on how apartheid remains, and to provide cover for street marches that would have been illegally shut down in the past. See, for instance, this:

There aren’t just grievances within South Africa’s cities, but outside them too. Here’s a release from a group working on Food Sovereignty in South Africa. I’ve not heard of them before, but I’m looking forward to hearing a great deal more when next I’m there…. More below the fold.

The Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign

07 June 2010

March to re-emphasize the needs and demands of marginalized rural groups in the light of the World Cup.

The needs and challenges faced by small scale farmers in South Africa have not been taken seriously by the South African government. In times of huge government spending on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (Food Sovereignty Campaign) arranges a march to parliament to remind the politicians of the urgent needs of marginalized farm workers, emerging farmers, farm dwellers and landless people.

Demands are going to be handed over to President Jacob Zuma, the ministers of Agriculture as well as the MEC for Human Settlements. The main demands include land redistribution, an end to the commercialization of water, decent public housing for all, that government supports a move towards more sustainable agro-ecological agriculture and stop the experiments with genetically modified organisms in South Africa.

The demands are not new to the parliament. On May 9th 2008 the Food Sovereignty Campaign marched to parliament to draw on the attention of the politicians regarding the challenges faced by small scale farmers in South Africa’s rural areas. Despite two years of continuous efforts there has been no satisfactory response from the government. The memorandum of May 9th 2008 is thus still valid and the march on June 9th is organized to make sure the demands are met without delay.

The Right to Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (Food Sovereignty Campaign) is a movement of emerging farmers and farm dwellers in the western parts of the Northern and Western Cape Provinces. The main aim is to achieve food sovereignty by putting an end to the marginalisation, exploitation and inequality responsible for the continued poverty and suffering in South Africa’s rural areas.

If we are not listened to and if the demands are not met we will continue the struggle. In fact we will become more radical and militant the longer government ignores us.

For more info contact:

Danie Engelbrecht 0721915336

Lilian Kriege 0824229984

Craig Jonkers 0781536783

Johan Jantjies 0790277853

3 Replies to “World Cup’s Rural Shadow”

  1. How long will affluent westerners, who so willingly participate in these circuses of lying propaganda and play their cute little games of human exploitation, ignore reality? The real “sport” seems to be keeping an out-of-sight Fascist bootheel secret to the “guests.” “We’re all Africans,” Desmond shouts. No. we’re all human beings with certain inalienable rights.

    “People before profits.” Yes! But, you see, “profits” have become a virulent disease. For example, I recently found out that Ayn Rand used to wear a solid gold dollar sign as a pendant around her neck. And that symbol of Fascist pride says it all concerning that sick philosophy of slaves and their Slave Masters of Money and War. “Free markets” are only “free” for the Mega International Corporations who seem to run every phoney dog and poney show. Change governments, change colors and Apartheid still reigns. The problem lies in some vile human hearts who are the world’s control freaks. And Desmon Tutu along with Nelson Mandela become propaganda icons who easily sell their bodies, minds and souls for profit also? How utterly despicable! And their phoney acting is even of poor quality!

    How can reasonable people be so duped by these complete frauds of utter selfishness? It has to be because so many are simply willing to turn a blind eye and deceive themselves–for monetary profit which is the only kind they recognize. Inwardly, they apparently DO believe that profits always come before human beings because “that’s just the way things are” and their tremendously arrogant and ignorant behavior shows that. This can only be summed up in one word… IGNORANCE.

    It is an insideous brutal religion with all the trappings of a religion. They have temples of worship which are nothing but expensive sets to be discarded, fullblown priestcraft and acolytes as well as pious evangelical monks. What a sham! It is the blatant open pious worship of the god Mammon and his first cousin Moloch who demands that children be burned alive as a sacrifice to… profit.

    Excuse me while I puke.

    Viva los campasinos fieros and long live!

    The fully unsustainable mechanistic soulless activity of petrified hearts is about to go down and all the psychotic chickens come home to roost where they were hatched. Why? Because this foolishness is the direct opposite of how the Universe operates and is nothing but the seeds of self-destructive suicide soon to produce their final fruit. How long, o Lord? The struggle continues and the outcome is sure because trampling on the human spirit can only work temporarily–short term profits. VERY short term. There is the matter of human rights and it shines at the core of the beings who refuse to ignore and suppress it regardless of how many claim it to be outmoded and replaced by profits.



  2. What a sick world with people attending spectator sports whilst others cry out for help / aid.
    The disease is lack of compassion, and thank you, Raj Patel, for all the humanitarian effort.

    I prefer not to harp on Ayn Rand. Her atheism skewered some otherwise worthwhile ideas.

    No doubt, Raj Patel is a threat to the powers that are behind such cruel, cold complacency.
    It was this that drew my attention to him, with the hope to help. He generously helps others.
    Though attempts to probably discredit occurred, he remains unscathed and true to a cause.

    Understood, is this cruel malicious intent by a few, who have taken over the many, for now.
    Seriously consider each step to confirm that their power resides in their legislative abilities.

    The power of the people resides in The Law, and not the law of men ruling men that enslave.
    A platform is needed to return to The Law, that is the inherent right of every single individual.

    The majority, worldwide, wrongly think God’s Law was abolished 2000 years ago by Jesus.
    Jesus brought compassion, and did not abolish The Law. He combined The Law with Love.

    The Law referred to is not a parliament or constitution, and is the Law of God in The Torah.

    Take away their legislation, and they lose that power to make anyone homeless or hungry.

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