Archive | August, 2015

Where Are South Africa’s  Black Women Athletes And Coaches? By Cheryl Roberts

27 Aug

Amidst the euphoria of South Africa’s sportsmen’s triumphs in football, cricket and at the world athletics championship in Beijing, it’s easy to forget to allow the ‘women’s question; to go unnoticed or to slip under the radar or to ask ‘where are the women athletes and coaches, especially the black women.’

IMG_2754South Africa’s athletics team at the global event is a representation of both genders of all colours of athletes. The white women athletes have competed admirably with 400m hurdler Wenda Nel being a finalist and sprinters Carina Horn and Justine Palframan reaching the semifinals with world class javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen expected to perform well in the final.

It was about 6 years ago at the same championship that the prodigious talent that is Caster Semenya arrived on the international stage and claimed the 800m gold medal.

Today, with expectation yet again centered on Semenya, this wasn’t to be. Caster Semenya crashed out of the championship with a dismal placing in the semifinals. Six years after a black woman’s world title, there should have been many more young black women representing themselves and country. Sadly, this hasn’t happened.

Why the reliance on one black woman athletes? Where are the black women athletes?

Yes, there are black women athletes in Team SA, including the 18 year old triple jump sensation, Zinzi Chabanga who has obviously been sent to the world event to gain experience for the future. But these black women athletes are just a few. Black women do participate in athletics from grassroots to national level; in most events, and not only road running.

Some world class black women athletes have existed in South Africa, amongst them Commonwealth Games sprint medallist, Geraldine Pillay and world class long jumper, Janine Josephs. Before that there was emerging sprinter, Dikeledi Morapane.

Then cam along the ferocious talent Caster Semenya which demonstrated that black women athletes cold achieve internationally. Why are Pillay, Morapane and Josephs, now that they have retired, not given pivotal positions of coaching and nurturing SA’s emerging sports girl talent.

It is significant that world 400m champion, Wade van Niekerk is coached by a woman coach, Anna Botha, albeit an ageing but very successful woman coach. There are hardly any black women coaches at the elite level of several sports.

You can check with Athletics South Africa to see when and where they have appointed black women coaches at national and international levels.

It’s a litany of struggles experienced by black women athletes from the time they start participating in school athletics to international arenas. And once they retire and want to stay in the sport as coaches, they just can’t get a job or a breakthrough. Then you get the athletics unit at Tukkies which is filled with white women and men coaches, but not one black woman coach.

Highly achieving black women athletes are sorely needed in sport to be there as mentors, to inspire and motivate girls and young black women; so black sports girls can know that black women before them have performed and achieved internationally.

There are many white women coaches in netball, athletics, tennis, swimming, but black women are hardly visible. It’s the same with officialdom. When positions for election exist and travelling positions arrive, it’s mostly the men (of all colours) who get these positions.

Women have to struggle to get noticed and when they do its a few women here and there. In women’s football, some positions have been opened for women coaches but only if you’re an experienced foreigner and not Black African woman. Where are the Black African women coaches in Banyana, Basetsane and SA age group girls football teams? It’s only recently that, because of criticism and pressure, are SAFA officials selecting black African woman football coaches.

Take a look at South Africa’s 2015 All Africa Games team and you will see women athletes in most sports but very few women coaches. A sport such as table tennis has an all women’s teams yet can’t produce a women’s coach. Fencing and badminton have mixed teams but only men officials.

South Africa’s netball team has never had a black woman head coach of the national teams. Its always white women or foreign coaches and the black women are always assistants and development coaches.

Whilst we support and applaud the international successes of SA’s sportsmen, we also further entrench gender inequalities and women’s struggle in sport by keeping quiet and ignoring the imbalances. How you can you support sport and ignore women in sport?

Wade van Niekerk’s World Title Is Retribution For Mother’s Anti-Apartheid Sports Sacrifice By Cheryl Roberts

26 Aug
Odessa congratulates her son Wade after he won the 2015 SA 400m

Odessa congratulates her son Wade after he won the 2015 SA 400m

When he won the world athletics 400m championship in Beijing today, Wade van Niekerk gave his mother, Odessa the most humane respect and praise for her sacrifices as an oppressed, but very talented athlete in apartheid era South Africa.

An amazing life story lies within the world championship winning feat of South Africa’s Wade van Niekerk at the 2015 world athletic championship being staged in Beijing, especially when one knows that Wade’s mother is Odessa Swarts, herself a champion athlete.

South Africa’s newest world champion, Wade van Niekerk is the son of a woman born oppressed during the horrendous apartheid times. Odessa was a talented athlete from primary school days and blossomed into a school girl champion and national senior athlete with awesome prowess in the sprints.

She chose to participate in non-racial, anti-apartheid sport under the non-racial sports organization, South African Council on Sport (SACOS). Back in the day, if you were a member of SACOS, you chose to play sport for freedom from oppression and apartheid. The international sports boycott of SA was strictly adhered to and respected. Although Odessa longed to know her international capabilities, she stood diligently and unselfishly with anti-apartheid sport.

Today, Odessa sees her son Wade, born when oppressed South Africans like his mother couldn’t vote in her country, become a world athletics champion in a democratic South Africa.

At the top of her athletics prowess, Odessa Swarts competed in inter-provincial athletics events and the annual national championship on grass, gravel and uneven tracks; athletics tracks in Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities such as Green Point track, Athlone and Vygieskraal stadiums, Dal Josafat stadium in Paarl and Curries Fountain in Durban

It was difficult to play sport in disadvantaged and under-resourced communities during the white privileged era of apartheid. You had to make do with scarce resources and sports facilities. Paramount to our participation in non-racial, anti-apartheid was our principles of not supporting apartheid and not helping to make the system work, thereby further ensuring and consolidation our oppression. We chipped at and chisselled away as much of apartheid as we could, through our powerful and fierce sports structures.

Many, many talented sports people emerged in several sports; sports people who could have gone on to represent South Africa international and achieve world class standards. But playing anti-apartheid sport meant that we sacrificed our sports talent for freedom from oppression. Parents yearned for a free SA where children could compete and participate in sport on a level terrain, where communities throughout SA were not discriminated against in provision of resources.

The athlete that was Odessa Swarts recorded fast times and phenomenal performances on the athletics tracks used by the oppressed sports people. White South Africa tried to play international sport by getting around and out of the sports moratorium; oppressed athletes continued to play sport for freedom.

This narrative about the oppressed mother that is Odessa, and the free athletics son that is Wade is not only humanly touching; it is retribution for the years of sacrifice which his mother adhered to so a democratic SA could be born and children could be free to participate in sport and know they could also dream realistically of representing their country.

There is something special when a black sports person achieves internationally. Because of the burden of race, especially if you are not white, it takes much more hurdles to overcome to achieve.

It’s why we are so much more ecstatic and filled with pride when black athletes excel in rugby, football, cricket, athletics, whatever sport.

Additionally, our applause is deafening when the athlete has a mother who sacrificed her sports life and athletics prowess for freedom for future generations of SA’s children, like her own children.

This athletics feat of an oppressed athlete’s son achieving a world title and gold medal is something you think can only be scripted in Hollywood and performed on the movie screen.

We must never forget what life stories our apartheid past and democratic society throws up. They are human to the core, phenomenal in spirit and fantastic in achievement.

Don’t dare tell us we must move on from the past or that we are still living in the past. The pain, hurt and disappointment of never being able to represent a democratic country lives on in all who ever played sport for freedom.

But, when we see the children of the oppressed who gave their lives for freedom achieving, we know that the sacrifice and fight was not a lost cause.

The sports success of Wade van Niekerk who was not born into wealth and privilege demonstrates the talent that exists and should be nurtured, looked after and supported.

It’s a fabulous way for a son to thank his mother for sacrificing her sports talent for him to be given a country to represent with recognition, pride, passion and enthusiasm.

But we must also remember that talent and prowess such as Wade van Niekerk’s is plentiful in disadvantaged schools and communities and we must not allow the working class children to be deprived in sport. Apartheid took away from the oppressed by strangling them with oppression; the democratic South Africa must never allow talent to go wasted.

Feminist Activist Gertrude Fester Publishes Book About South Africa’s Women Struggles  By Cheryl Roberts

22 Aug

 

At a juncture when South Africa’s women’s voices are determined to give power to women amidst the male stranglehold of our society, surfaces the authentic voice of a human rights and gender activist, Gertrude Fester, an oppressed South African woman who gave her life for freedom in SA, has embraced the democratic SA but refuses to be accepting of patriarchy and male control of our society.

Anti-apartheid activist and former high treason trialist, Gertrude Fester has never ‘left’ or ‘taken a break’ from activism. For the past decade, while achieving a PHD degree after a break from academic life and in between bouts of ill-health, the former member of parliament in South Africa’s inaugural non-racial, democratic government, Gertrude has been using up her life’s time consciously sculpting a powerful voice through research, talks and seminars, academia and scholarly work and presentations on both the African continent and around the world.

Now she invites Cape Town to gather and remember and debate the fierce women’s activism of the 1980’s in the horrendous apartheid era; especially the voices and struggles of oppressed women who demonstrated to the apartheid regime that ‘you strike a woman, you strike a rock’.

‘The book has been published internationally by a German publisher but its exhorbitantly expensive. I just could not have my work being so out of the reach of South Africans. I have now ensured that the book is less expensive than the international price and more accessible to South Africans, with the publication of the South African edition, in the near future’, says Gertrude.

Titled “South African Women’s Apartheid And Post-Apartheid Struggles: 1980-2014”, the writer and publisher, who was herself a founding member and active and critical participant of the organization, explores women’s contributions and participation in the hard fought and intense anti-apartheid freedom struggle.

Gertrude Fester researched and wrote her PHD on the anti-apartheid women’s representative which was the Cape Town-based United Women’s Organisation (UWO). formed in 1981. It later amalgamated with Women’s Front to form the United Women’s Congress in 1986.

Now, a few years later, the PHD has been published as a book and Gertrude is launching and discussing the much-need book of activist women’s struggles and achievements and defeats, throughout her native country, South Africa.

The book is not only about women’s anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa but also about the post-apartheid battles and fierce contestations as women fought and continue to shout out for patriarchy to be dismantled and male control eliminated from society.

‘I did my PHD and subsequently wrote the book as an inside-outsider approach; the insider is as a member and participant and the outsider as the researcher,’ says Gertrude, about the publication which fills a gap in anti-apartheid publishing in South Africa with printed publications mostly written by men about men.

With her memorization of the pivotal junctures and chapters of women’s activism, Gertude is fully aware and concerned about the state of women’s activism in democratic SA, especially during women’s month when reports of rape, abuse and assault of girls and women are rife. And, with the 6Oth reflection of the historic women’s march in SA appearing in a year’s time, brave thinking and organization to commemorate and push forward for the visionary society which doesn’t abuse and women women, is already being suggested and thought about by the activist who has never given up or given in.

‘With the 60th anniversary of the Women’s march looming, we should constructively consult and confer how together, we should celebrate this event, but also look at what needs to be done to ensure a safe life for women and girls in SA.

I congratulate the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) for drawing the attention of the Minister of Justice to the early and irregular parole of Oscar Pistorius.  On a sad note though, I’m outraged by events at a Vosloorus primary school on Monday 17 August where two girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by 6 boys between 7 and 10 years old. This is an indictment to our society and should tell us to reflect about what is happening in our society and what we can do about it’, says Gertrude.

Gertrude Fester’s invaluable contribution to oppressed women’s voices in South Africa, her scholarly work, her indelible participation in the anti-apartheid freedom struggle is acknowledged by international scholars and academics, amongst them being, Professor Shirley Randell, Founder of the Center for Gender at the University of Rwanda.  “I commend Professor Gertrude Fester’s book to all feminists and human rights activists around the world who are interested in the struggle of women in Africa for human rights. Gertrude is in a unique position to write on feminism in South Africa having lived and worked in the women’s liberation struggles through the anti-apartheid movement, been imprisoned for her efforts, privileged to serve in the Mandela Government and lead significant organizations since then. She chooses to focus on grassroots women and women’s organisation’s and through her insightful interviews their stories become alive for us. Her book is a brave history that will be feasted on be scholars for years to come,’ says Professor Randell.

I have not read the book yet but I’m going on the dynamism, fearless and authentic voice that is Gertrude Fester and am already recommending the book be a prescribed text for all gender and women’s studies at tertiary institutions and for every member of parliament and government employee in South Africa. This recall and celebration of women’s struggles, who boldly placed their lives on the line for human rights and patriarchy-free South Africa, must never be allowed to be forgotten and placed on a shelf out of remembrance and acknowledgement.gertrude fester

My Pleasure In Writing About Sport’s Inequalities By Cheryl Roberts

18 Aug

8cheryl roberts  in the rain forest in ghanaI began writing about sport at a time, in the 1980’s in South Africa, when there were no black women journalists in sports media. I was a university student, not studying sport or journalism or media. I just really wanted to write about sport, particularly about how we played anti-apartheid sport, with limited resources and no money in disadvantaged communities; yet we persevered and achieved admirable standards of play.

My teenage era consciousness in sport was primarily around society’s discrimination of people; about apartheid’s racism, brutalities and prejudice. It was at the advent of our democratic South Africa birthing that my writing opinions and consciousness took on much more about society, particularly gender imbalances in sport.

And so, I started to write much more about women in sport. From the outset, my writing and publishing was focused on black women in sport because we were discriminated against because of our gender and class and we suffer because of our skin colour.

I began saying: ‘SA girls and women want to play sport. They are bold, beautiful, talented and penniless. Why do their sport talents go unnoticed in a country which prides itself on gender equality?’

Today, whilst I admire all women performances in sport, I really commend the international success of our black women athletes. For them it is just a little more difficult to achieve their international status, given the disadvantaged socio-economics they still face.

I’ve been involved in sport from grassroots to international level. I have played club, regional, school and national sport; have coached, been a sports administrator and official, delegate to meetings and events. All the time, from my teenage sports girl years, I have been a volunteer in sport; never worked in formal employment in sport in sport and never been paid a salary. All of my participation in seminars and conferences, my research, my coaching, my administration time has all been done because I wanted to be involved and agreed to participate. The only payment for all this was my personal happiness and the joyful moments created for those I was able to interact with and share information with.

For now I concentrate on my writing and publishing, which I independently own and manage; writing and providing platforms for women in sport, challenging gender,class and racial inequalities and supporting previously oppressed athletes, as well as challenging the male-dominated and entrenched sport media.

Back in the 1980’s, I was a university student, for several years; attending three universities: two in SA (University of Natal and University of Cape Town) and one in England. Throughout my university studies, I still chose anti-apartheid sport.

I attended white-designated universities in South Africa; to do this I had to apply for a permit to study at a white university. The sports unions at apartheid’s white universities were all affiliated to apartheid sport structures which supported the government’s apartheid policies. I did not play any sports at university in SA, not even at a recreational level. After attaining three degrees in SA, the first time I ever played university sport was at university in England. I represented the University of York in the English Universities table tennis championship where I reached the semifinals; then I got selected to represent English universities at the British universities championship.

Whilst at university in England, coming out of apartheid South Africa, deprived of so much scholarship and intellectual prowess on sport and society, my world exploded before my very eyes! I was blown away by all the books on sport and how it can transform societies.  It was exactly what we needed back home, in South Africa.

One of my happiest moments in my young life was when I had my first sports article published in a newspaper. It was a story about an oppressed woman hockey player in Durban, Marion Marescia who was one of South Africa’s best women hockey players and is also the mother of SA women’s hockey international, Marsha Marescia Cox. I couldn’t stop reading the article, glancing at it in the newspaper. I then went on to write much more and have many published articles. Then it was onto opinion articles, giving my opinions about the state of the social positioning of sport in our apartheid, unequal society. I not only liked what I wrote: I also believed in what I wrote. I took a principled decision through my writings, to never support apartheid, never support an unequal society and racial prejudice.

I published my first book, rather daringly and spontaneously. I never thought about money and funding. It was my master’s thesis which was about the anti-apartheid sports struggle. I just knew this information, which I had researched, had to be read.

After that, my confidence catapulted; my belief in a free society was immense and more books followed. I distributed them freely, gave them out and people welcomed them with appreciation. Then came the start of print publications about sport in South Africa and sportswomen in SA. Today, about 25 years later, after the publication of my first print publication, I am still writing and publishing.

I have much freedom in writing. I write what must be written. My publications and books, from the outset, have never supported white privilege and white supremacy. I project and feature mostly black people in sport; their success and struggle stories. The women in sport are especially looked after and given much coverage and publicity with the publication and writing of ‘South African SportsWoman’.

I don’t write to be favourited or complimented or liked; I write and publish that what must be written. I write about our fabulous South African people in sport and also about injustices, inequalities and gender discrimination. I’m not afraid to call out racism, racial privilege, wrongs and limitations of South Africa’s sports network. I do this out of concern for a better and progressive society.

 

Black Athletes Must Speak Out Against Injustices In Sport   By Cheryl Roberts

12 Aug

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Having come through an era of being an oppressed black woman in sport and choosing to play sport for freedom, I have remained intrigued, alarmed and sometimes disgusted at how black (Africa, Coloured, Indian) people in sport in the post-apartheid era have remained quiet about glaring inequalities and injustices in South African sport.

The post-apartheid decades brought with it many voices and opinions but absent from these voices are those of black sports people who haven’t spoken out against a sports network designed to strangle their participation at the elite level in sport, particularly in sports such as swimming, cricket, netball, rugby and golf and many other white controlled and dominated sports.

Take for instance sports such as cricket and rugby where people speak up for whites in these sports. The moment there’s talk of ‘transformation’ and of ‘quotas’, the voices are being heard, particularly in the media.  If you ever wanted to see ‘white privilege’ and ‘white priority’ and ‘white is merit’ being advanced, the proof is in white people’s response to the white cluttered Springbok team. The majority of white people don’t speak out against this white dominated team.

But where are the voices of black players and athletes? Why are you seemingly quiet?

We are aware of discontent and unhappiness over the years about how unequal the elite terrain presents itself to talent black players, how these players and athletes have to prove themselves many more times than white athletes and players, how much more chances and opportunities are awarded to white players and so many few chances are given to black players.

Several sports federations gag their players, prevent them from ‘speaking to the media’, without permission from the officialdom of the sports federation. Seemingly, black players want to speak out and be heard, they want to make known how they feel about unequal and unjust selection but area afraid to be public in case they get suspended or banned from the sport.

Despite a ‘new era’ for the post-apartheid South African society, the sports paradigm has had to be fiercely contested, challenged and attacked. Some sport activists, most of them from the anti-apartheid sports struggle years, have refused to be silent and have called out democratic South Africa’s u just sports network, particularly with reference to white domination of representation and selection.

However, black voices of coaches and players and athletes are almost absent. Sometimes, its years after their retirement that they speak out, like Chester Williams about the racism experienced.

And then you get the white players who consistently get their opinions across and out there, who speak up for white player representation. Given this account over the years, I’m believing that black athletes and players are quietly accepting the unjust and unequal in SA sport. They don’t speak out enough; sometimes we are hearing a few voices here and there. Take a player like Breyton Paulse who never called for black rugby players to be noticed for their prowess and talent. Similarly, SA Test cricket captain, Hashim Amla doesn’t speak out against racial and gender inequalities in sport. Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini wasn’t bold and fierce to call out discrimination meted out to black cricketers.

When Vernon Philander got ‘blamed’ by AB de Villiers for SA’s semifinal cricket world cup defeat, the black cricketers were quiet; they didn’t speak out whilst the white saviours of white cricket players were roasting the players not white and blaming them for the defeat.

Black sports people, that is the athletes and players have got to understand and know that sport is not divorced from society, although corporate and capitalist control of sport would have you believing that sport is only about a sports match and playing the game.

How a black athlete is recognised and achieves in sport is directly related to who is in control. Black and oppressed people in sport spoke out against the horrendous apartheid system and blacks fought a sports struggle for freedom in SA.

Today, in post-apartheid apartheid, democratic South Africa, black athletes and players must find their voice and speak out against injustices in sport and society. If they are not going to speak out, then they will be seen as being comfortable, concerned only about their personal selves. Black strength is powerful and black athletes and players must reign in their power or else face the power of white privilege strangulation.

Down With White Springbok Coach, White Lens And White Privilege In SA Rugby By Cheryl Roberts

10 Aug

Why Are White Players Given So Much Chances To Fail? Is Rugby Being The Saviour Of White People In South Africa?

IMG_6127Where is the power in South African Rugby? Who benefits from elite participation in rugby? Elite and professional rugby is a microcosm of South African society. Just like post-apartheid SA has a black government, so too does South African Rugby have a black leadership which includes a black president and deputy president. And just like the commanding heights of the SA economy remains in the hands of whites, who make the wealth and get the profits, so too is the Springbok team seemingly the ownership of white people.

It’s difficult to explain to the white South African bloc, that white grouping who still believe that rugby is really a ‘white man’s sport’ and a ‘white preserve and reserve‘ in SA, that blacks have been playing and enjoying rugby for many, many decades in SA. It’s more than a challenge to let these uninformed minds know that black rugby talent has been plentiful over the decades and this talent is evident in young, developing rugby players.

After two decades of spending millions of money on ‘rugby development’, why are black rugby players not being considered on honest and just terms, like white players? Why must black rugby players struggle to get selected and why are they seemingly seen as too small, too slow and too inexperienced, yet young white players are always given opportunities.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has disappointed the post-apartheid, democratic South Africa with his belief that it’s mostly white players who can perform in a Springbok jersey. Is Meyer is the only man who thinks like this or is it a mindset of most white people?

Meyer has chosen Springbok squads and teams, and given opportunities to many players, some of them veteran and ageing players, some young and inexperienced. But most of these players are white with a few black rugby players getting the thumbs up to pull on the coveted and proud Springbok jersey. Does the springbok coach really want us to believe that white players are always the best, they perform, betters and have ownership of the ‘bok jersey.

We refuse to believe this or accept this theory because the Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has been proven to be devastatingly wrong. After three successive defeats in a few weeks, the worst being a home defeat to world class football country, Argentina, playing with a largely white player representative team, we are convinced that Heyneke Meyer is selecting through a white lens.

This can’t be tolerated or allowed. South African rugby is not a whites only country and white privilege is not entertained or allowed in South African sport. What are the SA Rugby officials thinking by allowing this state of white domination of the national rugby team? Leadership and officials must guide and give leadership not remain silent or whisper to themselves. They must give profound and emphatic leadership and direction and that must be according to the post-apartheid South for all people, not only whites.’

Heyneke Meyer had an impressive record as a coach when he got appointed Springbok coach. I believed in him, said let him rove his capabilities. South Africans are differing in their reasons why they oppose Heyneke Meyer. Some want Meyer to be dismissed because he’s a losing coach. Blacks want Meyer sacked because he can’t see the talent and prowess of black rugby players. Meyer’s white lens is not what we want.

If you choose a team and they lose three successive Tests then why can’t you choose black players, we are asking Heyneke Meyer. I’m not saying the ‘Bok coach is racist but I’m for sure arguing that he’s white lens is problematic and must be defeated from SA Rugby.

There’s no doubt that SA rugby has a loyal white fan base but this white fan base is not loyal to a post-apartheid SA because they don’t call out Springbok selection when it favours white players and dismisses black players. We have had enough of biased and discriminatory selection which favours white players in the Springbok structure.

As formerly oppressed South Africans who fought for freedom in SA, we can’t tolerate to see white players benefiting from post-apartheid rugby. There are talented black players and we demand that the white selection lens be eliminated altogether.

Cape Town’s Football Working Class Disses Cape Town’s Football Event By Cheryl Roberts

3 Aug

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The power of Cape Town’s working class was superbly demonstrated when the working class football family didn’t give support to an elitist, expensive football extravaganza recently hosted in the city. When the city of Cape Town’s officials understand and admit that the power of football is vested in the working class, then they may get more positive support and a healthy working relationship.

It’s over a week ago that the DA-administered city of Cape Town hosted a flop football tournament which used millions of rands from the city’s budget.

It is tragic and exceptionally alarming that city officials and public representatives were allowed to host this expensive sports event which clearly had no objective of benefiting the city’s football constituency. This is not the first flop football tournament hosted by the city of Cape Town; there have been others. A few years ago, after the 2010 football world cup, it was the staging of an 8 nation men’s u20 event. The football prowess was good but the matches were played in front of embarrassingly empty stadiums.

Does the city of Cape Town really believe we are fools to just let this event pas by as another gig that occurred in ‘the most beautiful city in the world’ and ‘the city that works for you’?

Whilst the city is trying desperately to downplay their embarrassing sports event and to let it go away quietly without much criticism, there is still much talk about how money was wasted on an elite sports event.

The working class is often taken for granted by those in power and government; with administrations doing as they please with little concern for the disadvantaged lives and happiness of the working class.

The Cape Town Cup, a pre-season football tournament featuring four professional football clubs was designed to attract football fans in their thousands and increase tourism revenue for a city whose tourism sectors largely benefits the already privileged, wealthy and rich operating the tourism industry in Cape Town.

If anything, the power of the working class which is the football constituency in South Africa dissed the Cape Town Cup and didn’t show up; even when ticket prices were knocked down hours before tournament kick off.

There’s no denying the passion for football by the South African working class. But don’t mess with the working class and their football because the working class football masses will show you up and show you their power.

How could the city have the audacity to think they could stage a sports event without ‘the people’, without consulting and working with the football and sports structures? Football is rooted in the disadvantaged working class communities with authentic officials and leaders. Why should city officials who get paid from the city’s administration budget just thing they can host an event on their own terms without considering what is best for the city’s people?

For too long, this DA administered city of Cape Town has trampled and strangled the working class communities. But this time it was nice too much. And the working class responded with their power. Not financial power but power to boycott, to diss, to ignore to stay away.

As a final point about the flop, disastrous, embarrassing ‘Cape Town Cup’, I’m telling the city’s councilors and officials to forget about replying to me. Of course I am correct with my opinions about the flop ‘Cape Town Cup’. Don’t waste time that you are paid for. I am correct and right about the flop Cape Town Cup. You were wrong to host the elitist event spending million of the city’s money when the football and sports structures were excluded and ticket prices were exhorbitant.