- South African NGOs have expressed their support and encouragement for the national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
They have also wished the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and other relevant stakeholders a successful hosting of this historical soccer showpiece, which takes place for the first time on the African continent since inception in 1930.
To view the NGO support messages for Bafana Bafana, click here.
If you would like your NGO’s message to be added to the list, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org (no more than 50 words / logo optional).
- The 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup presents all South Africans with an opportunity to showcase our country to the rest of the world.
It is also an opportunity to unite behind our team, Bafana Bafana, and with the support of millions of vuvuzelas, take on the best teams in the world.
South African NGOs are in full support of Bafana Bafana and the successful hosting of the World Cup. See the various "NGO messages of support" listed below.
If you would like to add your NGO's message to the list, please forward it to email@example.com (no more than 50 words).
Let's show our "NGO support" for our team and country!!!
Other messages of support received:
Be brave, be bold, be confident - Bafana-Bafana you can still make it happen. Do it for your country! Ann Bown, Charisma Communications cc.
Bafana Bafana, you are the pride of our land, South Africa, your light will shine to all. You have already shown the world what you are made of. You prepared for these games with pride and courage, Now this is the time for you to shine to the whole world. Clayton Marange, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Bafana!Bafana…this is an African cause…”Cry the beloved vuvuzela” …from the Cape to Cairo the echo of victory shall be heard!!! Judia Masina, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Viva Bafana Bafana Viva. I wish you and the people of South Africa triumph at the prominent Fifa Soccer World Cup Finals. Hold high the golden trophy for victory is already Africa’s. Viva Bafana Bafana. Kinester Mutero, Zimbabwe.
I believe I speak on behalf of many fellow Zimbabweans as I say to Bafana Bafana – “what ever the outcome ...we are proud of your our brothers, raise your flag high, and play from the heart...for Africa” Ivy Chanakira, Harare, Zimbabwe.
You are like Excalibur, the great and mighty sword that never lost any battle. You have been given the platform to show the world what Africa is made of. Here is a good luck note from a Zimbabwean lady who is wishing all the best. I salute you. Rumbidzai Zimvumi, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Bafana Bafana 2010, Its historic! Remember it is an African World Cup and belongs to Africa. Go Bafana Bafana. You can win it. It is very possible!!!! Charles Masunungure, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Congratulations on hosting the tournament. Play fair and do it the South African way. Make Africa proud by seizing the opportunity to keep the World Cup in Africa. Ishe Komborera Africa. Ziyanai Shiripinda, London, United Kingdom.
As a sister member of this sight, I say GOOD LUCK to my brothers in advance for the coming big event!! You will conquer and win, take the World cup home boys!!!!! All the best. liz Rugara, United Kingdom.
- The world's media eyes will soon squarely focus on South Africa, with millions from across the globe tuning in via multimillion-dollar broadcasts. Yet, even as the international media and big broadcasters move in, and journalists descend from all over the world, in South Africa, like much of Africa, community radio is still a key source of information and news for many communities, linking local activities and issues with international perspectives.
While other news media, especially print, struggle to keep audiences, community radio listenership in South Africa is continuously rising. According to the South African Advertising Research Foundation, community radio is improving its weekly reach, rising from 7.340 million listeners to 7.713 million between February and May this year alone.
One of the contributing factors cited is the increasing listenership among youth and women. Perhaps it is because, although we live in an increasingly globalised world, audiences still crave community issues and information relevant to their everyday lives.
Community radio is often more likely than mainstream media to include voices form community-based sources, and women sources. For example, monitoring of community media by Gender Links during the April 2009 elections showed that women constituted 34 percent of news sources, compared to 20 percent in monitoring of the mainstream media conducted by Media Monitoring Africa over the same period.
In celebration of 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, Gender Links, South Africa's National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), and the Ecumenical Service for Socio-Economic Transformation (ESSET) conducted a debate to tackle the convergence of these issues - community media, gender, and the upcoming World Cup 2010.
According to NCRF director Frankilin Huizies, while community stations may not have the much sought after and very expensive broadcast rights, there's many creative ways to make sure local listeners get in on the World Cup action. "How can we take advantage of the World Cup?" Huizies challenged the audience comprising mostly of community broadcasters. "Stations can do live broadcasts form unofficial fan parks, cover other activities around the tournament, and even teach their communities to speak the greetings of the incoming visitors," suggested Huizies.
Brenda Leonard of Bush Radio echoed these thoughts, explaining that Bush's strong commitment to gender equality and ensuring the participation of women means they often get the interesting stories that everyone else misses. For example, an all woman work force was responsible for installing the stadiums beautiful and complex glass ceiling, a story that Bush sought out to cover.
Human trafficking and possible dangers to children during the event has been a serious source of concern for the government and parents. Even before the advent of the Cup. Bush has a strategy in place to deal with such emergencies. "We have a policy that if anyone goes missing, at any time, any programme is immediately stopped and that information goes out on air," explained Leanord. "The first four hours are the most crucial, so the information is urgent."
According to Leonard, community radio's job is also to tackle the big issues, what's gone wrong. She explained that one of the stories Bush has followed closely is the displacement of informal traders, often resulting from strict FIFA by-laws about where business can take place in and around stadiums. "All the traders are gone," she said. "We need to talk about where they are now."
One such trader is Cecilia Dube, who was part of the crew of women that provided refreshments for workers during the construction at Soccer City outside of Johannesburg. Dube is frustrated with media, recalling many interviews that did nothing to stop the forcible removal of her and her colleagues from spaces they occupied for four years.
For Dube, the displacement is bad enough, but adding insult to injury is the lack of recognition of the vital role such traders played. "I may not have touched a brick on that stadium," she says, "but I helped to build it. Without me and other traders, those workers would have had to travel far for food, and the job would not have been done." She wonders why all of the advertisements and television programmes have missed talking about the contribution of such women.
Dube remembers sadly that she was ‘one of the people who jumped sky high’ at the announcement of South Africa as host. She puzzles at why the traders are suddenly deemed ‘unsightly’ and unwanted by the government. "They forget that many doctors and lawyers were raised on the earnings of such traders," she points out. "Many traders are women who are the only breadwinners in the family, and losing their income means not food or clothes for their children," she pointed out.
Dube says the traders, or as she prefers, small business operators, are most disappointed because many thought the World Cup would mean the much needed capital to become formalised. "Provide us with an office and capital and we'll show you how informal we are," she challenged.
According to Nomasonto Magwaza, Programme Coordinator at ESSET, the displacement has not yet ended. "We have heard that traders from Bree Mall have now been told to leave. On 21 Mach, traders were forcibly removed from Park Stations," she said. "Yet renovations slated to begin 1 May have not yet stated, and traders are asking why?"
This kind of displacement has not received widespread coverage in the media, and there is a certain reticence to ‘spoiling the party’ yet as those present at the debate discussed, it is important to highlight the good stories, while pointing out what needs to be done differently for any future events, anywhere on the continent.
As Kubi Rama, Deputy Director of Gender Links pointed out, "It is the voices of the Cecilia Dube's across the country that we need to hear." She recalled the recent incident where security barred a female Sowetan photographer Vathiswa Ruselo from entering a section of Orlando Stadium, stating that "You are a woman. Women have their places and that is where you belong." Rama questions, "What does this mean for coverage of the World Cup?"
For community radio, the need to cover these stories leaves a gap. "Most community radio constituents are those who cannot afford tickets. These are the most important people to ensure access to coverage,” said Rama.
Even without the big broadcast rights, community radio is sure to be at the centre of the action. For the hosts of the debate there is renewed commitment to ensure that community voices, especially those of women, are among those heard during all of the World Cup festivities. They agreed that while they can't change the rules of the World Cup, they can help raise the voice of public opinion, making every voice count during World Cup and beyond.
- Deborah Walter is the Editor of the GL Opinion and Commentary Service and Director of CMFD Productions. This article is part of the GL Service that provides fresh views on everyday news. It is republished here with the permission of Gender Links.
I have been puzzled and annoyed by the ongoing repetition in our media, that 40 000 'prostitutes' are set to be trafficked into South Africa ahead of the World Cup.
This figure is continually repeated (and in one instance, an anti-trafficking video featuring several South African soapie stars, inflated further to 100 000). This despite its being a complete fabrication, with no basis in fact, and no evidence available to substantiate it.
The exact same claims were made ahead of the World Cup in Germany -- but afterwards, an investigation by the Council of the European Union (documents 5006/1/07 and 5008/7) found a grand total of just 5 cases of trafficking -- yes, just 5.
The online publication Spiked, drew attention to this, way back in February 2007. This week, Spiked again takes a look at the ongoing circulation of these nonsense stories. Fascinatingly, the author, Brendan O'Neill, looks at how the imagined numbers have doubled every few years -- starting with estimates of 10 000 sex slaves for the Australian Olympics, then 20 000 in Athens in 2004, 40 000 in Germany in 2006, and on to South Africa (80 000 anyone?).
It's incredible -- even when journalists have contradictory information at their disposal, this nonsense number gets repeated. A recent article on Independent Online is headlined "Thousands of Prostitutes for World Cup", and repeats this statistic, this time apparently from the mouth of the deputy chair of South Africa's Central Drug Authority (CDA). Never mind that later in the article, Johan Kruger, national project co-ordinator for trafficking at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, is quoted questioning these figures. Kruger says, "I'm not sure where that comes from", and goes on to inform his audience that human trafficking actually DECREASED during the world up in Germany.
So where do the figures come from? Well, let's look at what exactly David Bayever, the CDA deputy chair is actually supposed to have said. As reported by IOL, Bayever provides no evidence for this figure and indicates that he is passing on unubstantiated, second hand information. He says the CDA had been warned by the Durban Municipality of the possibility of huge inflows: "Someone informed the Durban municipality," he says, "They got wind of it." So -- it's not the CDA issuing these figures, not even Durban municipality. It's just something somebody got wind of, and passed on. But now that Bayever has mentioned the 40 000, in subsequent reports suddenly it's the authority of CDA that is now quoted as being the source of these figures.
Even more interestingly, the rumours speculate that these women are likely to be imported from Eastern Europe. Now surely any journalist or any reader with half a brain should realise this is nonsense. Given the price of sex on the streets of Hillbrow, how is any trafficker going to make a profit, after having to pay at great expense to import thousands of women covertly from Eastern Europe?
So how does this happen? How do rumours and lies get repeated so often that they take on the status of unquestioned fact? Nick Davies provides ample explanation in his fascinating study of the problems bedeviling the British media, Flat Earth News. Davies provides a meticulously researched account of how journalism, supposedly the business of reporting the truth, has been "slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance."
Because of a range of factors - one being the dramatic reduction in the numbers of reporters in newsrooms - journalists have less and less time to try to dig out the truth. This has opened the media to manipulation by sophisticated armies of PR experts and government spin doctors. Of course, the Internet and social media make it all so much easier. That IOL article, for example, is doing the rounds on Facebook.
As part of the research for his book, Davies commissioned researchers from Cardiff University to extensively analyse every single news story put out by the five most prestigious and influential newspapers in the UK, over a two week period.
The findings are shocking -- for instance, in stories that rely on a specific statement of fact, the researchers found that in 70% of cases, "the claimed fact passed into print without any corroboration at all." This is in the so-called quality press -- in this particular study, Davies didn't even touch the tabloids!
Little wonder then that we are seeing this phenomenon at work in South Africa. Our news media are subject to exactly the same forces that are at play in Britain, and indeed, globally.
It places a huge burden on those of us who do have access to accurate and rigorous research, to ensure that we get our messages out clearly and effectively, so that public policy is not distorted by undiluted mis-information.
In the case of sex work, the unfounded hysteria about trafficking is diverting attention from the real issue -- the need to ensure that the human rights, health and safety of sex workers in South Africa, and indeed in our neighbouring countries, are respected and protected.
This blog is also available at http://wingseed.wordpress.com.