The costs of hosting the World Cup in South Africa were said to be justified by the economic growth that the event was supposed to generate. Expenses are expected to surpass original estimates by 757 percent. The expected growth in infrastructure and small local businesses has not come close to offsetting the funds that have been diverted from long-term priorities such as healthcare and education. FIFA and international corporate sponsors such as McDonald’s and Coca Cola are the biggest beneficiaries of the event with much of the local South African population unable to even attend the matches.
When South Africa was announced as the host for FIFA’s premier event, justifications of the cost were made on the basis that it would grow the local economy, provide opportunities for small and local business, act as a buffer against the economic meltdown, that it would contribute to the urban regeneration programs of the major cities particularly Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and bring smaller cities closer to the center of economic and social activity. It was vaunted in fact as a great expression of the so called Rainbow Nation to bridge social, economic and political interests.
Here is the reality: The trade unions have been instructed not to strike for the duration of the World Cup even though some of the concerns are from exploited construction workers who helped build the stadiums; the matches are not accessible to most local people due to relative remoteness and prohibitive cost; an unofficial ‘blind eye’ has been turned to human trafficking and the victimization of sex workers leading up to World Cup; and while welcoming the world with open arms, South Africa’s sometimes shameful behavior towards other Africans is rearing its head with reports of renewed hostility towards Mozambicans, Senegalese, Zimbabwean and Somali refugees, professionals and business people. Frankly the government was asking a lot from a small leather soccer ball to resolve the country’s complex social dilemmas.
Soccer is historically the sport of the black working class majority and it is this majority who have greatest need of any benefits derived from this event. Unemployment stands at over 40% and youth unemployment stands at nearly 70%.
The almost R800 billion (US$107 billion) set aside for infrastructure development in roads, airports, highways and stadiums, is many times the amount spent on the World Cups by Korea and Japan (2002) or Germany (2006). Despite a comparatively positive economic environment, return on investment for those countries has been negligible. Today’s climate is much less favorable for South Africa. The total cost of South Africa’s hosting the World Cup still remains to be seen.
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How can the industry work with build yards and refit facilities to enable the building of a viable sustainable modern fleet?
How do we dispose of our ships in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way?
How can the current world fleet comply with upcoming legislation?
What will the next wave of legislation concentrate on?
What can be achieved in environmental improvements on today’s fleet?
What can concept ships offer?
What are the practical initiatives for change?
The conference will be held in the beautiful destination city of Miami bringing the industry together to collaborate on what the current issues are, what solutions are available and how they can be leveraged for competitive advantage.
Conference speakers to date include:
Sarah Flagg, Seaport Air Quality Program Manager, Port of Seattle
T.L Garrett, Vice President, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Stephen Gumpel, Vice President, North and Central America, Germanisher Lloyd
James Hunn, Senior Vice President, Maritime Policy and Compliance, Carnival Corporation & plc
Jackie Savitz, Senior Campaign Director, Oceana
Thiabaut Tincelin, Stirling Design International
Bill Williams, Vice President, Health, Safety & Environment, Maersk Inc.
by Greg Palast for Buzzflash.com
Friday, May 28 2010
With the Gulf Coast dying of oil poisoning, there’s no space in the press for British Petroleum’s latest spill, just this week: over 100,000 gallons, at its Alaska pipeline operation. A hundred thousand used to be a lot. Still is.
On Tuesday, Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile pipeline, busted. Thousands of barrels began spewing an explosive cocktail of hydrocarbons after “procedures weren’t properly implemented” by BP operators, say state inspectors “Procedures weren’t properly implemented” is, it seems, BP’s company motto.
Few Americans know that BP owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline; but, unlike with the Deepwater Horizon, BP keeps its Limey name off the Big Pipe.
There’s another reason to keep their name off the Pipe: their management of the pipe stinks. It’s corroded, it’s undermanned and “basic maintenance” is a term BP never heard of.
How does BP get away with it? The same way the Godfather got away with it: bad things happen to folks who blow the whistle. BP has a habit of hunting down and destroying the careers of those who warn of pipeline problems.