PtG Article 16.06.2010

Thousands of South Africans protest against lavish spending on World Cup

About 3000 people gathered in Durban today, expressing their discontent with FIFA and the SA government for their spending priorities when millions live in poverty.

"If we have money for stadiums, we should not have any homeless people or people having to live in shacks," organiser Allan Murphy said ahead of the protest, South African newspaper Mail and Guardian reports.

South Africa's government has been faced accusations ever since it was awarded host city that it should not be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on stadiums when about 40% of the population lives on less than $2 a day.

Widespread anger towards Fifa also exists among South Africans, whose demands for a smooth-running tournament has seen the government spend R33-billion ($4,3-billion) on World Cup preparations.

"The government has taken the ratepayers' money and handed it over to Fifa," said Desmond D'sa, one of the protest organisers according to Mail and Guardian.