Wednesday, 24 March 2010

South Africa's poor rise up for World Cup

SOUTH Africa's poor are rising up, just a dozen weeks before the start of the corporate bonanza known as the World Cup Finals.

Reports Press TV: "South African police have fired live and buckshot bullets at protesters in northeastern townships amid increased outcry over poor housing and lack of rail services.

"Protestors in Ogies Township in the northeastern province of Mpumalanga attacked ten police officers patrolling the area on Tuesday inside an armored personnel carrier.

"The officers opened live ammunition on the assailants to prompt them to escape, injuring one.

"Meanwhile, hundreds of people in the Phomolong Township, in northeastern province of Gauteng, blocked roads with rocks and burning tires on Tuesday.

"Police used rubber bullets as a number of rioters looted shops and began hurling stones.

"The latest unrest comes amid reports that frustrated residents seek to persuade the government to supply the region with needed infrastructure.

"A protester told Reuters that legal ways to convey their grievances to the government had been ignored with 'a cold shoulder'.

"In another incident, four Cape Town bus drivers were injured on Tuesday after their vehicles were stoned by rioters during a one-day minibus taxi strike.

"Police say they have the situation under control with forces continuing to monitor the area, as nationwide protests are expected to intensify with the aim of tapping into the media attention ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2010 games in the country, first ever to be hosted by an African nation.

"Many poor black South Africans complain that their lives have not improved since Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) swept to power in 1994, promising to provide jobs, housing and medical care for all."