Me & Twenty10: 2010 greed

18/02/2010 at 15:09 6 comments


I am a fan of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, don’t get my wrong. But this contagious epidemic of grab & greed that is sweeping South Africa off its feet is making me nauseous and itchy. The one South African hotel, B&B and guest-house after the other is increasing its accommodation prices to such extent that only the Royal Saudi family and Bill Gates will be able to spend the night.

Take the local B&B near where I live, for instance. Its a nice place, but nothing special. Its just a crashpad for tourists. What you get is a bed and breakfast, like the term B&B discloses.  Usually this particular B&B charges between 500 and 700 rand per person per night, depending on the season. This is fairly reasonable, because it is a nice-ish place.

However, for the world cup – which takes place in winter thus in South Africa’s low season – the establishment demand a whooping 1800 rand per person per night. That is 1200 rand MORE compared to ordinary winters. Insane in the brain.

Or try booking a local flight in June and July 2010 without going bankrupt and ending up below the poverty line.

Ridiculous.

The latest greed & grab news  that was brought to my attention revolves around the following. If the South African Department of Trade and Industry gets its way anyone wanting to sell booze while showing one or more of the 64 world cup matches on television will have to cough up 50.000 rand for a special license.

In short, the “2010 Soccer World Cup Liquor Policy” states that this license would be necessary for the following parties wanting to treat people to the whole unity of booze and football:  cinemas, bars, restaurants, stadiums, open spaces, offices, construction sites, oil rigs, water-borne vessels, buses, trains, armed services establishments, educational establishments and hospitals.

I could not agree more with Kevin McCallum, a local journalist who viciously spat his venom online regarding the above: “The World Cup has turned South Africans into a bunch of money-grabbing pigs. At some stage they may realise that foreigners do not have as much money as they think, and they are not fools. R50 000 to watch football on the box? What’s next? A R20 tax on all those who wear football jerseys on Football Friday?”

He hits the nail on the head, spot on. Many South Africans see Europeans and Americans, or anyone else who is earning euros, dollars, and pounds,  as multimillionaires with uncapped credit cards and a money tree in their backyards as a backup.

Dear South Africans, think again.

First of all: Europe and the US have been hit extremely hard by the recession. Millions of people have lost their homes, their work, their cars, their families, and their financial security.  They are the last ones who can afford these ludicrous prices. Second: earning a non-rand currency doesn’t mean the sky is the limit. Remember that Europeans are used to flying for around 30 euro (300 rand) to one European city to the next. They will NOT be willing ton pay 7000 rand for a return Cape Town – Johannesburg. Mark my words: They will not.

In addition: asking local entrepreneurs to cough up 50.000 rand is criminal, especially when it comes to small businesses that struggle to make ends meet. Making a buck out of the world cup, due to the neverending lidt of horrid trade mark rules, has been made very difficult but with this new proposal it has been made impossible.

I sincerely hope that this newest world cup brain fart will be banished to where it belongs: the toilet. I’d be glad to pull the flush lever.

More 2010 world cup news on Twenty10:

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