Johannesburg, South Africa: Home of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

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The city of Johannesburg is both the largest and richest city in the nation of South Africa. It is also one of the nine cities selected to host the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup, although among those cities it has the unique distinction of being home to two stadiums, including Soccer City, the venue for the final. The chance to shine on the international stage has led to massive renovations of the stadiums and tourist-focused areas of the city. These renovations create numerous jobs, which are frequently taken by migrant workers from other regions. Huge improvements must also be made in Johannesburg’s infrastructure to cope with the thousands of fans that will flock to the city. With regular funding diverted to soccer projects and …show more content…
This massive stadium renovation project is just one aspect of the city’s preparation. In addition to Ellis Park they must also provide four lit practice fields for the teams (Government Communication and Information Systems, 2009).This construction will likely create a huge demand for workers with any fabrication experience and even unskilled workers who will be trained. Unfortunately for the workers of Johannesburg, two problems face them: competition from migrant workers from parts of Asia and the construction firms trying to pay those employed workers as little as possible. Both issues stem largely from the globalization of the largest construction firms. These firms use the economics of scale to underbid local competitors and negotiate for reduced prices from suppliers. They also bring laborers in from wherever they can, finding people who will work for the lowest wages possible. By importing workers, they take away the support structures of the community, and workers become dependent on the company for their livelihood, food, and housing. This drive to pay the bare minimum is also seen in the wages of local hires, but unlike the immigrants, locals are able to strike. This occurred in Johannesburg when workers sought a living wage, just a 13% increase over their current pay (BBCNews, 2009). Here the workers were actually able to negotiate to a wage of $310 per month. When one looks at the miniscule wage workers earn compared to the

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