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'Managing' Cape Town's street children/youth

'Managing' Cape Town's street children/youth: the impact of the 2010 World Cup bid on street life in the city of Cape Town

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-37
Number of pages9
JournalSouth African Geographical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


Soccer has often been hailed as a key motivator in rehabilitation and restoration work with young people in difficult circumstances and for overcoming street life. Across much of Africa, the literature identifies many urban public places as play spaces for poor children who have limited alternative access to parks and playgrounds. 'The street' has regularly been transformed into a soccer pitch, as a space where children have easy access. Against this backdrop, South Africa's success at securing the 2010 World Cup bid, may be viewed as an opportunity to demonstrate the uplifting achievements of team sports for impoverished youth, yet at the same time, is juxtaposed against the removal of young people from the city streets, with little consideration of the impact on their lives. This paper draws on qualitative research with over 50 street children and 30 street youth aged between 10 and 28 from Cape Town's city centre. Using key narratives, it demonstrates how vagrant young people are being excluded from the city in an effort to clean up the streets. The paper ends with a consideration of these measures for young people's lives.



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