“Nearly a month after Fifa departed, with its substantial profits, following the World Cup, thousands of police and volunteers are still anxiously awaiting money owed to them.
More than 8 000 volunteers are still waiting to be paid and the South African Police Union in the Western Cape said it had been inundated with calls from members complaining that they had not yet been paid their overtime.
Police management said they would be paid by the end of the month.
The union’s Billy Daniels said members had been promised payment would be made immediately after they filled in the necessary forms.
Members were promised a daily flat-rate of R700 regardless of rank, if they worked more than their 40 hour week.
“We were promised in a meeting at police headquarters in Cape Town in July that members would be paid immediately after the necessary forms were received, but despite this being done, our members have not been paid.”
Several police officers also complained that the promised meal allowance had not materialised and some who were deployed at Fan Parks in areas away from their homes had to pay for accommodation out of their own pockets.
Colonel Vish Naidoo, police spokesman for 2010 security, confirmed that none of the police staff who worked overtime had been paid. He said almost 50 000 police had still to be paid. “Processing is under way and we are expecting payment by the end of the month.”
Chris von Ulmenstein of Fresnaye and her son Alex, a first year BComm student at Stellenbosch University, were both volunteers at Cape Town stadium.
Volunteers were promised a R100-a-day stipend with a meal allowance of R120 a day, which was taxed.
“We got constant threats at the time that, if we didn’t fill in our bank details, we wouldn’t be paid.”
They were invited to a farewell function at the Good Hope Centre on July 8 and were told “if you don’t come you won’t be paid”.
“We had to queue for half an hour to sign for an FNB card, into which the stipend was to be paid. All the cash-hungry volunteers ran to the ATMs after the function, only to find that nothing had been paid.”
Alex von Ulmenstein said they had been told that the payment would be loaded on the card. But when they called the volunteer manager of Cape Town Stadium, Virginia Gabriels, to ask why it wasn’t there, they were told it would be paid on July 31. This did not happen.
“My son called his divisional head for IT, who said we would be paid on August 10.”
On Wednesday volunteers received an email from the Volunteer Team of the Fifa World Cup Organising Committee which confirmed the dates of the volunteer stipend disbursement.
Cape Town volunteers, it said, would be paid along with those in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg between August 9 and 15.
Those who worked at Ellis Park, Nelspruit or Soccer City could expect their payment between August 16 and 22.
Alex said what was frustrating about the delay was that the managers and Local Organising Committee officials had been paid.
Thirty percent of the 25 000 volunteers were foreign and they had been paid, although not all of them were happy with their experience.
Australian Daniel Jang, who also volunteered in South Korea in 2002 and Germany in 2006, has written a blog about his experience on a website on which people have been invited to share their World Cup stories. He said he planned to publish some.
Onke Mjo, manager of the volunteer programme, said the payment timeline had been planned ahead of time. Miscommunication was the reason volunteers thought they’d be paid earlier.
Mjo said 984 international and 4 153 local volunteers had been paid, while 8 818 had still to be paid.”
- This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Argus on August 08, 2010