World Cup worker abuse exposed online

Charity War On Want has launched a radical multimedia campaign to expose the grim conditions faced by construction workers preparing for the upcoming World Cup.

The charity has created an interactive map with links to 360-degree panoramas that give visitors a taste of what life is like on the ground for South African workers, forced to live in conditions that have been likened to a concentration camp.

In a press release, War On Want highlights the treatment of Raymond van Varen, a construction worker who was hired to help carry out a $39 million facelift on Cape Town's Athlone stadium, where England are due to train before their group match with Algeria next month.

Now laid off, Raymond has been forced, along with thousands of others, to live in thousands at the fenced Blikkiesdorp transit camp, 20 miles from Cape Town. Families in Blikkiesdorp are crammed into single-room corrugated iron shacks with sand floor, sharing water taps and toilets with several other families. Residents endure freezing cold in winter and terrible heat in summer.

The website also features video from Gareth Kingdon, the winner of this year's War On Want student photography award, who lived in Blikkiesdorp for two weeks with Jane Roberts, a local organiser for War on Want partner the Anti-Eviction Campaign.

South Africa has spent $4.6 billion to host the World Cup, yet War On Want says one in four South Africans live in shacks that lack essential services such as electricity and sanitation.

War on Want programmes director Graciela Romero said: "There is a stark contrast between the billions splashed out on the World Cup and South African poverty. While the country spends huge sums on tourism infrastructure, millions of people are starved of the investment needed for public services and decent housing."

The Football Association declined to comment when THINQ contacted them over War on Want's allegations concerning the England team's training ground.