Sunday, August 11, 2002

"Earth" Summit Update
The Sunday Times (South Africa) reports on the scramble for foreign guests' cash.
Much of the SA interest in the World Summit on Sustainable Development is less about idealism than about the material spinoffs for local business.

The expectation of 65 000 free-spending delegates has inspired all sorts of South Africans to gear up for a windfall. From house owners fixing up their homes in expectation of renting out rooms at R1 000 a night to arts and crafts vendors, sex workers and restaurateurs - the hopes are for rich pickings.
But there's always a Gloomy Gus:
Société Générale chief economist Nico Czypionka is less sanguine...

"It is an illusion that there will be enormous spending, and what spending there is to a degree will simply displace other spending. They take hotel rooms that others would have taken and spend money that others would have spent but will go elsewhere during the summit," says Czypionka.


"People will undoubtedly be frustrated at being chased off the streets by the motorcades of some tinpot dictators," adds Czypionka.
It's sure to be a laugh riot. Be there or be square!