SASCOC - 2024 bid 'definite'

2011-07-27 11:25

Cape Town - South Africa's Olympics committee boss said on Wednesday he hoped the government would change its mind and endorse a bid to bring the 2020 summer Olympics to the continent, but a 2024 bid was definite.

"From an Olympic movement side, we have to keep our fingers crossed until the date has gone by," Gideon Sam said, referring to the September 1 deadline for bids to be lodged.

"I do support the cabinet decision in terms of how they feel at this point in time, but I still have to keep up the hope that on the last moment they may turn around and say go ahead."

In May, South Africa's cabinet ruled out a 2020 bid by Durban, but sports minister Fikile Mbalula has said he will keep lobbying the government.

The first African host of the football World Cup, South Africa will angle to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games and a 2024 Olympic bid will "definitely" be made, said Sam.

Olympics chief Jacques Rogge gave his stamp of approval to a potential bid by South Africa during the International Olympic Committee meeting earlier this month, saying: "The country is ready."

Rome, Madrid and Tokyo have so far announced their bids while Istanbul is also expected to do so shortly.

The nod from Rogge had boosted the confidence of South Africa, which poured billions of rands into new stadiums and overhauling transport facilities for the 2010 World Cup, in hosting big sports spectacles, said Sam.

"He said, 'I'll be back'. We took from that a very very clear message that we've now arrived at the level where we can compete with the rest of the world in terms of hosting events," he told a briefing ahead of a conference on sports and events tourism in Cape Town.

Local tourism authorities have identified the sector as an important niche market, while South Africa is also drawing attention as a sporting host for major global competitions.

"People are beginning to realise that there is something in this country that is attractive to all of them and I think that we'll be short changing ourselves if we were to sit back and not make use of these opportunities," said Sam.

Future possible events include the 2017 World Games in Cape Town, and the 2022 Commonwealth Games for which the country's name will be put forward later in November at the federation's meeting in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis.

The government in May said a "final" decision had been taken not to bid for the 2020 games so as to focus on rolling out basic government services in a country where one in five people have no electricity.


  • Dominic - 2011-07-27 11:47

    Another gravy train leaves the station.

      jds - 2011-07-27 13:10

      So true!Use the billions to upgrade infrastructure and education!!

  • Geetsy - 2011-07-27 11:56

    The WC football left us with 4 white elephants. The Olympics brought Greece to its knees and will do the same to us. We are self detructive. Rather build more prisons!

      sipholess - 2011-07-27 12:08

      South Africa dont need the Olympics to bring it to it's knees, the country's on it's knees already and will be headless long before 2024.

      POLLENYS - 2011-07-27 12:28

      @Sipholes Indeed. The Olympics should be the last thing on our agenda. Education, Roads, Infrastructure, Water, Sewerage are all time bombs that need attention. Not another get-rich-with-tenders scheme for a few. There is NO comparison between Soccer World Cup and the Olympics with its plethora of disciplines.

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-27 12:01

    and I suppose the 5.5 million taxpaying criminals who supposedly stole the land and the mines will be asked to foot the bill

  • PMG - 2011-07-27 12:10

    By 2024 there wont be a South Africa left - not with Juju,Zuma and Cele robbing the coffers blind.You can only steel so much until the till is empty.

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-07-27 12:11

    We'll bid for the Olympics. The African National Cleptocracy is already lining up the "tendaaz"

  • ecm - 2011-07-27 12:28

    Gideon - get it in your thick skull - we cannot afford it! We have more important issues to spend on - there goes your dream of self-enrichment, idiot. We the taxpayers end up paying extra taxes and rates after the event!!

  • BugsyKB - 2011-07-27 12:34

    This decision should be made my the taxpayers that are going to foot the bill to host the Olympics. Anyways the olympics have never made a profit. Waste of money

  • Bok Fan - 2011-07-27 12:39

    I will resist this as much as I resist the tyrranisation of our democracy. NO OLYMPICS IN SA till the education system, the health system, the political rot, unemployment,poverty and crime have been sorted. At least to an acceptable degree

  • tichaona mutseriwa - 2011-07-27 12:43

    The olympic event should be the last thing on our minds we have pressing problems to attend to like housing,health& poverty. the world cup left us with white elephants.

  • kitchenboy3 - 2011-07-27 12:56

    I am sure one or the other will call me an Afro-pessimist and tell me to 'jimmy'off but i reckon come 2024 the following disciplines should feature on the olympic calendar: 10 meter pothole dive raw sewage freestyle spot the honest politician team event survive the government hospital decathlon tenderprenuer highjump woodwork tool-toss 'shoot the boer' over a variety if distances pole-vault over Zuma's children landgrab hurdles nationalisation marathon any other ideas are welcome and will be passed on to the olympic comittee

  • Mad Dog - 2011-07-27 13:06

    First step to the Olympics is to get rid of Zuma and the anc. Then South Africa will SING!

  • Terence - 2011-07-27 13:32

    The Soccer World Cup effectively bankrupted at least one Metropole (Port Elizabeth) the Olympics are guaranteed to finish off the rest with the National Government thrown in for good measure.

  • za101 - 2011-07-27 13:36

    Helen Zille will be president by 2024, to open the 1st Olympic Games in Africa

  • DW - 2011-07-27 15:31

    Please do not include Durban in your bid. We are sitting with massive debt and the highest rates in the country. The beachfront was redone at great cost for the SWC and, less than a year later, they were digging the paving up and redoing it. Some contractor got paid a fat fee to do it and did a shoddy job, and now the ratepayers must pay again. We dont need more debt. Take it to another city.

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