SA govt vetoes Olympic bid

2011-05-26 12:00

Johannesburg - South Africa's Olympic committee president ruled out a bid for the 2020 Summer Games on Thursday after the government said it was not the right time.

Gideon Sam said that his committee would only bid if the government gave its backing, and the project was "was off the radar for now" after South Africa's cabinet said it preferred to focus on national priorities.

"Our position is very clear," Sam said. "We would bid only if the government gives the go-ahead."

Asked if he was ruling out a bid from a South African city for 2020, Sam replied "Definitely."

Earlier, South Africa's government said it was not the right time for the country - which successfully hosted Africa's first Soccer World Cup last year - to bid for the Olympics.

"Cabinet considered the request by the South African Sports Federation for the country to bid for the hosting of the 2020 Olympic Games," the statement said. "Cabinet has decided that it is better for the country to consolidate the gains of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for now and rather focus the country's attention to the delivery of basic services to all South Africans."

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said that there was no support for a possible bid within South Africa's government, leaving Sam's South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee with no option but to abandon its hopes of bringing the Olympics to Africa for the first time in 2020.

"No Olympic movement in any country can bid for an Olympics without government support," Sam said. "We always said we would be guided by the government. It is important to be guided by the people with the resources.

"There is not much a sport organization can do without government support."

Sam said South Africa might reconsider a bid for another Olympics "some time in the future."

Durban had been considered South Africa's most likely bid city, with July's International Olympic Committee session in the east coast city a perfect springboard for it to launch itself as a candidate.

Thursday's announcement came three days after the IOC opened the 2020 bidding process, inviting national Olympic committees to submit the names of candidate cities by September 1.

So far, Rome is the only city put forward as a candidate.

Other possible contenders include Tokyo; Madrid; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The host city will be selected by the IOC in 2013.


  • sibs.zihle - 2011-05-26 12:20


      michaelx - 2011-05-26 13:02


      BigD - 2011-05-26 13:06

      @michaelx. Too true brother

      Peacock - 2011-05-26 13:13

      Yeah. that is probably because they would have stolen all the money and there would be nothing left to pay the cleaners who would be on strike.

      Wolraad Woltemade - 2011-05-26 13:16

      Maybe they have other plans....

  • Gorilla - 2011-05-26 12:26

    2020 is "not the right time" ??? wtf? I think they know something we don't. In 2020 maybe the ANC will be smaller than the Ganja Party.

      MadMatt_88 - 2011-05-26 12:48

      I'd vote for the Ganja Party over the ANC any day.

      jowza - 2011-05-26 13:00

      dont make fun at my party

      BigD - 2011-05-26 13:08

      @pork. your names says it all. now be a good chappie and bugger off, the grown ups are talking.

      Observer - 2011-05-26 13:44

      @ Pork - not sure I like the idea of the ANC ruling my @ss - it's strictly an exit point.

      hemant230778 - 2011-05-26 13:54

      The world is going to end this year, why waste money on a bid for a day that will not come

  • Justin - 2011-05-26 12:31

    Because they know that Cape Town would win, and the DA would get the glory

      Bulumko Lusu - 2011-05-26 12:41

      what do u mean? cpt already said no-thank-you to the 2020 olympics last year already....?!

      bent5000 - 2011-05-26 12:58

      @Bulumko can you provide reference to this?

      DeonL - 2011-05-26 13:08

      I have to agree with Bulumko, Cape Town have a few bills to pay from the SWC, that is why Zille said no for Olympic bid in 2020

      BigD - 2011-05-26 13:10

      @bent. For a change Bulumko is correct. It was reported last year sometime where CT declined the bid, the Durban said they were going to look at it.

      Peter - 2011-05-26 13:27

      Reference for Brent

      Cuba12 - 2011-05-26 13:58

      Bulumko's right, as I recall, it was only Durban that was going to bid for it

  • wynandjsmit - 2011-05-26 12:32

    Cosolidate the "gains."? Ha Ha Ha. We are trying to consolidate the bills, but will not for a long time still. We cannot afford more bills.

      DeonL - 2011-05-26 13:04

      I agree, in 2020 we might still be paying off some bills.

      dave_23 - 2011-05-28 11:02

      Yes, but most of the capex has already been spent in terms of infrastructure investment for the SWC. But it's only an "investment" if you actually realize later gains from that investment - i.e. holding future events that bring in cash revenue but require comparatively FAR less investment - almost none, relatively speaking. My gut feel is that it's incredibly stupid not to bid, I wonder if someone high up got paid off from one of the competing countries not to bid.

  • Thingamebob - 2011-05-26 12:35

    I don't believe it, they are starting to think. That moron city manager in Durban wants to bid for it and we are still paying for the white elephant

  • njabulo.nxele - 2011-05-26 12:37

    Bloody idiots are broke, thats why

  • DW - 2011-05-26 12:42

    The only SA city which submitted an interim bid to the SA Olympic committee was Durban. We are hugely relieved. We have the highest rates in the country and are hugely in debt after the SWC. We really dont need to spend more money now on stadia etc. Time to focus on what is required for the poor and get our rates more in line with the rest of the country. This was Mike Sutcliffe's dream, not the ratepayers.

  • Jason - 2011-05-26 12:46

    They have about 8 years to prepare for the games (excluding 2011). Is that not enough time? What about all the facts that Durban had all the infrastructure to hold the Olympic Games. So much for promoting tourism to this country!!!

      jan du preeaz - 2011-05-26 18:18

      but not the money idiot! rather spend the money on good education, health etc. i am sure that the poor will not enjoy watching this overated doped-up kak on TV while their tummies growl from hunger

  • TRiP - 2011-05-26 12:47

    Finally someone is thinking with their head and not their dick. Now we can focus on internal issues instead of bloated parties.

  • Lump of coal - 2011-05-26 12:51

    Not reaching the group stages in the WC was poor but in an Olympic scenario where would we find the athletes ???? Remind me how many medals we won in Beijing ???? If it was not for swimming we are hopeless !!!

      Frank - 2011-05-26 13:01

      Anyhow what sport would be have stealing cars, robbing, killing.. Which one would we choose as a south african sport, oh wait corruption yeah that would be good.

      Yaseen - 2011-05-26 17:53

      Funny how you nit pick, you choose the one time we did badly

  • Booswig Visagie - 2011-05-26 13:02

    What ever happened to politics not interfering in sport?

  • spiderkzn - 2011-05-26 13:05

    Oh nooooooo :( I was hoping my hometown Durban win the bid as it will greater boost for City...

  • African_meisie - 2011-05-26 13:11

    That's rediculous! Government just wants to line their pockets some more, something they can't do if you're preparing for the Olympics!

      Yaseen - 2011-05-26 17:54

      and you have proof of this ?

  • Lucky Strike - 2011-05-26 13:11

    I think that it was a case of sanity prevailing over dreams. There are many smaller sporting events that we could host and are hosting. These will also attract the visitors and we will not have to put ourselves deeper into debt. Support the sporting events that are being hosted in SA over the next few years and we will see how things develop towards a possible bid at a later stage.

      Proffie - 2011-05-27 17:01

      Wise words from a wise person at last. Lets learn to crawl before we walk.

  • Marcell - 2011-05-26 13:13

    They need to consolidate the gains into their pockets.

  • alexander.lombard - 2011-05-26 13:13

    This is good news. Al we did the past few years leading up to the 2010 WC was talk about it and developing white elephants for it.We need to use our efforts and money to uplift South-Africa

  • michaelx - 2011-05-26 13:14


  • 5cents - 2011-05-26 13:25

    Olympic host cities are left with massive debts. Olympic villages have to be build. The gains of this does not off set the costs. We have millions of peoples living in shacks. We cant go arround building these housing for athletes. Its just not justifiable. Most sane thing the ANC goverment has done in ages

      tiotudg - 2011-05-26 20:41

      Jy slaan die spyker op die kop. Bravo.

  • GT - 2011-05-26 13:28

    THREE CHEERS FOR THE GOVERNMENT!! There is no way we can afford an Olympics - EVER. They do nothing for the cities that host them

  • Gerrit - 2011-05-26 13:30

    About time that sanity started to prevail in South Africa. Pity it took the threat posed by the D.A. to make them see the light, however they have to do a whole lot more to restore any kind of trust in them.

  • DeonL - 2011-05-26 13:35

    The tax payer thank you Gov. for saying no.

  • fotre - 2011-05-26 13:37

    Because it's not soccer.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-05-26 13:48

      I always believed that you are a fool and you have just confirmed it. Olympic games include both male and female soccer so what are you thinking?

  • Sprover - 2011-05-26 13:38

    I actually agree with the goverment on this (propbably the first time since 1994). We are still paying off some of the FIFA World Cup infrastructure and now they want to start bidding again? I say wait until at least 2015 before we start thinking of placing bids for these types of events again.

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-05-26 13:40

    It's got nothing to do with Durban. the IOC obviously hinted that Cape Town is their preferred city and in typical ANC fashion they'd rather sabotage South Africa's - and Africa's - chance of hosting the Olympics than allow anything to go the DA's way. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-05-26 13:50

      If saving your brain cells was money you would be very rich by now. Cape Town said that they were not inerested then you come with your daily ubbish here.

      Yaseen - 2011-05-26 17:59

      Do you have proof of this ???? Cape Town didnt want to host the Olympics !!!!

  • Sue - 2011-05-26 13:42

    glad they've made this decision. It's costly to the citizens of SA. A good decision for a change.

  • Benny66 - 2011-05-26 13:49

    They're not interested because it's much more lekker for them to fly biz class to France or some other exotic country on tax payers money to attend the olympics rather than travel to Durbs. Not that they'll be in Gov then - Up you DA!!

  • sefeddt - 2011-05-26 13:55

    Finaly something the goverment did right

  • DirtyDog - 2011-05-26 13:55

    I disagree with those that say we can produce a good Olympic bid. We must look at what happened with the SWC. Spent millions on stadia that are now sitting gathering dust! All that at the behest of the FIFA committee, it was a pre-requisite. And then they pass SA a few million for "sport development" just before Blatter faces the polls! A lot like SA politics, fix a few roads before the elections. It is not only a stadium that must be built, remember that the new Greenpoint/Soccer City stadiums are not long enought to use as althletics tracks. Then we need to built the subsidiary playing fields. We do have world class rugby (7's), cricket and (now) soccer pitches, but what about the other sports? We don't have a canoeing venue or a world class swimming venue. Not even a really decent tennis court. All of those things cost money to get them to standards that the Olympic committee will accept. That is without the Olympic Village. Then we will have to look at the infrastructure, everything will have to be upgraded AGAIN, to cater for the increased volumes. One only has to look at the number of people that made losses on the SWC - they upgraded their establishments for tourists that never materialised and a massive cost to themselves. We are not looking at a few million, we are talking about a BILLION or two! That's a lot of housing, medical facilities that can be funded.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-05-26 14:07

      Which one is not used?

  • Tash - 2011-05-26 14:08

    Its good to know that our protests over the exorbitant world cup costs and losses did not fall on deaf ears.

  • Sunette - 2011-05-26 14:12

    Olympic Games are Hosted by a City, not a Country. The host city, however, does need permission from the Government to bid. The ANC knows full well that Cape Town is more than capable - under the DA - to pull it of and that would make them look even more stupid than they already do - therefor the Veto! Pathetic!

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-05-26 14:22

      Did you read the other comments or just farting?

  • Rory - 2011-05-26 14:19

    what ? no one fropm the IOC offered them a back hand payment? . bunch of complete idiots. golden opportunity to showcase our country and use our stadiums from the FIFA scoocer world cup. I realy am speechless. We bid for the 2000 games when we were in no position to host the games, and now that we should bid for the games , we DONT . WTF ?

  • Faansie - 2011-05-26 14:27

    Now hear this: The ANC goverment has allways maintained that the SWC was very successful. If it was, then why shy away from hosting the Olimpics. Simple, the SWC was financially a desaster and the Goverment has no money to spend on another desaster. Somebody in the ANC seems to be developing some sence at last.

      hardloop - 2011-05-26 21:36

      You're uninformed. The SWC was a financial success. The Olypics has NEVER been a financial success for any host nation. Google it, chop. South Africa doesn't want it, the people don't want it and we'd do even worse in the olympics than we did in the World Cup!

  • johnnyfilm - 2011-05-26 14:31

    maybe 2020 is going to be the end of the world?

  • ocajian - 2011-05-26 14:40

    I don't understand the need for all these negative comments. We clearly have far more important things to spend money on in this country. I bet if the DA said this you would have all praised the statement. It's no wonder, no black voters want to vote DA when you look at the rubbish DA supporters spew forth on News24. If my vote was to be based on party supporters there would be no way in hell that I would ever vote DA. I could look past that but many others can't.

      hardloop - 2011-05-26 21:37

      A good point, well made.

      sefeddt - 2011-05-27 11:51

      Good attempt to knock the DA but actually CT (DA) turned down the invite from SASCOC to bid from the beginning stating they have far more pressing issues like service delivery. The other ANC controlled city's all submitted bids as they saw chance to make big money from kick backs.

  • JC - 2011-05-26 15:48

    Well screw politics and whatever the government's real agenda is. It would have been nice to have the Olympics held in SA, but in my opinion that money could really be better spent elsewhere. As long as the money actually reaches those areas or departments that need it most. We've already achieved what we would achieve by holding the Olympics in SA when we held the Soccer World Cup. I'm sorry if I'm offending any of our fine SA athletes, but what would our athletes say if some of that money was invested in their training and the development of new athletes?

  • d54 - 2011-05-26 18:01

    At last sense prevails. I don't vote for the ANC but in this I am 100% behind them. There are far higher priorities in this counrty to spend tax money on.

  • Bismuth - 2011-05-26 20:56

    Lol, I think it's more a case of the ANC knowing that that wouldn't be in power anymore by 2020 (never mind a DA-run city showing them how to do it), so they don't foresee any financial benefits for themselves (various ANC members), and therefore don't see a point in bidding for it.

  • Rob Rabbit - 2011-05-26 21:48

    9 years from now - stadium already in palce with relatively minor adjustments being required. Govt just been drilled at the polls so lets pretend we are going to deliver "something" to the people and tell them the Olympics wiil provide no tourism and thus jobs?!

  • Henry - 2011-05-27 09:51

    The soccer world cup nearly sank a few municipalities. eg Port Elizabeth

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-05-27 11:54

    So much for 6 billion Durban's cheif of theft Sutcliffe spent on the stadium no one uses

  • Perfume - 2011-05-27 19:55

    Who told them they will still be ruling the country in 2020 and what makes them think they will still be alive!!!!!!

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