Test ticket offer 'an insult'

2010-07-23 07:39

Johannesburg - A Soweto rugby administrator says offers of discounted tickets for township residents to attend South Africa’s historic match against New Zealand at the National Stadium (formerly Soccer City) next month was “an insult”.

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The South African Rugby Union (SARU) said in a statement on Thursday that 5 000 tickets costing R100 each for the first-ever rugby match at the venue of the FIFA World Cup final would go on sale to Soweto residents on Monday.

The price of all but 9 000 of the iconic stadium’s 88 000 seats has been set at R500, with a first phase of 44 000 tickets selling out within 48 hours last week.

“I think 5 000 tickets is an insult,” Soweto Rugby Club secretary Zola Ntlokoma said. “This is a community of close to two million people and I think we deserve better. We are rugby people and 5 000 tickets are not much compared to the stadium’s capacity. Maybe they could have given us 20 000.

“We have been marginalised for so long that we deserve such opportunities. We showed the outside world during the World Cup that we are civilised, modern people and that we grab any opportunity that comes our way and run with it. We in Soweto are trendsetters and when we sneeze, the whole country catches the flu.”

Ntlokoma admitted the club, which pulled out of the local leagues two years ago after what it said were ongoing racist outbursts against its players, was “not on good terms” with the local Golden Lions Rugby Union, who are organising the Test. “If there is some sort of benefit from hosting the match I don’t think they will pass it onto us,” he said. “We are operating from hand to mouth and have to rely on good samaritans in order to survive.”

“We are starting a rugby culture from scratch but people in this township are rugby people,” he said. “When the Springboks won the 2007 World Cup, they paraded the trophy through our streets on a rainy day but still the people still came out to show their passion for rugby.”

Golden Lions president Kevin de Klerk said there had been “an overwhelming response in the Soweto community” to his province’s decision to move the match from the 60 000-seater Ellis Park, which hosted seven World Cup matches but whose unsafe location in downtown Johannesburg has seen low attendances in recent years.

“We’ve shown a lot of goodwill by releasing 5 000 tickets at a low cost to get them to come,” said De Klerk. SARU’s statement coincided with a South African Football Association (SAFA) announcement on Thursday that all 88 000 tickets to Bafana Bafana’s friendly international at Soccer City against World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana on August 11 would cost just R50 – ten times less than for the rugby fixture.

In a country in which R500 represents a week’s earnings for the average worker, such a discrepancy is sure to reignite a long-standing debate around ticket prices to major sporting events. Current Italy rugby coach Nick Mallett was fired as Springbok head coach in 2001 shortly after he publicly criticised the price of that year’s Tri-Nations tickets.

The cost of attending next month’s rugby Test at Soccer City is also more than 350 percent higher than the R140 it cost South Africans to attend group matches at the same venue during the FIFA World Cup.


  • Martin - 2010-07-23 07:49

    Test cricket or Rugby im confused?

  • FP - 2010-07-23 07:50

    At leat this chap's behaviour is consistent with that of the Sprinbok coach. - Blame someone else. - Take no responsibility. - Everyboy owe's me

  • Gravy train? - 2010-07-23 07:53

    Where is all the money going? 20 000 tickets to SOWETO is ridiculous, they can offer 20 000 tickets to all fans. Not only do the townships have poor people . . . . . .

  • Bloubul - 2010-07-23 07:56

    And compare that to the R1140 we had to pay to see a B - Springbok team to play the British Lions at Ellis Park.

  • John - 2010-07-23 07:58

    Rugby test match ;) Well they probable do deserve more tickets but I think this is at least a start.

  • Thomas - 2010-07-23 08:00

    Welcome to my world. For the Super 14 final, only a ridiculously small number of tickets were made available to the general public, with the majority of tickets being reserved for the chosen few. It's not a race issue, but rather a fat cat issue. I learnt long ago to rather have some cheese with my whine and get on with it.

  • Spaceballs - 2010-07-23 08:00

    "“We have been marginalised for so long that we deserve such opportunities. " - So pathetic. The sooner people, black/white or otherwise realise that this is the real world and that you don't DESERVE anything other than eat, sleep, breathe and sh@t. Stop this handout mentality.. you are lucky you got anything while the rest of us dont get any favour.. we all love rugby.. twat

  • SoufEfrikan - 2010-07-23 08:01

    On the contrary Mr.Ntlokoma, we are in fact a "rugby community" of 49 million South Africans, & the insult is that a portion of the population still receives preferential pricing on tickets to watch the World Champions at the new national stadium, talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth!!

  • Ryan - 2010-07-23 08:01

    If you want tickets go to computicket and get one. If you guys in Soweto are so important, surely you dont need handouts from SARU? Be happy you dont have to fork out R500. Please man...

  • Stan - 2010-07-23 08:06

    @ Martin, the heading says Test Ticket not Test Cricket..... @ the Soweto rugby administrator, s****w you.....I had to pay R2000 for 4 tickets and you want to pay R400 for 4 tickets. You are so used to getting stuff you dont want to pay for anything.....what is the rate per ticket for a bafana game vs a bok game. Pay your way otherwis watch the game @ home.

  • Gerrit - 2010-07-23 08:07

    Zola Ntlokoma is a bigot idiot who loves to play the victim. Zola, it is 5000 discounted tickets, meaning that there is 80000 other tickets that Soweto can buy. Stop asking for handouts and pay for the tickets just as any other international rugby supporter does.

  • _Jay_ - 2010-07-23 08:10

    Great quote: "We in Soweto are trendsetters and when we sneeze, the whole country catches the flu" I agree; "World Cup Cat.4 and Cat.3" tickets should be made as cheap as possible for Sowetans to attend. The only way rugby will be more "integrated" is if the game is brought to the people, AND tickets made affordable. Let those who can afford to sit in the expensive seats and pay R500 for their tickets.

  • Skande - 2010-07-23 08:11

    R500 for a rugby game.... R50 for a soccer game. Both International and both at the same stadium... Smells of racism to me...

  • humper - 2010-07-23 08:12

    Supply and Demand. Furthermore these people get so much essentially free - they are looking a gifted horse in the mouth. Part of the reason I left South Africa was taxes and paying other people who do no share in my debt nor in my hard work.

  • Darryl - 2010-07-23 08:12

    Give em' an arm and they'll want the whole damn thing. Be this is going to happen at every new stadium. Bye Newlands....

  • iGB! @Martin - 2010-07-23 08:15

    If you read the article you'd see in the 1 st sentence, in fact the 4th word that it is rugby, and rugby is mentioned numerous times in the article. Soccer is also mentioned but in comparison to rugby, cricket is never mentioned. Why are you confused?!

  • awwsum - 2010-07-23 08:15

    "We have been marginalised for so long that we deserve such opportunities" ...There's a lot more than 90,000 PREVIOUSLY marginalised people in SA and in Gauteng that can affort to pay R 500.00 thanks to the new UNmarginalised equal SA that choose not to attend, so your theory about your "rugby culture" is fed to the dogs...*dogs munching on your rugby culture and pooped out* Serve that your mom

  • Johann - 2010-07-23 08:16

    Mallet was fired for being an idiot, not for complaining about the prices.

  • DAVID - 2010-07-23 08:19

    Fine put the tickets up then and sell the discounted tickets to people that would be grateful for cheap tickets. Who would moan at the opportunity at R100 tickets to see a great test match! You guys will never be happy will you!

  • THE MAN - 2010-07-23 08:23

    amen brother, we demand at least 20 000 tickets at R100, saru had better be listening, the game no longer belongs to the whites this rugby belongs to 49 million south africans which inlcludes a few whites in there, so seeing as the masses support the game more than the minority it is only fair that the masses get what they want controlled by whites is a thing of the past and this over aged white captain john smit will be the last white captain of the springbucks for many many many years

  • michael - 2010-07-23 08:24

    What has ever happened to just saying thank you? We have to stop this 'entitled' attitude - it's killing our country. The Malema's of this world are getting their values from people like this self righteous.....!

  • Burtfred - 2010-07-23 08:26

    The only "insult"about the cheap tickets is that you have to be "black" to get the discount. More racist crap.

  • Simon says - 2010-07-23 08:27

    Its a bloody racist insult to whites, absolutely disgusting, They shouldnt have even offered one discounted ticket,. I wonder if they gonna offer discounted bafana tickets in the white areas?

  • Brandon - 2010-07-23 08:30

    Blow me down with morning breath and a cupped hand. The rest of us had to pay R500 a ticket (some for really horrid seats) so don't bitch about it, say "thank you" and move on.

  • Andre - 2010-07-23 08:31

    I think there is a point in the comment. There is no way we are going to fill 88,000 seats at R500 a shot. I think the Rugby Union is being greedy. Why not offer all unsold seats for free to all schools, in block bookings. That way the stands will be full of very loyal supporters, plus rugby will grow in the country.

  • Baas Koos - 2010-07-23 08:33

    @ Martin.... why confused... whats so difficult.....? eeee test rugby boet!

  • revaro - 2010-07-23 08:33

    you should be happy you got any tickets @ such low price those guys can do what they want and how are those stadiums gonna be kept in a profitable investmant =if every dick tom and harry get tickets @ discounted prices damn stop snitching on the comunity

  • Nico - 2010-07-23 08:35

    Rugby tickets in general are overpriced. Remember the test tickets for the Lions tour last year? R1040! And the stands turned out to be more red than green. I watched 3 FIFA World Cup matches for around R650. Now SA Rugby wants R500 for one Springbok match. Justify that please. And I prefer rugby to football. It is an insult. What's the point of having matches in Soweto if Sowetans can't attend them? As long as those pockets are stuffed, SA Rugby don't give a rat's ass.

  • Mad - 2010-07-23 08:36

    I am a hardcore rubgy supporter and agree that test rugby tickets prices are MAD. How can a soccer ticket be R50 for an international match and Rugby R500... We will never have a true represenataion of our nation at a rugby match if prices don't come down.

  • Pedro Depacas - 2010-07-23 08:41

    What surprises me the most here is that he did not insist that they be given the tickets for free , another classic example of the outstretched hands again , give ,give and give again , if they are so passionate about rugby , which is actually a lot of bullshit anyway let's see how many takers there are , even at R 100.00 a ticket i bet there wont be too many takers, not because they can't afford it, but because it is not football , what a joke !!!

  • Toothchipper - 2010-07-23 08:45

    Zola, you are an idiot. Nothing is stopping Soweto residents from purchasing more tickets, there is just a special price of R100 for 9000. If 20,000 Soweto residents want to attend, there welcome to purchase more tickets at R500 a pop. You sound like those same idiots who always moan about being discriminated against, but do not pay any tax. If you don't pay tax, just shut up, you deserve to be discriminated against, as you are not contributing to the country at all!

  • senor neek @ bloubul - 2010-07-23 08:47

    Ja china, we bought Lions hospitality tickets @ R1,500.00+ each to witness the spectacle of a lifetime and then get served up a C-Team. NEVER AGAIN. Remember that Nick Mallet was fired for questioning tickets at a third of this price. I love the Boks and my loyalty is undeniable but I cannot pay this amount of money to watch a team of headbutters, with a coach that makes me cringe with embarrassment when he opens his mouth... SARFU will learn, like the Premier League did, that gouging the fans will not continue indefinitely.

  • POLLY - 2010-07-23 08:49

    What about reduced prices for Vosloorus,Tokoza,Attridgeville. I am waiting to see how many of the R1OO tickets are bought.

  • Daniel - 2010-07-23 08:50

    Offer soweto residents cheap Currie cup games to watch the lions and help them get support - keep the stubs and prove you really a rugby supporter. I will have no problem then that those supoorters with currie cup ticket stubs get cheaper test tickets.

  • tash - 2010-07-23 08:50

    back to the bulls*$#!!!!!!

  • stop moaning - 2010-07-23 09:00

    stop moaning you bunch of p****s, this has less to do with race and more to do with the fact that the people living in the area cant afford to go. The only reason you can afford to attend these games is based on the advantages afforded to you / your family in the past. Its a part of life. As Andre said its a good way to peak interest in the game. You guys always think everything is black vs white when in reality its haves vs have nots and it pisses me off. You guys are quick to jump up and make a noise, but put yourself in the other guy's shoes for once. All you white people: imagine you were born black, you'd be singing a totally different tune right now.

  • Tshepo - 2010-07-23 09:01

    Everything that happens in our main sports teams (Bafana & Boks) seem to be politicised by us South Africans,When are we going to realise that sports is the only thing that unifies us as rainbow nation because politics will never unify races in South Africa,lets live positive and be happy that 5000 rugby loving fans from Soweto will be able to attend,and that doesnt mean the rest of Soweto wont afford the R500 tickets,LOVE YOUR SPORT AND STAY POSITIVE OF OUR WONDERFUL SOUTH AFRICA.

  • DeonL - 2010-07-23 09:06

    The people only complain of the price when they don't have the money to pay for it. Maybe people should smoke and drink and eat less or work harder to be able to afford it. We need the prices high to be able to pay for the maintenance of these stadiums. We can't complain of high prices and then also don't want white elephants.

  • hmm - 2010-07-23 09:09

    Make white people pay for everything and sit back and do nothing if you are black. With that attitude no wonder poverty is still a problem and will remain one forever in South Africa.

  • AL @ Andre - 2010-07-23 09:11

    The first phase of 44 000 sold out in 2 days. Of course they will be able to sell out all seats at R500. Already these discounted 1000 tickets are losing R2000000. If they want 20 000 tickets then the union will lose R8000000. No business in their right mind will make that decision just to please some !diot who still lives 20 years ago.

  • Morwa - 2010-07-23 09:15

    Thats K*K everyone who wants to see the game must pay the same amount. This culture of entitlement is the one that is holding Africa back, what do you expect people who paid R500 to feel. ke bosepa fela ntoe! you can't justify it. And for those who are quick to cry racism please! this is pure greed and short sightedness on the part of Mr Zola whoever. Lets not glorify stupidity.

  • Stan - 2010-07-23 09:16

    ......what a chop! Is this guy real? I want, I want, I want, I want, give, give, give.... (the new ANC rainbow nation anthem!). Madiba, you must weep at times!

  • shaaarkie - 2010-07-23 09:21

    i think it's bull that this w*****r is complaining,atleast soweto residents are getting something, there's alot of other disadvantaged people who had to pay the R500 because we love our bokke. i also think it's bull that the union is charging R500 and the soccer is charging R50 for all. like i understand they have the to pay the the soccer administrators for usage of the stadium,but jeepers if soccer can break even or make a profit from selling tickets for R50 are they charging the rugby guys an arm and a leg or are the rugby guys making a killing, thats what needs to be asked here.

  • denis - 2010-07-23 09:22

    About half the people I see driving around in expensive cars these days are black. While it is obviously true that the majority of Africans still live in poverty, I suspect that when it comes to actual numbers of people able to shell out R500 for a ticket, there are a similar number of blacks and whites out there. With this attitude of being given something for free (R400 discount X 5000) and still complaining, there is a danger of reinforcing stereotypes. Or maybe he plans to sell some of the tickets back to white fans at a markup. If he had said that high ticket prices are an insult to all rugby fans, and not just Soweto residents, I would agree 100%. There are plenty of whites who live close to the traditional venues like Loftus who also cannot afford tickets. In the soccer world cup, the majority of ordinary South Africans of all races could not afford tickets, but no-one made a race issue of it. If we do want to make a race issue of anything, it should be that SABC does not screen big rugby matches, thus denying millions of ordinary people the opportunity to watch.

  • mark - 2010-07-23 09:26

    RACIST . all tickets should be available to all regardless of colour .

  • Freebie - 2010-07-23 09:27

    That's the African way, demand everything for free.

  • Piet Verdriet - 2010-07-23 09:35

    Ellispark kapasiteit = 60,000 @ R500.00 = R30,000,000.00. Verkoop 60,000 by Soccer City ook teen R550 en die inkomste is dieselfde. Daar bly 28,000 kaartjies oor - stel 14,000 beskikbaar aan Soweto @ R100 en die ander 14,000 aan minder bevoorregte BLANKES @ R250. Ons wil ook graag die toets sien, mmar dit sal nooit gebeur nie want Rugby is te gulsig.

  • Rugby Tickets - 2010-07-23 09:36

    Dont worry if you dont have tickets. There will be 1 000 touts outside the stadium with 5 tickets each at R 500! Eish but this money making is easy! R 2 000 profit is a lot of Black Label, maybe even a bottle of Johnie Blue!

  • @ Senor neek - 2010-07-23 09:38

    Well said! Completely agree!!!

  • Hu - 2010-07-23 09:41

    He is right, it is a insult. A insult to all who likes to believe that everyone in the "new" RSA are equal. Why should they get preferential treatment. If someone only earns R500 a week, they shouldn't spend 20% of it on tickets. The tickets to the SWC was only R140 for the non important group games. What was the cheapest price for the more important semis and final again? Prices will be as high as people are willing to pay for it. It is the basics of economics. Considering 44 000 tickets sold out in two days is maybe a indication that they could increase the price next year. Will I pay that amount? Hell no! But as long as there are someone else who can and will, the prices will stay inflated. Its all business.