Nxesi supports SA's 2023 Rugby World Cup bid

2017-05-26 13:58
Thembelani Nxesi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Minister of Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi supports South Africa's bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023.

But that does not mean government supports it, he told the media at a briefing before his budget vote on Friday.

He must first get approval from cabinet and treasury.

"I am supporting the bid because I believe it will be good for nation building," he said.

Nxesi said the South African Rugby Union (SARU) made a strong case that the event will pay for itself, and South Africa already has the prerequisite eight world class stadiums. 

Sport and recreation director-general Alec Moemi said wherever a Rugby World Cup is held, it generates money.

He said while the global football governing body FIFA insists that a country makes laws exempting them from tax, this is not the case with world rugby. 

Moemi explained that SARU will keep 50% of the profits, while the remaining 50% will be shared amongst the poorer South African sports federations. 

A tournament fee of R2.7m will have to be paid to world rugby, but it is expected that South Africa will collect R3bn in taxes alone, and that the event will generate economic activity worth R27bn.

"During the FIFA World Cup we allowed ourselves to be bullied. We're not going to allow that," Moemi said.

Nxesi said there is much to celebrate in South African sport, citing the Blitzboks' recent crowning as World Sevens champions as an example.

"And yet, there remains an elephant in the room. The majority of our schools - in the townships and rural areas - provide little or no physical education and sports opportunities.

"At the same time, many of the national teams draw their players from a relatively small number of private and former model C schools."

Nxesi identified three problems with this.

"First, it is morally wrong to exclude any child form fulfilling their potential. Second, it weakens the health of the nation.

"Third, from a high-performance sport stance, it is extremely short-sighted. Just think of all that potential talent out there."

Out of his budget of R1 067bn for 2017/2018, 21% or R224.5m goes to school sport.

Read more on:    sa rugby  |  rwc 2023  |  thulas nxesi  |  rugby


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