Cape ‘not ready’ for Olympic bid

2010-07-21 14:44

It would be “fantastic” to host the Olympic Games but Cape Town is

not ready to make a bid, mayoral committee member for economic development

Felicity Purchase has said.

“I don’t want to be negative but I don’t think in the short term we

are ready yet to do an Olympic bid,” she said at a media briefing in the

city.

“We have a committee that will (consider the issue) shortly. But to

be quite honest with you, I think it is premature.”

South Africa’s Olympic governing body last week announced it would

formally oversee a bid for the 2020 Games and encouraged potential host cities

to come forward.

This followed President Jacob Zuma’s assertion following the soccer

World Cup that South Africa could do a similarly excellent job in 2020.

Purchase said the city needed to complete a study currently under

way on the economic implications for Cape Town of the recent soccer World

Cup.

It also needed to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of an Olympics,

look at the Olympic bid book, and conduct a “gap analysis” of what was required

and what could be achieved in a given time.

Cape Town is “short of venues”, including a really good athletics

track.

“The Olympic Games would be fantastic. The reality of it is that we

are not there yet,” she said.

The fact that the Games are a one-city event is also a problem for

Cape Town, as this means limited support from national government.

“People that have hosted these big events say the return on the

investment is far greater for small events held in a regular sustainable way

than for a mega-event,” she said.

“Yes, you achieve a lot, and there’s a lot of legacy that comes

with it.

“And that is the benefit of the (soccer) World Cup for us. But

realistically, can we afford it, having to deliver all those things that are

required for an Olympics, now?



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