Government convinced SA can host 2023 Rugby World Cup

2017-09-07 06:00

Hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2023 will bring South Africa R27.3 billion in direct, indirect and induced economic impact. It will also sustain 38 600 annual job equivalents - some temporary and some will be permanent.

This is according to a Grant Thornton economic impact assessment commissioned by SA Rugby as part of the bid process.

At the South African Government’s insistence, the report was independently verified before it provided the financial guarantees to underwrite the bid.

In conducting the assessment Grant Thornton’s team carried out numerous interviews and surveys to determine the costs of hosting the tournament. Other data scrutinised included economic impact studies from previous Rugby World Cup events, rugby tournaments and internationals held in South Africa as well as other large sports events hosted here in the past.

The results are expressed as direct, indirect and induced impact. For example, direct impact will be the amount that a guest pays for a hotel room. Indirect impact is what the hotel spends buying food for guests during the tournament, while induced impact will be the amounts that the hotel’s employees spend in local shops as a result of their employment with the hotel.

South African Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, says the assessment was rigorous. The assumptions are based on best practice and government thoroughly scrutinised the determinations before committing to the financial guarantees.

“There would have been no guarantee of R2.7 billion if government was not convinced that hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup was an economic opportunity as well as a sporting occasion.”

An important consideration is that the economic impact will be shared across the seven host cities.

With the most matches and the final, Johannesburg will benefit by an amount of R10 billion with 14 102 jobs created or sustained. The contribution to Cape Town’s GDP will be R5.2 billion with 7 304 jobs.

The economic impact for the remaining five host cities – Durban, Tshwane, Bloemfontein, Nelson Mandela Bay and Mbom-bela - is between R1.4 and R4.5 billion.

Notably, the report states that no additional stadia will need to be built and that successfully hosting the event will generate interest to host other global events in South Africa in future.

The report concludes: “2023 Rugby World Cup will provide significant economic benefits to the local economy.”

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