Mbombela Afcon business plan ‘not for public consumption’

2012-11-22 11:45

The Mbombela city council in Mpumalanga has played down concerns that its financial crisis may worsen after hosting the Orange 2013 Afcon, saying it had a business plan for the tournament but it was not for public consumption.

Mpumalanga’s capital city, Nelspruit, will be hosting Group C matches, which will see defending Afcon champions Zambia and another African giant, Nigeria, in action.

The other two teams are Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.

The Mbombela Municipality recently applied for a R60 million loan to cover its expenses. It reportedly owes certain service providers as a result of cash problems.

Mbombela will get R23.1 million from the national government to run the tournament, but the Democratic Alliance (DA) is worried that the municipality will have to spend more.

DA councillor Joe Koster said the municipality has not yet produced a business plan for the tournament, which the party asked for in August.

“The DA is not against Mbombela hosting Afcon because we’re aware of the tourism benefits it will bring, but we would not want to find ourselves in a difficult financial situation like the 2010 World Cup caused us. The municipality still has a financial hangover from the World Cup,” Koster said.

“We’re six weeks before the tournament but we’ve not seen a business plan, which has financial implications,” he added.

Koster said a lot of issues were not clarified, such as the upgrading of three training fields, the park-and-ride system and parties.

“The fact of the matter is that Mbombela as a host city will have to carry some costs to ensure the tournament runs smoothly, but there are no guidelines to follow.

“We hear that there might be street parties like they did during the World Cup, and a party can cost up to R1 million,” Koster said.

Mbombela spokesperson Joseph Ngala said a business plan existed but it was not for “public consumption”.

“The business plan of the tournament is an internal document that we use to monitor and evaluate progress in our preparation for the tournament. (It’s) not meant for public consumption. It’s a living document which is updated on a weekly basis,” Ngala said.

He said the municipality was only facilitating operations, and was not a funder of the tournament.

Ngala said the municipality had allocated a certain amount to the tournament but he did not specify how much it was and what it would be used for.

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