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Date: 11 May 2012
Title: Sport a catalyst for infrastructure development - Mbalula
Pretoria - Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula says the 2010 FIFA World Cup has demonstrated the importance of sport as a catalyst for infrastructure development and a platform upon which social mobilisation can be achieved.
Delivering his 2012/13 Budget Vote on Friday, Mbalula said the 2010 FIFA World Cup Country Report spelled out the benefits of organising and hosting mega sporting events. The document is being processed by the department for Cabinet discussion and approval, where after it will go to Parliament for a national debate.
Quoting from the report, Mbalula said: "The South African government invested more than R30 billion on infrastructure which included roads, airports, ports, stadia and telecommunication.
"The approximately R11.7 million investment in 10 FIFA 2010 stadia alone created approximately 66 000 new construction jobs, generating R7.4 billion in wages, with R2.2 billion going to low-income households and therefore contributing to a reduction of poverty and unemployment."
The minister also commended South Africa for having recently been awarded an international prize as the best sport tourism destination in the world. He said this was because of the positive results of hosting sporting events like the Cricket World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup as well as other mega sporting events.
Switching focus to the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament that will be hosted in SA in 2013, Mbalula said he was in constant contact with the South African Football Association (Safa) and the interim 2013 Afcon Local Organising Committee (LOC) to finalise the composition of the LOC and other strategic preparatory matters.
A week ago, Cabinet announced the approval for the hosting of the 2013 Afcon and the 2014 African Nations Championships (CHAN) and their respective cities.
It also announced the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the 2013 Afcon convened by Mbalula.
Cabinet further disapproved the awarding of bonuses to all South Africans who will serve in the Afcon 2013 LOC.
The five cities to host the 2013 Afcon games are: Johannesburg (FNB stadium), eThekwini (Moses Mabhida), Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng), Nelson Mandela Bay (Nelson Mandela Bay stadium), Mbombela (Mbombela stadium).
The opening and closing ceremonies as well as the opening matches will be performed and played at FNB stadium in Johannesburg.
Polokwane, Cape Town, Kimberly and Mangaung will host the 2014 CHAN tournament and will not necessarily use the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadia.
Mbalula once again allayed fears of cities who are concerned about the risks of hosting the two continental tournaments.
"We have established a joint task team consisting of the Sport and Recreation, National Treasury and the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Departments to meet all the host cities on Monday, 14 May to discuss the risks and benefits of hosting the games and ensure that all concerns are dealt with amicably," he said. - BuaNews