2020 South Africa Olympic bid is “premature”

July 23, 2010

Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic development, Felicity Purchase, has said the city is not ready to make a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games.

South Africa’s Olympic governing body last week said it would formally oversee a bid for the 2020 Games after the country’s successful hosting of this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

However, Purchase does not believe Cape Town would be ready to host an Olympics. She said: “I do not want to be negative, but I don’t think in the short term we are ready yet to make an Olympic bid.

“We will be looking at that, and have a committee that will [consider the issue] shortly. But to be quite honest with you, I think it is premature.

“The Olympic Games would be fantastic. The reality of it is that we are not there yet.

“People that have hosted these big events say that the return on the investment is far greater for small events [held] in a regular sustainable way than for a mega-event. Yes, you achieve a lot, and there’s a lot of legacy that comes with it.

“And that is the benefit of the [FIFA] World Cup for us. But realistically, can we afford it, having to deliver all those things that are required for an Olympics, now? I can honestly say, I don’t think so.”