City asked to consider bid for 2018 Youth Olympics
February 14 2012 at 12:31pm
By Nondumiso Mbuyazi
Tubby Reddy, CEO of South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee testflying at the cricket sa hearing. Picture : Sizwe Ndingane
The eThekwini municipality has been asked to consider bidding to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
In a letter to the city expected to be tabled at Tuesday’s executive committee meeting, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had approached all national organising committees of the world to consider bidding to host the games.
The committee’s chief executive, Tubby Reddy, had also approached three other cities in the country – Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg – to ascertain if there was any interest.
“In the vision driven by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula in which he is focusing on the growth of school sport in our country … we believe strongly the Youth Olympic Games will be a catalyst to showcase the work being done in our country and to ensure the kind of results we are looking for in 2020, 2024 and beyond,” Reddy said.
The tournament, he said, would cost about R250 million to host and it would be jointly funded by the national and provincial government, the city, IOC and Sascoc.
“You will notice that the demands to host a Youth Olympic Games are way below those of hosting the Olympic Games,” he said.
In May last year, the cabinet turned down a request by Sascoc to bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, saying the $50m (about R350m) required to bid for the event could be better spent on other needs, such as service delivery.
However, late last year spokesman for the Department of Sport and Recreation Paena Galane said Mbalula would ask the cabinet to reconsider its decision to turn down an opportunity to host the games after Durban successfully hosted the 123rd IOC Session.
The proposal is likely to be slammed by opposition parties and ratepayers following last year’s approval by the city’s executive committee of hosting the Top Gear festival in June.
The festival will cost R31m, and Durban signed the deal on condition that the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government footed half of the bill. This means that the festival will cost Durban’s ratepayers R15m over the next three years.
If Durban agreed to bid and the city was successful, Reddy said there would be no need for any additional facilities.
The deadline to submit the name of the bidding city is March 1, said Reddy.