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Africa Unlikely To Host Olympics For 20 Years - IOC Official


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Whats the point in comparing the World Cup to the OG?

For years before the SWC we had to hear that the Cricket and Rugby WC were in no way near the scale of the WC,and we knew it, since we were not using those events as a benchmark to host 2010.

But those events were multi-city multi-venue events which large or small are the largest possible multi-city events a city can host to build a reputation in this regard.

I come back to the same question.

Can a South African city produce a bid of a technical standard to rival those who have hosted before it e.g. Rio, London or those who have bid before

A: Yes.

Can a South African city deliver successful Games in 2020?

A: Yes.

Will South Africa win in 2020?

A: Who knows...Africa might only actually win in the 2040's, there is no such guarantee.

Any South African city will be evaluated in the same way any other applicants are.

I certainly agree with you Mo about the capability of a SA bid to be technically strong and up to similar standards from previous bids. However I would like you to clarify how you can say that a South African city can deliver a successful games 10 years from now? What will define a successful SA games? Will it be lack of security concerns? Athletic success for the home team? An affordable development of urban, social, sporting and economic infrastructure for the successful bidding city? Fiscal and health benefits being spread throughout the local/national community? No white elephant venues? Better public transport? Thousands of international tourists engaging with the host city? Positive domestic and international political implications for South Africa? etc etc

If you were to look at every recent host city 10 years before they actually delivered their games it would have been a foolhardy pundit to tick all of these boxes so far out, and in hindsight a fool thereafter. Take as an example the social dislocation involved with Beijing's efforts to reconfigure the urban environment for the 2008 games. Or Sydney's inability to maximise either revenue or interest from international tourists after their 'best games ever' in 2000. Or Athen's simply lamentable legacy after 2004. Or Atlanta's security problems and transport issues during their games. None of these failings could have been predicted 10 years before their summer Olympics, so generally saying a SA city will host a successful SOGs in 2020 is generic wishful thinking. Hell, Brits, Russians and Brazilians would be just as fantastical in their thinking if they were to make such a general sweeping statement about their confirmed and much closer Olympics.

No one can deny that a South African bid for 2020 will merit serious contemplation and could win. However it is sheer hubris to look 10 years into the future and speculate that a South African SOGs will be successful across the board (just as it would be unsupportable to say they would be a failure).

And as for any SA bid being evaluated as any other candidate would be that won't happen. Like any subjective process there will be biases inbuilt into the IOC's evaluation plus either consciously or subconsciously the whole issue of 'awarding the games to Africa' will shape the membership's attitudes. We're not talking about a bid which is utterly context-free, outside of any influence bar the physical structures and cost of hosting a games. A SA bid will exploit and will be exploited as 'the African bid' which will clearly differentiate it from Rome and any other candidates. No games has been awarded to a bidding city and NOC on a level evaluation field; they have been consistently shaped or interpreted by the grey eminences of the IOC who have their own agenda away from thoughts of probity and equality.

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But so what? That argument is specious.

Did Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney, Athens '04 (OK, Atlanta had the 1988 Democractic convention) have anything close in scale to hosting a World Cup? Yet they won and staged the Summer Games.

And isn't the whole point of test events the year before to fine tune the host for the real thing?

To me, that argument doesn't hold. And El Motakwal really has her own ax to grind.

Can't decide whether you actually don't have a clue or you are just pretending not to understand.

1- Not denying South-Africa could host 2020: don't have a clue at the moment

2- Hosting the Games requires: know-how (South-Africa has it, as demonstrated again during the WC) + infrastructure (on a completely different scale than the one needed for the WC as proved by the few figures posted).

The question is: can a South-African city have the infrastructure needed by 2020 with a reasonable risk level and with a legacy that will meet the cities long-term needs? My whole point is that the fact that SF successfully hosted the 2010 WC doesn't answer to that question.

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Hosting the Games requires: know-how (South-Africa has it, as demonstrated again during the WC) + infrastructure (on a completely different scale than the one needed for the WC as proved by the few figures posted).

The question is: can a South-African city have the infrastructure needed by 2020 with a reasonable risk level and with a legacy that will meet the cities long-term needs?

With the knowledge as you say they have, from having hosted a successful WC, I don't see why the necessary infrastructure for an Olympix can't be built up with a 7-10 years leadtime? Will whichever RSA city is chosen suddenly get a brain short-circuit, say halfway thru the 7-year lead-up time, and then completely halt infrastructure schedule? :blink: Not unless they want to purposely embarrass the IOC.

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1. What will define a successful SA games?

2.Will it be lack of security concerns? Athletic success for the home team?

3.An affordable development of urban, social, sporting and economic infrastructure for the successful bidding city?

4. Fiscal and health benefits being spread throughout the local/national community? No white elephant venues? Better public transport? Thousands of international tourists engaging with the host city?

5. Positive domestic and international political implications for South Africa? etc etc

6. And as for any SA bid being evaluated as any other candidate would be that won't happen. Like any subjective process there will be biases inbuilt into the IOC's evaluation plus either consciously or subconsciously the whole issue of 'awarding the games to Africa' will shape the membership's attitudes. We're not talking about a bid which is utterly context-free, outside of any influence bar the physical structures and cost of hosting a games. A SA bid will exploit and will be exploited as 'the African bid' which will clearly differentiate it from Rome and any other candidates. No games has been awarded to a bidding city and NOC on a level evaluation field; they have been consistently shaped or interpreted by the grey eminences of the IOC who have their own agenda away from thoughts of probity and equality.

1. A successful Games will be Games that are;

a. Delivered well withing the timeframes to ensure test events can fully test venues and the transport concept

b. Games that are delivered as per IOC requirements in terms of operations, logistics, marketing etc. Which extends as far as suitable security and a reasonably incident free event as per the WC.

2. Athletic success for the home team forms a great part of the overall success of the event, but I am currently only focussing on the technical aspects i.e. can South Africa build the venues (sport and non-sport) to meet IOC requirements, on time and host sound Games.

3. Without a doubt the key legacies will extend beyond venues. Any South African city will need to build at least 20,000 rooms in media or housing villages which would aligned with the need for housing across income groups.

4. I don't anybody can assure you of no-white elephant venues, thats up to the OCOG and government, but it comes down to "build what you need", which any previous venues proposal of mine is built on.

Along with accommodation and sports venues, better public transport will be the key legacy. Since the event will be city wide, Cape Town e.g. can align its rail network, which needs new trains, with its current IRT system being developed in phases. It would simply mean new trains sooner, and an acceleration of the BRT system, providing an extensive network, which go as far as providing both inter-hub transport and inter-venue transport when moving between almost any venue.

The Games create a fixed deadline which is vital.

5. Naturally.

6. Well obviously. First step is the applicant phase which involves technical aspects. If any South African city moves beyond this phase its all glamour, lobbying, sexy presentations, geo-politics.

So in terms of the technical aspects of the Games....can enough buses be provided, are transport times reasonable, will the IBC/MPC work or being convenient for the media, will venues be up to scratch, will enough trains be in place, with accommodation be delivered, etc etc.

Yes.

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The question is: can a South-African city have the infrastructure needed by 2020 with a reasonable risk level and with a legacy that will meet the cities long-term needs? My whole point is that the fact that SF successfully hosted the 2010 WC doesn't answer to that question.

Yes and yes and with a risk level in terms of Games operations that does not require major travel times between venues using infrastructure not in place e.g. Rio.

I can mainly answer questions relating to Cape Town, so please, ask questions, state your concerns with regards to the city, request info etc.

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OK, Nawal may have rendered an 'eminence grise' opinion...but at the same time, she did her continent a disservice by selling it short. She may be in a position to judge relative merits...but she is someone who can NOT foretell the future. And just as maybe she should be given the benefit of the doubt if she is to be credible, then so should she have given an African candidate its due benefit of doubt. It's not like we're talking Abuja or Mogadishu here.

I truly hope South Africa proves this woman incorrect.

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OK, Nawal may have rendered an 'eminence grise' opinion...but at the same time, she did her continent a disservice by selling it short. She may be in a position to judge relative merits...but she is someone who can NOT foretell the future. And just as maybe she should be given the benefit of the doubt if she is to be credible, then so should she have given an African candidate its due benefit of doubt. It's not like we're talking Abuja or Mogadishu here.

I truly hope South Africa proves this woman incorrect.

Fair comment Baron but when you say that Nawal is selling 'her' continent short I think you're guilty (as we all can be) about putting too much emphasis on her 'African-ness'. I suspect now she is in the IOC clun she considers herself no longer an African but now separate from her continental affiliation. And let's not forget every IOC member is not 'from' the specific country but 'in' (hence Nawal is the IOC member in Morocco, JR is the IOC member in Belgium etc etc). There is a supra-national sense when it comes to the IOC that at least ideologically puts itself and the membership both above nation and continent (hence such ludicrous positions as the IOC UN Permanent Observer Mario Pescante). And just like a NATO, IMF, OECD, UN and any other quasi-autonomous bodies the IOC considers itself never beholden to its constituency (whether that be the IFs, the NOCs or the nation states that help fund participation of teams at the games), but instead follows a path bent of acquiring at best relevance and at worst power and the associated benefits of wealth and ego-massaging. Nawal is arguably no longer a citizen of Morocco or of Africa when it comes to the politics of bids and global sporting events, she is a potentate in that nation sans frontieres called the IOC. This hypothesis would certainly validate the supposedly disloyal comments she has made against Africa in toto insofar she is warding off the encroachments of that other big supra-national sporting organisation FIFA in setting global sports agendas. Whether this is off her own bat or as a mouthpiece for others within the IOC is something we may never discover (though I lean to the later).

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Fair comment Baron but when you say that Nawal is selling 'her' continent short I think you're guilty (as we all can be) about putting too much emphasis on her 'African-ness'. I suspect now she is in the IOC clun she considers herself no longer an African but now separate from her continental affiliation. And let's not forget every IOC member is not 'from' the specific country but 'in' (hence Nawal is the IOC member in Morocco, JR is the IOC member in Belgium etc etc). There is a supra-national sense when it comes to the IOC that at least ideologically puts itself and the membership both above nation and continent (hence such ludicrous positions as the IOC UN Permanent Observer Mario Pescante). And just like a NATO, IMF, OECD, UN and any other quasi-autonomous bodies the IOC considers itself never beholden to its constituency (whether that be the IFs, the NOCs or the nation states that help fund participation of teams at the games), but instead follows a path bent of acquiring at best relevance and at worst power and the associated benefits of wealth and ego-massaging. Nawal is arguably no longer a citizen of Morocco or of Africa when it comes to the politics of bids and global sporting events, she is a potentate in that nation sans frontieres called the IOC. This hypothesis would certainly validate the supposedly disloyal comments she has made against Africa in toto insofar she is warding off the encroachments of that other big supra-national sporting organisation FIFA in setting global sports agendas. Whether this is off her own bat or as a mouthpiece for others within the IOC is something we may never discover (though I lean to the later).

I comprehend your explanation; and true, it is very possible, she has been made the mouthpiece for a broadside against FIFA and M. Blatter. So now I ask: is the IOC nervous that the 2010 WC came off so well...for them/certain factions in there to cause someone (like Nawal) to fire off such a 'loaded' statement? And what does it really accomplish?

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I comprehend your explanation; and true, it is very possible, she has been made the mouthpiece for a broadside against FIFA and M. Blatter. So now I ask: is the IOC nervous that the 2010 WC came off so well...for them/certain factions in there to cause someone (like Nawal) to fire off such a 'loaded' statement? And what does it really accomplish?

Baron, I think in the world of "keeping up with the (sporting) Jones's" FIFA has stolen a march on the IOC with the WC in South Africa, and this must irk the membership. After all when it comes to global sport brands the Olympics and Football/Soccer are the two titans, particularly when it comes to broadcast rights, advertising and sponsorship, government support and political power. And whilst the IOC has successfully inveigled itself into China and Asia FIFA and Sepp Blather has stolen a march ideologically as well as perhaps commercially by getting off the ground in Africa. Unlike the IOC FIFA is already strong in South America and can and will catch up in North America. And if things pan out we could see a China 2026 WC. On the other hand the IOC has one big hole in its global market; Africa. Therefore I believe the IOC has in Cold War parlance found itself in a space race, trying to find new territories to explore and exploit. Methinks Africa always will be on the agenda of the IOC however with WC2010 being quite successful the mandarins in Lausanne must be wondering if they have to react to FIFA instead of push their own agenda and award a games to an African host when the IOC deems it is appropriate.

To complicate matters further you have the anomalous situation where FIFA's head is a mere rank and file member of the IOC however his sport is arguably one of the four or five most important competitions at the SOGs in terms of venues and spectator numbers. Plus FIFA is arguably as powerful as a global sports organisation. No other sport at the SOGs has the 'privilege' of opening before the actual Opening Ceremony or being played at multiple locations away major stadia in other cities than the host. All during the wily old falangist's era you had Joao Havelange jockeying for power and prominence for his sport both within the Olympic movement and in the global market, and now Sepp is doing the same with Jacques. JR on the other hand can't be seen to be attacking Blather and FIFA now as their sport and their organisation's cachet has been enhanced by WC2010. Hence the role of Nawal as a Trojan Quisling...she is reminding the world that the World Cup is no big thing compared to the academically studied SOGs. She can get away with saying this because of her position in the IOC, her experience, her supposed 'African-ness' and ultimately her not being JR.

What does it gain anyone/accomplish...well probably bugger all in the short run. FIFA and Sepp and South Africa have had their moment of triumph and will undoubtedly trade off this until Brazil 2014. By 2012-13 the London SOGs will be on everyone's radar and/or the race for 2020 will really be on and comments from 2 years ago will probably be lost in newspaper archives and Google search results. Nawal's comments may sober up or even intimidate some South African 2020 bid boosters, on the other hand it may provoke them. However more immediate and local pressures (as seen in some of the posts about Durban and CT) will currently dominate developing bids in SA for 2020 now, rather than Nawal's observations. Meanwhile JR is mouthing the right public platitudes about how good WC2010 was and how he'd welcome a bid (which is after all the meat and potatoes for the IOC's gaping commercial and publicity maw) and Nawal is seen as a 'plain speaking/honest broker' by some observers. It's a zero sum gain, which in effect will leave everyone in status quo pro ante.

Now as for something I'd like to question; if a SA bid goes ahead for 2020 and loses should Nawal accept responsibility for issuing a provocative statement?

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Fair comment Baron but when you say that Nawal is selling 'her' continent short I think you're guilty (as we all can be) about putting too much emphasis on her 'African-ness'. I suspect now she is in the IOC clun she considers herself no longer an African but now separate from her continental affiliation. And let's not forget every IOC member is not 'from' the specific country but 'in' (hence Nawal is the IOC member in Morocco, JR is the IOC member in Belgium etc etc). There is a supra-national sense when it comes to the IOC that at least ideologically puts itself and the membership both above nation and continent (hence such ludicrous positions as the IOC UN Permanent Observer Mario Pescante). And just like a NATO, IMF, OECD, UN and any other quasi-autonomous bodies the IOC considers itself never beholden to its constituency (whether that be the IFs, the NOCs or the nation states that help fund participation of teams at the games), but instead follows a path bent of acquiring at best relevance and at worst power and the associated benefits of wealth and ego-massaging. Nawal is arguably no longer a citizen of Morocco or of Africa when it comes to the politics of bids and global sporting events, she is a potentate in that nation sans frontieres called the IOC. This hypothesis would certainly validate the supposedly disloyal comments she has made against Africa in toto insofar she is warding off the encroachments of that other big supra-national sporting organisation FIFA in setting global sports agendas. Whether this is off her own bat or as a mouthpiece for others within the IOC is something we may never discover (though I lean to the later).

I think you could certainly exclude old JAS from that assessment.He was very definitely chief IOC cheerleader for his home country Spain (as well as being Chief IOCer)! ;)

As for Nawal's statement about Africa...I confess I am taken aback by it.I don't necessarily believe she is engaging in some sort of Machiavellian manoeuvering to make sure Morocco gets first bite of the African cherry but at the same time I can't help wondering why,at this stage,she is prepared to be so dismissive of South Africa's chances.It would be interesting to hear her elaborate more on her reasons for making these comments!

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I really didn't interpret Nawal El Moutawakel's comments as being anti-South Africa. I think she was just offering a much needed reality check -- not just for Africa, but for the IOC and for other bidding nations.

If South Africa chooses to jump into the 2020 race, they need to do so with their eyes wide open. With Rio's victory, all the talk about new frontiers, and Rogge pushing so hard for an African bid, it would be possible for South Africa to become overly optimistic and lose sight of the fact that the Olympics pose a significant challenge.

SImilarly, how many IOC members have jumped on Rogge's bandwagon and started thinking "There's only one continent left to cross off the list"? They too need to be reminded that WC success does not automatically translate into a guarantee of Olympic success. That doesn't mean South Africa can't host the Games. It just means that the 2010 World Cup is not proof that they can.

Finally, how many prospective bid cities started thinking "Any African bid is a shoo-in. Look at Rio. Listen to Rogge. Maybe there's no point in bidding." GB even carried a story about Japan being wary of Africa's aspirations. It is important for these other prospective bidders to remember that the presence of an African bid does not mean other bidders would be wasting their time and money by jumping into the race. (The presence of a technically solid African bid WOULD mean they'd be wasting their time and money....).

I got the sense that Nawal was just trying to get everybody to slow down. A technically solid bid is not going to be easy for any African city. Nawal's timeframe may or may not be correct, but the spirit of her statement was one of thoughtful practicality -- not petty pessimism. The worst case scenario for all concerned would be premature African Olympics that fall far short of the standards set by previous hosts. I applaud Nawal for speaking so directly.

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Why would an African Olympics in South Africa fall short? premature...?

If South Africa does get to host at some stage it will become a national priority like all other previous events and I have no doubt it would be a success if an appropriate ticketing strategy is formulated.

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Why would an African Olympics in South Africa fall short? premature...?

If South Africa does get to host at some stage it will become a national priority like all other previous events and I have no doubt it would be a success if an appropriate ticketing strategy is formulated.

Mo -- for starters, I'd really love to see the Games in Africa. Take that as a given.

Here's a parallel scenario: some wanted to send the 1996 Games to Athens, but Athens clearly was not ready. Had the IOC gone with sentiment rather than practical reality, a 1996 Athens Games could have been an embarrassment to both the host and the IOC. (As it turned out, Atlanta didn't exactly do a bang up job, but I digress....)

Similarly, South Africa should get the Games when they are really ready. If the IOC gives the Games to South Africa (or Istanbul or Delhi or any number of other places) before they are able to comfortably satisfy the technical requirements of staging an Olympics, the Games could be an embarrassment. Nobody wants to see Games that make Africa look bad. We all want to see African Games that are a huge success.

I don't know enough about your country to know if they will be ready for 2020 or not. This is something that they must prove if they enter the race. Neither SA nor the IOC can afford to get swept up in sentiment over this one.

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Comparing South Africa to Athens (1996) is apples & oranges.

Granted, the World Cup is not the Olympics, but it is a very clear & good indicator of South Africa's capabilities. Not to mention all the other international sporting events that the country has hosted.

Besides, going to Africa would always be a "sentimental" vote, regardless of how capable the bid is. Just like it was going to Athens for 2004, Beijing for 2008, Sochi for 2014 & Rio for 2016. An African vote wouldn't be any different.

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There are perhaps a handful of cities that are "ready" and even in those cases infrastructure like an OV and/or MV is likely to be required in the absence of freely available University Residences.

The issue is not whether South Africa can deliver the venues, accommodation, transport, safety etc. Time and time again South Africa has delivered, and the Olympic Games would be no different.

I'm always open to discuss a South African Olympics or Cape Town in the technical context you speak of, so fire away.

One of the major risks is Accommodation, which is partially mitigated by the supply of University Residences in Cape Town along with the option of cruise ships.

This risk on the other hand is potentially one of the greatest legacies given the housing backlog in Cape Town.

Rio's 25,000 room media villages across the city, while a large risk, present a great legacy, the alternative being an oversupply of hotels.

The second is ticketing and attendance. Without a proper ticketing strategy venues will be empty. It will require an entirely new approach with the focus being on breadth not depth, i.e. the coverage. Can tickets be made available widely. Young sports people given free tickets. Reduced "student" ticket prices. A large government subsidy for certain devleopment goals. etc.

Cape Town is compact. There are links between sites and venues in terms of rail or bus. The airport already has a planned future expansion beyond the World Cup expansion, with an existing bus link to be supplemented by a rail link soon.

At peak during the WC, the Central City, a vital component if Cape Town ever bids, had hundreds of thousands in this area, going to the match and in the surrounds.

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Sigh!

I feel a bit like Bad Santa stealing away all the presents when I argue against South Africa's 2020 chances here, and like AthensFan (and as I've said often enough before), nothing would make me happier than to see SA emerge as a powerful contender and winner of that hosting.

But the way I see it is this.

All bids and selections are risks - be they London, Paris and New York or Rio, Durban and Delhi. Some are more widely perceived "risks" than others, and would always be scrutinised more heavily on that front. It may not be fair or accurately reflect real capabilities, but it would be so. And as well as that, bids from the Rios or CT/Durbans or Delhis of the world will also inevitably be more heavily scrutinised around the world within the context of social legacy, responsibility and sustainability than "First Worlder" hostings. Germany's 2006 World Cup hosting, for example, didn't spark the rush of international articles and features pondering whether it was a wise and beneficial and socially responsible investment for the nation, as South Africa 2010 did. Or that Rio will or even has sparked compared to London.

If you look at the state of the Commonwealth Games at the moment, with the train wreck of Delhi looming, I'd be pretty sure the CGF are now far more reassured that they have Glasgow in their pocket already as their next hosting, than if they had gone with Abuja. Again, fairly or unfairly and reflective of reality on the ground or not, Glasgow would surely be perceived in many circles as a far securer insurance policy for the future of the CGF than Abuja would seem to offer straight after Delhi now.

Just a year ago exactly, a strong sentiment on this board, and in the world media, and in the bookies markets, was that the IOC was a risk adverse organisation that would unlikely stray beyond "alpha" cities with highly developed and advanced infrastructure and had the resources and wherewithall to provide new and impressive sports venue facilities just for the games. Rio was always perceived as more of a a leap of faith than the others. In the wash-up, the IOC took that leap of faith. There is still strong debate here and elsewhere on the wisdom of that decision, and there will continue to be so till 2016. I hope and expect Rio will put on a spectacular and successful games, and I sure hope and expect the lead-up to its games will be smoother and more transparent than Delhi is having now. But its still far to early to be sure if it will be so. So many things could sour. If, God Forbid, in early 2016 things don't seem so rosy and secure, I would guess that the IOC would be happier to have the likes of a Rome or Tokyo or Madrid or Berlin their back pocket for the handover ceremony than, I'm sorry to say, Durban. I don't doubt that Durban would be just as capable of hosting the games as those earlier cities, but if the preparations and execution of 2016 ended up becoming mired in worries and recriminations and pointed questioning of the the IOC's decision to go there, such worries would transfer greater pressure and scrutiny on an upcoming South African hosting than an upcoming French or Italian or Japanese one. Maybe not fair, but it would be so.

I think there is a strong appetite for the Games to go to Africa, and it was inevitable that in the immediate euphoria post this year's World Cup, the notion was going to fire a lot of enthusiasm. But the debate that the likes of Nawal are now sparking was inevitable too - social responsibility and sustainability are the issues South Africa is going to have to address head-on in any campaign it mounts in the near future. Eventually, I think it will win. But I think the ground and expectations are now being prepared that it's not going to be immediately.

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