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Durban ratepayers will have to pay R20 million to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament next year and R1.3m for the visit soon of Manchester United.
After months of uncertainty, the eThekwini Municipality announced that the province would pay a further R14m, and the national government would foot the remainder of the bill with Afcon’s local organising committee (LOC).
In an interview last month on the likely costs that the eThekwini Municipality would incur hosting Afcon, Mayor James Nxumalo said: “We hope the city won’t pay more than R10m.”
Addressing the city’s executive committee, deputy health and social services manager Musa Gumede said the financial implications were finalised after LOC delegates visited Durban for a site inspection last month.
Led by committee chief executive, Mvuzo Mbebe, the delegates inspected local hotels and stadiums to determine
their suitability to be part of the event.
“The budget was finalised and we came up with a figure that we believe is the final budget,” Gumede said, adding that the province had committed to chip in towards the overall costs. “We’re hoping that the national government will contribute R14m towards the event
Three other municipalities, Mbombela (Nelspruit), Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg, will also be hosting the tournament, scheduled to run from January 19 to February 10.
Gumede said Durban would also bid to host the Afcon soccer teams draw, which would take place in October.
“The cost of the draw has not been finalised and will be split between the city and the province,” he said.
Appealing to opposition parties to support the event, municipal manager S’bu Sithole said all parties should “close ranks when we put something that is in the best interest of the city”.
DA caucus leader, Tex Collins, urged city officials to not lose sight of the bigger picture, and to take cognisance of the fact that ratepayers would be funding the event.
However, the acting city manager for sustainable development, Phillip Sithole, said such events were generating revenue and promoting Durban globally.
Having failed to secure the R3.5m Vodacom Challenge, a four-team event that would have seen Soweto arch-rivals Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs and their Pretoria neighbours Supersport United and English Premier League team Newcastle United battling it out at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the city had now turned its focus to another football tournament – the President’s Cup.
The event, to be played on July 18 – on Nelson Mandela’s birthday – will see English Premier League club and the most supported team in the world, Manchester United, going up against Amazulu.
It was announced on Tuesday that the staging of the event would not exceed R14m, which will be shared by the city of Durban (R1.3m), the province (R3.9m) while media company Primedia, which will represent Manchester United’s interest, will pay the balance.
In a tabled document yesterday, Sithole said the R1.3m was required for the stadium costs and a gala dinner.
He said the game would generate international exposure for both the city and province and would be broadcast by more than 100 television stations across the world.