Cape Town - The City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee is calling on council to support the upcoming Formula E racing set to take place next year around the Cape Town Stadium and Green Point Park.
The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile or International Automobile Federation) recently announced Cape Town as a new host city for its provisional FIA Formula E race calendar for the 2021/2022 season.
The committee said that Cape Town has already demonstrated its capabilities in hosting major international motor sporting events with the success of the FIA Rallycross Championship, the Extreme Festival National Championship (at Killarney), as well as the annual Drift City at the Grand Parade.
“Over the last two years we have been working hard behind the scenes within the administration and with the event organisers putting together all the requirements necessary for an event of this magnitude.
“Approval from council will allow us to begin the civil engineering works on the racetrack and ensure we can finalise all the logistics before the first-ever Formula E race on the African continent,” said mayor Dan Plato.
The proposed racetrack will be around the Green Point Park and Cape Town Stadium area.
Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, said: “We have already had great engagements with local residents and ratepayers’ association who are fully behind this race event coming to Cape Town.
“They share our belief that hosting this new exciting international event in a time when the event’s industry has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic could assist in the long run in reviving the struggling sectors.
“This event will help Cape Town create job opportunities for residents, business opportunities for local entrepreneurs and the hospitality sector, and benefit communities who are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic.
“The City notes the various issues raised by local civic and ratepayers’ associations around managing the event’s impact on residents during such a major event and these will be factored into the events approval,” Smith said.
The mayco says that with 24 cars run on 100% renewable energy and a major focus on alternative energy solutions, staging the Formula E in Cape Town will assist the City in raising awareness and taking action against the adverse effects of air pollution.
Additionally, as part of Cape Town E-Prix, Formula E will host a Climate Change Summit by the World Bank.
The event will also include local communities and schools to educate them about electric cars, how they can contribute to a sustainable future of mobility, and the impact of inner-city air pollution.
Plato added: “The City’s contribution to this race event is dwarfed in comparison to the return on investment from hosting such an established international sporting event. In the three years that Formula E has been hosted in Hong Kong, it has contributed approximately R1.5 billion to that economy.
“This benefits a wide range of business in the event chain including manufacturing and service industries.”
As per the executive mayor’s delegations, Plato has approved supporting the event with R2 million in cash subject to the event returning to the City for future tournaments, as per the recommendation by the Special Events Committee.
A further R2m will be provided in the form of services, on the above premise. Council is asked to approve support for the road infrastructure upgrades required to host the Formula E event.
Approval is sought for road upgrades in the race event footprint in the Green Point Precinct for the 2022/23 financial year.
The mayco argues that the upgrades, which will cost about R44m, will provide a long-term benefit to residents and reduce the need for future budget allocation to perform routine maintenance and upgrades.