By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
SPORTS minister, Fikile Mbalula has advised SASCOC to speedily decide on a city which they will present to the International Olympics Committee as the bidding city for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking during the South African Sports Confederations and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) media briefing in which the organisation’s president, Gideon Sam unveiled their 2012 Olympic Games’ preparations plan, Mbalula said SASCOC need tackle this issue as soon as possible so that the government can be in the right position to plan the way forward.
Three cities, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have shown an interest to bid for the rights to host the competition come 2020.
“It is so ironic that we have three cities which have all of a sudden developed interest to host these Olympic Games. We all know that Durban was the only city which showed interest soon after a successful world cup in the country, and now all of a sudden Eastern Cape and Gauteng are interested,” said Mbalula who has however made it clear that he has no specific city at his heart as his favourite to bid as the hosts.
”I am not in favour of Durban, all I am saying is that they were the first to show interest, and the sooner SASCOC decide on this matter the better because the last time when we met with the president of the IOC Jacques Rogge, he made it clear that we need to speed up the process of deciding our rightful city candidate,” said Mbalula.
With Durban hosting the IOC for their 123rd Session from July 1 to 9, their chances of winning the bid are well balanced as they will be able use the occasion to drum up support for a bid.
The IOC will decide on the country to host the competition in September this year. The next Olympic Games will be hosted in South America’s Rio de Janeiro in 2016