SA has good case in World Cup bid

SARU CEO Jurie Roux
Picture: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

2023 rugby tournament could eclipse all others

A low risk tournament in terms of security and financial exposure‚ and a high earning yield are key elements of the SA Rugby Union’s impressive Rugby World Cup 2023 bid that was formally presented in Dublin this week.

Less than a month after receiving the government’s official support to bid for RWC 2023‚ Saru presented its bid book with high expectations.

Saru shied away from emotion in the dossier‚ rather letting the facts and figures tell the story of a tournament that could eclipse all others if it is held in South Africa in six years’ time.

“South Africa will be the most profitable World Cup ever because we will be able to produce the tournament at 50% of the cost of any of the European bids‚” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said.

“If you look at price parity‚ we are one-third of Europe.

“In other words‚ a tourist will be able to come to South Africa for three weeks for the equivalent cost of one week in Europe.

“There is no compromise in quality because our hotel rooms are of the same standards, but double the size.

“Our bid is based on six points – the best facilities‚ the biggest profit‚ a beneficial cost advantage (price parity)‚ a country advantage in that we are a rugby country and embrace the sport, a unique experience country due to all the tourist attractions away from the event‚ and we’re a major event country because we have successfully hosted the football‚ rugby and cricket World Cups.”

SA’s bid exceeds just about all of World Rugby’s requirements for staging the global showpiece, largely thanks to the legacy of hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Stadiums‚ hotels‚ airports and other infrastructure are well in place, along with other considerations such as security issues that are plaguing Europe at the moment‚ which combine to advance South Africa’s case.

“The building blocks are already in place‚” Roux‚ who presented the book with SA’s Irish ambassador, Ahlangene Cyprian Sigcau‚ said.

“No infrastructure spend would be required and the economic impact study we have commissioned from Grant Thornton has a good news story to tell South Africa.

“We predict that hosting Rugby World Cup 2023 would have a R27.3-billion direct‚ indirect and induced economic impact on South Africa.

“[A total of] R5.7-billion would flow into low-income households, 38 600 temporary or permanent jobs would be sustained and there’d be an estimated R1.4-billion tax benefit to the government.” The final hurdle in Saru’s path was to have full government endorsement‚ which Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi granted earlier this month.

“If I were to draw on my experiences from the soccer World Cup in 2010‚ in terms of nation building‚ we saw both black and white in the stands supporting Bafana Bafana and enjoying the football‚” Nxesi said. “The legacy of that tournament‚ among black and white‚ is very important.

“A big part of that legacy is the stadia that were built‚ which means that we have the necessary infrastructure in place.”

The bid is up against Ireland and France. Both are northern hemisphere bids‚ which also makes the South African bid attractive.

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