Editorial | Please explain failure to grab action event
The failure by the sports, recreation, arts and culture committee to hold meetings in time to approve entering into an agreement with the organisers of a major sporting event that the city was bidding for has seen Nelson Mandela Bay miss out on a golden opportunity to both market itself and generate money in the metro.
The meeting was postponed twice, with the committee eventually only sitting on January 29. This meant the approval came too late for the mayoral committee to meet the February 15 deadline for the bid process.
Adding insult to injury, committee chair Lehlohonolo Mfana, when asked, refused to say why the meetings had been delayed.
The Fise World Series – an Olympic qualifying event – would have been held over two days in September and had the potential to attract tens of thousands of people to the metro, with the concomitant spending on accommodation, food and other things.
The event, which features BMX extreme cycling events, skateboarding, mountain biking, freestyle roller- and wake-boarding, attracted more than 200,000 people to Chengdu in China in 2018.
Do the sums – more than 300 competitors and their entourages, as well as thousands of spectators, would have seen a lot of money being spent in the city.
According to a study commissioned by the municipality, the total projected amount that would have been spent by the participants and spectators was more than R300m. That is not an amount to be sniffed at.
The real tragedy is that the event would have benefited disadvantaged areas in the Bay.
Besides the economic benefits, events of this nature are also free advertising for the metro.
So for the committee head to shrug off the meeting delays, with no explanation, smacks of total disregard for the people of the city.
She must please explain.