BIDDING TO HOST AFCON
KwaZulu-Natal December 7, 2018
THE prospect of South Africa taking over from Cameroon as the host of next year’s African Cup of Nations football tournament will be of interest to the country’s sports community and taxpayers alike.
Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host the 24-team event next June by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) because of poor preparation. South Africa, Morocco and Angola are reportedly now in the running to be “rescue host”, with South Africa viewed as the best option not only by Caf but by the SA Football Association (Safa). Safa president Danny Jordaan is reported as saying that Caf desperately wants a “plug and play option and South Africa is right now the perfect Plan B”. He elaborated: “Our stadia hosted the World Cup. It’s the highest level of requirement for any event in the world and we delivered in 10 World Cup stadia. Now, we need six, so we are not going to spend a penny. We are not going to put a brick there, everything is in place. There’s infrastructure costs and operational costs.”
The last sentence of this comment is what should be of particular interest to taxpayers because the government is going to be called on to contribute towards those costs.
Jordaan reportedly does not think there will be a problem convincing the government supposedly to help African brothers in a time of need.
However, the government may well need to be reminded that charity begins at home and there are much bigger priorities on the books.
There are certainly two sides to this Afcon debate, but taxpayers have a right to know about any expenditure by the government, the exact amounts involved, and the justification for it.
The government, and South Africans in general, can’t afford another own goal, on top of load shedding.