R20bn bonanza

02 March 2015 - 02:04
By David Isaacson
This is what the swimming venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, to be built at the Rachel Finlayson tidal pool, will look like
Image: SASCOC This is what the swimming venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, to be built at the Rachel Finlayson tidal pool, will look like

Hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will boost the economy by R20-billion, more than half of which will come from foreign visitors.

This is according to a report that forms part of the Durban 2022 Bid Book to be submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation in London this afternoon.

Durban is the only candidate for the Games, but the city must still produce a quality bid to win federation approval on September 2.

According to the economic impact report commissioned by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the Games will be a bonanza.

Benefits would include:

  • Generating total spend of R20-billion, which will translate into GPD growth of R11-billion;
  • Creating 11,650 jobs;
  • Training up a significant portion of the 10,000 volunteers, many of whom will be youth from rural areas;
  • Fast-tracking of government projects, such as housing development through the building of the athletes’ village and Durban’s public transport system;
  • Creating a “feel good” factor by replicating the carnival atmosphere of past Games; and
  • Reducing crime.

According to the report, the Games will attract up to 1.4- million visitors for the event, which is expected to run from July 18-30.

“The 2022 Commonwealth Games is expected to attract more international visitors than any previous Games, with up to 200,000 visitors expected over the duration of the Games,” the report says.

“These visitors will bring with them significant incremental spending to the economy, from purchasing tickets to travel costs, accommodation expenses, entertainment, meals and beverages, visiting local tourist attractions and procuring other goods and services.

“In total, international visitors are expected to contribute up to R12-billion in direct expenditure.”

The document added that when one included the investment in infrastructure, the Games was “expected to deliver up to R20- billion in output to the economy, translating into an 11-billion GDP growth”.

The R20-billion comprises R10.5-billion from direct spend (R5.8-billion to GDP), R6-billion from indirect spend (R3.3- billion to GDP) and R3.5-billion from induced output (R1.9- billion to GDP).

About 7,300 athletes will compete in 17 sports, 14 of which will be housed in a 2.5km radius around the Moses Mabhida stadium.

Some 1.3-million tickets will be sold for the events “at affordable average prices”, plus there will be fan parks.

The jobs created by the Games will include 4,400 paid positions directly linked to the showpiece, including 1,000 full-time employees of the organising committee.

The 10,000 volunteers will be made up of senior citizens and students.

Many of the younger volunteers “would be recruited (from rural and previously disadvantaged backgrounds) and trained in a manner which would equip these individuals with a sustainable level of skill which would increase their future employment opportunities”.

Another benefit to hosting the Games would be reducing crime.

“Significant investment in enhancing safety and security as well as implementing proactive policing mechanisms would have a positive impact in reducing the level of violence and crime across the country.”

One of the legacies of the Games would be the athletes’ village in Cornubia, which would see 1,750 housing units, capable of accommodating about 7,000 people.

Another would be Durban’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network, the plans of which have already been approved.

“The implementation of these plans coupled with significant planned capital investment will significantly enhance the public transport system in and around the city prior to 2022.

“The Games will leverage and greatly benefit directly from this investment which will enable a successful delivery of the Games.”

The report also talks about enhancing South Africa’s brand as a major events destination.

“This will further contribute to building upon the successful 2010 Fifa World Cup and in particular the ‘feel good’ experiences for all players, visitors and residents of South Africa.

“The opportunity of hosting the Games … will be a catalyst and a game-changer in the lives of many ordinary people.”