Afcon going to cost Mandela Bay ratepayers R18-million

The cost to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Nelson Mandela Bay has grown to R43-million – R9-million more than the municipality initially anticipated.

A report in The Herald this morning indicates that National government is expected to fund the additional sum, but the municipality is still awaiting confirmation from national Treasury.

This means the municipality would have to fork out more than R18-million in total for the tournament, as the Eastern Cape government has already pledged R15.4-million.

In a report to the sports, recreation, arts and culture portfolio committee, which will meet today, executive director Zolile Siswana wants councillors to approve almost R12-million from the municipality’s operating budget for the event. The remaining R7-million – to upgrade the training grounds at the Wolfson Stadium – is already budgeted for in the city’s 2012/13 capital budget.

Siswana said his department was informed by the national Treasury and the national Department of Sports that the total cost of the tournament “will be in excess of R43-million . . . more than the initial projections by [the municipality] of approximately R34-million”.

“At this stage [the municipality] can only source funding from government and will also receive a portion of ticket sales revenue. The municipality would pocket 25% of ticket sales. Total revenue from ticket sales is expected to be between R1.5-million and R4.2-million and it would be distributed between the provincial government and the SA Football Association.

Siswana said yesterday that there “was an indication from national government that they will fund the shortfall”.

“We are waiting for Treasury to send a letter to commit the funding,” Siswana said.

Up to 200 temporary jobs will be created at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for every match day. The metro will host five group matches.