PtG Article 09.07.2010

The cost of a World Cup

Hosting the World Cup will cost South Africa more than expected, but the country is still hopeful that the tournament will stimulate sectors of its economy.

The Local Organising Committee and its president Danny Jordaan has always been optimistic about the payoff of such an event on South Africa, but today, after the severe economic crisis, the bill suddenly seems a bit more difficult to pay.In total the World Cup will have cost R33bn ($4.3bn), according to official figures. The initial planned expenditure for stadium construction and renovation has practically doubled to reach R13bn ($1.7bn).  Besides stadia and infrastructure, security has been a big post on the South African World Cup budget, in order to persuade visitors worried about the country’s crime rate and ensure that everything would go by without problems. If the costs of preparing for the Africa’s first World Cup have soared, does that mean that the benefits will measure up to the investment?Economist Eric Barget argues that “It’s not the short-term benefits that count. We can only judge the 2010 World Cup’s success over the long term, when there will be more evidence of its role in the improvement of the country’s economic landscape.”

SOURCE: The Africa Report