Speaker, the IFP is of the view that the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup in South Africa presented the nation with an opportunity to open itself up to the world. We prided ourselves on how we built stadia and roads while getting a pat on the back for a job well done from Fifa.
From that time until now, our stadia across the country are struggling to be self-sustaining, with large amounts of public funds being used to pay the maintenance fees. For instance, the Cape Town Stadium costs close to R50 million annually to be maintained, while it brings in only between R10 million and R12 million in revenue.
Instead of putting funds towards service delivery, funds are being used to maintain these white elephants.
In Durban eThekwini Municipality bought 15 000 tickets for R1,5 million to give away in an attempt to entice people to attend the games, while paying more to subsidise the remaining tickets. This action is misguided as it does not present a viable long-term solution, but it is a quick and wasteful means of spending public funds.
The cost of maintaining these stadia is an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer and plans must be put in place urgently to ensure that they become self-sustaining revenue streams. Plans should have been in place even before they were built. The euphoria is over. Yes, we felt the World Cup. It was here, but the mess it left behind is testament to what happens when we suspend common sense. We need a quick solution that will benefit our people, not this destructive kneejerk reaction to the problem.