National

'Afcon won't drain treasury'

Nickolaus Bauer

Pravin Gordhan has defended SA's hosting of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, claiming it would not overburden the treasury in strained economic times.

Fikile Mbalula during the Orange Afcon 2013 Preliminary Draw. (Gallo)

In his medium-term budget policy statement, the finance minister revealed that R461-million had been made available for the hosting of the tournament. R323-million of these funds had been allocated to national expenditure to address costs related to security, protocol and migration services.

An additional R15-million had been added to respective provincial budgets for health-related costs associated with the tournament's hosting and R123.1-million was added to local government allocations in host cities.

When challenged about the ­allocated expenses the treasury had set aside for the Africa Cup of Nations, Gordhan said all measures had been taken to ensure that the event would be delivered cost-effectively. "We tried to cut out as much of the vanity stuff as we can and get on with the game," he told reporters prior to delivering his speech in Parliament.

South Africa agreed to host next year's tournament after civil unrest in Libya led the Confederation for African Football to request a venue change.

Treasury officials added that the experience gained and infrastructure set up during the hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup would translate into a more cost-effective hosting of next year's tournament.

The Africa Cup of Nations will run from mid-January to early February.

See the rest of the M&G's medium-term policy statement coverage:

Government debt to rise as tax revenues wobble
Pravin Gordhan has offered some optimism for SA's economic outlook, despite his mid-term budget signalling plans for a rise in government debt.

Midterm budget: Government failing to create jobs
The midterm budget policy statement has revealed that the government is failing at creating jobs, outside of the expanded public works programme.

Midterm budget: Money put aside to revamp mining sector
In response to developments in mining, the medium-term budget policy sets out imperatives to modernise the industry and amend labour relations.

Development cash linked to delivery
The government wants more bang for its buck when it comes to provincial and local government infrastructure roll-out.

Midterm budget: Strikes cost economy dearly
The treasury says unrest has had a negative impact on growth, adding tax revenue will be lower as wildcat strikes are estimated to have cost R10bn.

Fighting talk from Pravin Gordhan
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tightened his belt, chided the country's critics and delivered a no-nonsense medium-term budget policy statement.


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