Johannesburg - Hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup could have contributed one percentage point to South Africa's economic growth this year. This is half a point higher than initially expected, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told an International Marketing Council function on Thursday night.
"We had forecast that the 2010 FIFA World Cup would add 0.5 percentage points to annual growth this year," Gordhan said. "When we take account of the spending on stadiums and infrastructure since 2006, we find that the level of gross domestic product is about 1% higher than it would have otherwise been," he said.
Most economists expect the World Cup to have contributed about 0.5 percentage points to growth this year, which is forecast to average between 2.7% and 3.2%.
The South African Reserve Bank forecasts a growth rate of 2.9% for 2010.
Gordhan said it was now time to build on the successes of the recently concluded soccer showpiece, which saw the delivery of multi-billion rand stadiums well ahead of kick-off.
Government plans to spend R261bn on infrastructure during this financial year, and about R300bn in the 2013 financial year.
In total, R846bn has been set aside for infrastructure development over the next three years.
More than 45% of the funds will be spent on electricity, freight rail and ports sector infrastructure.
"Investing significant resources in these sectors will ensure security of supply of electricity, improved quality of freight and shipping services and therefore growth in our exports, specifically mining and the manufacturing base," Gordhan said.
"National government put in some R33bn into preparations for the World Cup, investment that we saw as part of the long-term development plan for the country rather than funding a once-off event," he said.
He said there were three key lessons to be learnt from the delivery of World Cup projects, including that complex challenges should be divided into a number of clearly defined undertakings with budgets and cash flow, and that a "roles and responsibility matrix" should be developed.
"The 2010 FIFA World Cup had an immovable deadline that all parties had to work towards, and therefore an overall programme with individual project schedules, targets and deadlines was prepared," he said.
- I-Net Bridge
P.S : Notice how the world cup investment over 4 years pales in significance to overall infrastructure investment in even a 1 year period in South Africa.