South Africa's Gauteng Province will bid for the 2024 Olympic Games if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) allows regions, as oppose to just cities, to host the event as part of changes under the Agenda 2020 reform.
Gauteng's Minister for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Molebatsi Bopape, revealed the Province's plans during a press briefing at the SportAccord IF Forum here.
Bopape, who is being advised by the Lausanne-based TSE Consulting on Gauteng's bidding strategy, is attending the IF Forum, and the Smart Cities & Sport Summit event tomorrow in the Olympic capital, to talk to international sports federations about other potential events to bid for.
"I want to convince the Conference that I have taken all the effort to come here and give what we have.
"Gauteng would be more than ready with the infrastructure, the airport [the O. R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg], and it's not only an airport, it's the main airport in the whole of Africa."
Gauteng, South Africa's most populous Province and the economic hub of the country, has demonstrated its strength as a sport event and conference host and its commitment to hosting international events over the last few years, not least of which through its staging of matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in its capital Johannesburg.
The Province also contains Pretoria, South Africa's administrative capital, and has a population of more than 12 million, the biggest in the country.
"There won't be any competition by virtue of the infrastructure development that we have in place," said Bopape, when asked about a potential rival bid from Durban.
South Africa's only previous bid for the Olympics and Paralympics came from Cape Town, who were in the race for the 2004 Games.
But Cape Town made it through to the last three, before the event was awarded to Athens ahead of Rome.
TSE Consulting will assist Gauteng in continuing to strengthen its relationships with the international sports community and to further position it as a leader in regards to knowledge and experience in sports event hosting in South Africa and the surrounding region.
Lars Haue-Pedersen, managing director of TSE Consulting, said: "We look forward to working with Gauteng Province as they refocus their efforts as a sport event and conference destination.
"South Africa marked its presence in the industry through the hosting of the FIFA World Cup, and the role that Gauteng Province will play in the coming years will certainly continue to increase."
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