By Liam Morgan

Johnannesburg in Gauteng Province could be one of several cities in a nationwide South African 2024 Olympic bid ©Getty ImagesA nationwide bid for the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics is reportedly being considered by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), taking advantage of facilities throughout the country. 

Guateng Province, in which Johannesburg is located, Durban and Pretoria had previously been touted as potential host cities but it now appears South Africa is aiming to create history by staging the first Olympic Games to be held across several parts of the same country.

The development appears to be a direct consequence of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Agenda 2020 reform process, which opened up the possibility of bids being spread across more than one city to take advantage of existing venues.

Agenda 2020 was unanimously passed at an extraordinary IOC Session in Monte Carlo in December, although the practical repercussions of the changes agreed remain unclear. 

"The country now has taken a different view of it [an Olympic bid], taking more of a country approach than a provincial one," Ivor Hoff, head of sports at Gauteng Province, told Host

"Because of the new IOC bidding and hosting criteria, the country will take this into consideration."

Sam Ramsamy could present the idea to the South African parliament as early as next week ©Getty ImagesSam Ramsamy could present the idea to the South African parliament as early as next week ©Getty Images

Hoff feels there are many advantages to having an Olympic and Paralympic Games in several different cities and believes South Africa has the necessary understanding to stage the Games after they hosted the FIFA World Cup back in 2010.

"One city was quite a problematic approach, because it could potentially bankrupt that city," he said.

"A developmental country like South Africa could look at it more comprehensively with several cities - this would be much better for a developmental country.

"Based on a really positive 2010 FIFA World Cup, we've got a good understanding of how the country can benefit from hosting major events."

A presentation to the Government, led by South Africa's IOC member Sam Ramsamy, could be made next week as the country's Parliament is currently in recess.

"When Sam Ramsamy came back from Switzerland he reported he is going to make a presentation to the South African Parliament," Hoff added.

"Sam will make the presentation and decisions will be taken from there."

A South African Olympics and Paralympics could follow the FIFA World Cup staged in the country in 2010 ©Getty ImagesA South African Olympics and Paralympics could follow the FIFA World Cup staged in the country in 2010 ©Getty Images

Only Rome and Boston have officially announced their intention to stage the 2024 Games, although either Hamburg or Berlin is expected to be confirmed as a German contender soon.

Other cities - including Paris, Budapest, Doha and Baku - are still considering whether to enter the race.

The 2024 host city will be decided at the IOC Session in Lima, Peru, on 15 September 2017 and if South Africa's reported nationwide bid is chosen it would be the first time the Games would have been awarded to an African country.
Durban is also bidding to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games along with Edmonton, Canada, while South Africa is also seen as a possible bidder for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. 

But a potential African bid has also received backing from Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa President Lassana Palenfo, who told FrancsJeux such a bid would not be premature and that they should "go" for the 2024 Games. 

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