May 24 - South Africa are hoping to make a decision by the end of the month about whether to bid or not for the 2020 Olympics or Paralympics, the country's leading official Sam Ramsamy has told insidethegames.
Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth have all expressed an interest in bidding for the Games but the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) are still waiting to hear whether the Government will back a campaign to try to become the first city in Africa to host the event.
There is strong support for a South African bid following the success of last year's FIFA World Cup there but Ramsamy insists that they will only put themselves forward if they have the full support of President Jacob Zuma.
"No city on its own can do it without Government support," said Ramsamy, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission that is overseeing preparations for next year's Games in London.
"We have done a presentation to the Government and are hopeful that they will make a decision by the end of this month.
"We have asked the cities to be patient with us.
"We are hopeful."
Under the bid procedures launched yesterday by the IOC, South Africa has until September 1 to nominate a city.
But they hope to be able to pick a city before the IOC holds its Session in Durban between July 4 and 9, which would be the ideal opportunity to impress visiting members and officials of the benefits of hosting a Games in the country.·
Tubby Reddy, the chief executive of SASCOC, knows the importance of the Session.
"It's a major opportunity," he said.
"Of the 115 IOC members who are coming, 99 per cent will be making the final decision [at the IOC Session] in Buenos Aires in 2013.
"That's why it is so important - impressions stay."
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