by Sainfo

Balancing the Books

National Treasury bails out AFCON

AFCON gets needed cash injection
AFCON Trophy.jpg

The National Treasury has allocated an extra R461.1 million for South Africa's hosting of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) football tournament, but no money will go towards "extravagances", says Deputy Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.

Speaking at a media briefing in Cape Town before Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan tabled his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament, Nene said he had ensured that spending on the tournament had been "cut to the bone".

Nene, who is the chairperson of the tournament's finance committee, said the new soccer stadiums built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup had made it much easier to finance the tournament.

He said hosting the AFCON would be a boon to the country, particularly given the role sport played in bringing South Africans together.

South Africa - which had only been scheduled to host the continental tournament in 2017 - had agreed to host the tournament in 2013 after the recent turmoil in Libya, the original 2013 host country.

Of the R461.1 million to be spent on the tournament, R323 million will go to national departments to cover costs associated with hosting the tournament, including security, protocol and migration services.

A further R15 million for health-related costs associated with hosting the tournament will be allocated to provinces, while R123.1 million will go to the host cities to cover various hosting costs.

Presenting his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, Gordhan said the February budget provided for an appropriation of R969.4 billion for 2012/13, which would come to R967.5 billion taking into account changes proposed in the Adjustments Appropriation Bill.

A total of R3 billion that will not be spent in 2012/13 has been declared as savings by national departments, while a further R1.5 billion of balances in 2011/12 will be ploughed back into the fiscus.

The main adjustments that have had to be made this year are for higher-than-expected salary increases, which amounted to R1.4 billion in national departments and R4 billion in provinces.


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