Nxesi: SA has infrastructural advantage in bidding to host 2023 Rugby World Cup

New Minister of Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi says the infrastructure is already in place to host another big event in 2023.

FILE: Thulas Nxesi, the Labour and Employment Minister. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – The new Minister of Sport and Recreation Thulas Nxesi says that the hosting of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 2023 could make a huge impact and leave a legacy in the country, much like the 2010 Soccer World Cup had.

Nxesi paid a visit to the headquarters of SA Rugby on Tuesday, his first since taking office a month ago.

He was met by SA Rugby President and CEO Mark Alexander and Jurie Roux.

Last year, former Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula fingered rugby as one of the sports in which transformation was not fast enough, he said they would not be allowed to bid for any international events.

However, SA Rugby seems set to now have government backing for the World Cup with a new Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report to be released in the coming weeks.

SA Rugby is confident that it will be allowed to push ahead with its World Cup bid.

Nxesi says the infrastructure is already in place to host another big event in 2023.

“It’s very important because today you’ve the stadia, which is a legacy. Of course, there has been some scandal about inflated prices by constructions companies, that’s a matter we’ve been dealing with from Public Works, together with the other ministers, as part of the team dealing with those issues.

“But you have the infrastructure.”

He says the cost of hosting a rugby world cup will not be a heavy burden like it was in 2010, but it could have a similar effect.

“I’m saying one of the major expenses which has always been an issue when we talk infrastructure is already there in South Africa. And I believe that it can leave a very huge legacy and it would make a huge impact like soccer did.”