Olympics go for cover
The statements by Olympic Bid Company chief executive, Chris Ball, that billions would pour into the SA economy should Cape Town stage the 2004 Olympic Games have been widely reported.
I wish to sound a note of caution based on a report in that most prestigious automotive publication, Automobile Year (Piccard, Switzerland 1994). In its world-wide survey of the Automotive industry, we read the following about Spain’s car manufacturing performance and prospects: “Drained by the expenditure on the Olympic Games and the Universal Exhibition in 1992, Spain became a country of record unemployment and found great difficulties in regaining economic stability. The automotive industry … was able to do little to assist as it battled with problems with Suzuki – Santana (the first Euro-Japanese company to admit to difficulties) and the even greater woes at SEAT (Spanish Fiat) …”
If Spain, with a far stronger economy and an infinitely more productive and less volatile labour situation than ours, was so devastated by the cost of staging the Olympics, what impact would a successful big for the 2004 Olympics have on the economy of South Africa in general and Cape Town in particular? The question is particularly relevant in the aftermath of the farcically chaotic Africa Games staged recently in Zimbabwe. Should we not be asking the city fathers of Montreal, still paying off huge debts decades after staging their Olympic Games, how advisable our bid is?
J C Swanneloe
NOCSA should tell us how the millions contributed by major companies to prepare our sportsmen and women for the Games in Atlanta were spent. I think the companies which donated the money also owe it to their share-holders to provide clarity. Above all, could we please be told what percentage of this money went to Grinaker Sports Management, the sole marketing agent for NOCSA – again an appointment which was not put out to tender.
Beating Dr Hall: a tribute to the truth
Congratulations on your tremendous success in the defamation case brought against you by Dr Hall. That his action was dismissed and that he was ordered to pay attorney-and-client costs is a tribute to the accuracy and truth of your writing and the broad mindedness of the judge.
You must have suffered great pecuniary loss by the action and I hope you will be able to resurrect noseWEEK. Wishing to associate myself with this aim in a small way, I enclose a R100 cheque with best wishes.
Thank you! – Ed.
Why, if South African taxpayers have paid so high a price to help save the ABSA banking group, were they not given a substantial share in that group which would now compensate for their investment and the risk? Why do the then shareholders benefit so handsomely, when it was they who put the bank in so precarious a position?
A C Gillett
See editorial – Ed.
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