By Sarah Botha
The R11 million South African expo centre in Beijing, aimed at promoting South Africa as the 2010 Soccer World Cup host, has “failed” according to The Times.
The hospitality centre, named Ekhaya (our home), was set up at the Westin hotel in Chaoyang and opened, a week late, on Friday, August 15. Invitations to dignitaries, which should have been sent a year ago, were only sent a week prior to opening.
Lance Greyling, spokesperson for the Independent Party (IP), commented saying, “We need to take a serious look at the kind of wasteful expenditure that has gone on around the Olympic Games.”
The expo was originally scheduled to run until the beginning of the Paralympics, which start on September 6.
Ekhaya spokesman, Manase Makwela admits, “Things haven’t gone the way we would have planned. I wouldn’t like to apportion blame.”
With South Africa using the Beijing Olympics as a platform to promote themselves as 2010 World Cup host, the poor management of the expo is worrying. Greyling said it was important to hold people accountable now so as to avoid these kinds of incidents occurring at the 2010 World Cup.