If it all goes well, Cape Town could soon host a new international motorsport event.
This was announced at a media briefing on Wednesday June 5 at the Cape Town Stadium by Mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, to outline the City’s events calendar for the rest of the year.
Mr Plato said the City had been approached by the Cape Town Formula E Consortium about the possibility of bringing the Formula E to the city.
Formula E, endorsed by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), is a class of motorsport that uses only electric-powered cars and has been operational since 2014.
He said the consortium would undertake a feasibility study this month to test the practicality of hosting this event in Cape Town.
He said in the three years that Formula E had been hosted in Hong Kong, it had contributed approximately R1.4 billion to that economy.
“While we are excited to present this event to the residents of Cape Town, we have not yet taken a decision and our residents will be asked to give their input once the feasibility study hopefully confirms that we can indeed host Formula E in our beautiful city. We will follow all the stringent procedures and requirements that we have in place for events to ensure that all those who will be affected are satisfied with the process,” said Mr Plato.
Mr Smith said they had laid a good foundation in the past few years and they wanted to up the ante all the time.
“The City has identified several sectors of the event space as priority areas for growth. There’s industries we want to work with and support to go forward and motorsport events will be an important part of that,” he said.
Mr Smith said the recent Red Bull Cape Town Circuit had given people a real taste of what such events would be like.
He said they acknowledged that they had not done enough to support this category of sport.
He said this would provide an opportunity to introduce platforms for responsible racing as an alternative to street-racing, which continues to claim lives. He also believed this category would be enthusiastically embraced by Capetonians and will create huge economic benefits for the city.
“The new music and motor festival events coming to the stadium in November this year will add some new highlights and emphasise the City’s ability to host premium motorsport events as a destination.
“We want to bring even more of these events to ensure that our long-standing and thriving motor sports culture in the city can enjoy these kind of events.”
The City also has its sights on more ocean-based events as well as community events as they not only drive local trade, but also attract scores of people to areas where they might not have normally gone to.
“One of these events is the DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival that draws thousands of people from across the city. This is the biggest event of its kind and aside from giving a platform to the small businesses it profiles local artists such as musicians who entertain the crowds. This model can be replicated to boost events in other communities,” said Mr Smith.
He said the City’s support of events was also increasing every year.
“In this financial year, we have already supported 120 events. If one thinks back to 2012, when we first established the events department and adopted the Integrated Events Strategy, we only supported 28 events.
“The department has a budget of R50 million a year to support these events, but the return on investment is exponential each year.
“The top eight events in Cape Town generate over R3 billion of economic activity and every new event creates the environment for many new sustainable jobs in our city,” he said.