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Cape Town readies to host global e-racing event

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Cape Town has been selected as one of the host cities of the international Formula E racing tournament in February, the city announced.

Formula E is an all-electric motorsport racing tournament. Its inaugural championship race was held in Beijing, China, in 2014. The cars are powered by 100% renewable energy.

In a statement, the city says hosting next year’s championship race will make it one of 12 major international locations, and the only one in Africa.

“Cape Town is pleased to be chosen as one of the cities to participate in the Formula E tournament,” says executive mayor Dan Plato. “We believe this event offers major potential to local business and will be a huge attraction for the residents of our city.

“We look forward to finalising internal processes in order to meet the relevant requirements for staging such an exciting event. The city has the necessary infrastructure and skills to host an event of this size, and we are confident it will further cement Cape Town’s global reputation as the world’s leading festival and event destination.”

The city is of the view the event will help it unlock major investment, job creation and its tourism sector. For example, in the three years Formula E was hosted in Hong Kong, it contributed approximately R1.4 billion to that economy, reveals the city.

It further highlights the race forms part of its COVID-19 recovery plan, as it will offer a much-needed boost for the events and tourism industries impacted by the global pandemic.

According to the city, it has, in principle, decided to support the event with R2 million in cash, subject to the event returning to the city for future tournaments. A further R2 million will be provided in the form of services, on the above premise.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Western Cape has welcomed the news.

The announcement comes at a time when lockdown regulations have severely impacted the tourism industry and the livelihoods of Western Cape residents, says the DA, adding the tournament is well-positioned to provide much-needed relief and potential job opportunities.

Reagen Allen, MPP DA Western Cape spokesperson for community safety, states: “We welcome mayor Plato’s commitment to growing the city’s economy through positioning Cape Town as a business- and sports-friendly destination. It’s this kind of initiative, in collaboration with the private sector and international partners, that stands to promote economic recovery.

“Cape Town has always been the ideal destination to successfully host major international events. We are thus confident the hosting of the Formula E will help build on a post-pandemic recovery plan that is premised on elevating the local economy and putting us back on track.”

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