Jun 06 2010 15:29 Print this article | Email article
Johannesburg - The country's hosting of the World Cup is not a profit-making exercise, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said on Sunday.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there's a cost that comes with that," spokesperson Adrian Lackay told Sapa.
He was responding to a City Press report that FIFA would cause the country to lose "tens or possibly hundreds of millions of rands in potential revenue".
The Sunday paper reported that Sars had been forced to agree to a "tax bubble" around FIFA sites, which would exempt the soccer
federation from paying value added tax, income tax and customs duties.
Lackay said the South African government was well aware the spectacle would only contribute 0.5% to the country's gross domestic product.
According to City Press South Africa gave FIFA guarantees including:
- a supportive financial environment by waiving customs duties, taxes and levies on the import and export of goods belonging to the
FIFA delegation, its commercial affiliates, broadcast rights holders, media and spectators,
- "unconditional visas" to foreign visitors and anybody in any way associated with FIFA,
- the unrestricted import and export of all foreign currencies into and from South Africa,
- free work permits to delegates, media and merchandise partners,
- ownership of all media, marketing and intellectual property and
- that FIFA cannot be sued for claims arising from the staging of the tournament.