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Wealthy locals look to cash in on billionaires at World Cup

According to estate agents, money is ‘no object’ with people able to charge exorbitant rates, starting from $7,000 a day to top-of-the-range accommodation

SOME of South Africa’s richest citizens will be looking to add further to their wealth at next summer’s World Cup by renting out their trophy homes and yachting berths to billionaires travelling to the country for the tournament.

Estate agents told South Africa’s Sunday Times that money is ,no object’ with people able to charge exorbitant rates, startingfrom 50,000 rand ($7,000) a day to 4.2 million rand a month for top-of-the-range accommodation.

The World Cup, which runs from June 11 to July 11, is expected to attract some of the world’s richest people, including Russian Roman Abramovich, Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi ruling family, and Microsoft co-founder-Paul Allen.

Although Russia failed to make to the finals after it surprisingly losing to Slovenia in the play- offs, Chelsea owner Abramovich will still dock his 170-metre long luxury yacht Eclipse, which has two swimming pools and 24 luxury guest cabins, in Cape Town. According to the Sunday Times the oil magnate has also leased a high-security house in Johannesburg where the final takes place in Soccer City on July 11, as well as an apartment on the Atlantic Seaboard.

Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross and Australian retail billionaire and Football Federation Australia chief executive Frank Lowy are also believed to be on the lookout for luxury accommodation in South Africa for the finals next year. Ian Slot, director of Seeff Properties, said he had been instructed by an unnamed client to secure the best home in the province of Gauteng, where the host cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg are located. "Our brief is simple," he told the paper. "Our client requires a minimum of six bedrooms, ultimate luxury, and a helipad either on the property or not more than 15 minutes away ... and price is no object." Slot estimated the daily rent for such a house at approximately 100,000 rand a day with a luxury five-bedroom home in Cape town expected to a daily rate in the region of 80,000.

One of world’s super-rich who obviously won’t be facing any accommodation problems is South Africa’s own Patrice Motsepe, the continent’s only black billionaire. The mining magnate and owner of South African Premier Soccer League club Mamelodi Sundowns, owns properties throughout the country.

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