South Africa will not follow 2016 hosts Brazil in holding the Olympic Games [GALLO/GETTY]

South Africa will not bid for the Olympic Games in 2020, ending speculation that the World Cup 2010 host would follow emerging-market rival Brazil as an destination for the tournament.

South Africa's cabinet had decided instead that it should focus on fighting poverty and delivering basic services such as water and electricity to all citizens, cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.

Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) told the Reuters news agency that they might consider a bid four years later.

"We will monitor (the situation) along the way. If issues and circumstances change then we may put our hand up for 2024,"
Sam said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday kicked off the bid process for the 2020 summer Games, with a winning city expected to be announced in two years' time in Buenos Aires.

Only Italian capital Rome, which beat off domestic competitor Venice, has officially been named so far, although bids from Japan and the Middle East are considered possible now that South Africa has excluded itself.

London is preparing to stage the 2012 Games while the 2016 summer Olympics have been awarded to Rio de Janeiro.

Source: Agencies