South Africa flagJuly 28 - South Africa is considering following up staging the 2010 World Cup by launching a bid to host the 2020 Olympics, with Durban the favourite to be put forward.

The country's Sports and Recreation Minister Makhenkesi Stofile revealed that they are considering the bid at a meeting in Soweto on preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

In 1997 Cape Town was beaten by Athens to host the 2004 Olympics.

The Olympics have never been awarded to an African city.

Durban recently said that it hoped to bid for the 2020 Games, although it is also considering bidding for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The city claimed that the Moses Mabhida Stadium it was building for the World Cup was being constructed in a way that made expansion possible to accommodate 85,000 spectators if it was awarded the Olympics.

Stofile's spokeswoman Lerato Mogorosi said there had not been a decision on whether the country would put its name forward.

She said: "The bid only opens at the 2012 Olympics in London.

"It is not confirmed but it is being seriously discussed by the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee."

Mogorosi said the issue had not yet been put before the South African cabinet.

In April eThekwini, the Metropolitan Municipality that includes the city of Durban and surrounding towns, said that Durban wanted to "be ready" for an Olympic bid even though it would be a national decision.

The city is the third biggest in South Africa with a population of 3.5 million.

Durban, whose modern founding dates back to dates to 1824 when a party of 25 men under British Lieutenant F. G. Farewell arrived from the Cape Colony and established a settlement on the northern shore of the Bay of Natal, is located on the Indian Ocean.

The city is due to host the Session of the International Olympic Committee in 2011, when the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be chosen.

Other candidate cities expected to put themselves forward for the 2020 Olympics are Dubai and New Delhi.