Apr 2017 1st Edition

No Commonwealth Games for Durban

written by Albert Pule

Sport, Arts & Culture

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has decided Durban will no longer host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Minister of Sports and Recreation Fikile MbalulaMinister of Sports and Recreation Fikile Mbalula says government is disappointed that Durban will not host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, due to the global economic downturn and competing priorities.

“At this juncture, our country is regrettably not in a position to make huge financial commitments given the current competing socio-economic needs and global economic down turn.

“The government wishes to express its disappointment at the announcement by the CGF to withdraw the country’s bid to host a successful Commonwealth Games in Durban 2022. This, despite all the efforts and the positive responses from the Commonwealth Games Evaluation Commission on the potential capacity of the Host City of Durban.”

Edmonton, Canada, the only other city bidding to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, withdrew its bid in February 2015. This left South Africa and Durban as the only city bidding to host the games.

“It must be emphasised that it was not a fait accompli that South Africa would automatically be awarded the bid. South Africa still had to undergo the arduous process of securing the guarantees, finalising and lodging the bid documents as per the templates, provided by the Commonwealth Games Federation,” explained Minister Mbalula.

He added that having learnt lessons from other major events, government was not willing to spend money not budgeted for.

The Minister of Finance signed the guarantee in respect of the operational budget of R2.6 billion and a contingency budget which is capped at 18 percent  (R479 327 040).

The financial guarantee was also subject to the willingness of the CGF to constructively engage with South Africa and Durban on all possible revenue sharing streams related to the games, including, amongst other things, ticketing, merchandising and broadcast rights.

“Having learnt lessons from other events, the South African government had no appetite to issue an open-ended guarantee ,including having to transfer a large portion of funds to a newly established private entity.

“The expectation that the South African government  had to provide more than what Cabinet approved could not be sustained in the current economic environment.”

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