Awarding Durban the 2022 Commonwealth Games would be a “vote of confidence for South Africa and the African continent”, the bid’s chief executive Tubby Reddy claimed today.
The South African city is the only bidder for the event, due to be awarded by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) at its General Assembly in Auckland next Wednesday (September 2) following the withdrawal of Canadian city Edmonton due to the falling oil prices.
The CGF, however, has continued with its normal process and continued to scrutinise Durban’s bid.
This has included the CGF’s Evaluation Commission, led by honorary secretary Louise Martin, meeting the city’s partners and officials from the South African Government during a trip there in April.
Representatives from all 71 countries and territories have also visited Durban to inspect the venues and facilities.
“If the CGF awards Durban the right to host the Games in 2022, it will not only give a tremendous boost to Durban, but it will be of benefit to Africa,” said Reddy, also chief executive of the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
“It will be a vote of confidence for South Africa and the African continent.
“We, as the Bid Committee, have always maintained that Durban is a world-class African city that has the ability to host global events of the highest quality and in this regard we believe that our bid met the stringent criteria set out by the CGF.”
The CGF Evaluation Commission recommended earlier this month that the General Assembly votes to award Durban the event, but their report outlined several areas requiring immediate attention.
These include concerns over the finances of the bid, although the Evaluation Commission’s report did note that Durban 2022 is continuing to work across the three levels of Government and have advised them they will be able to meet the requirement, while the CGF has also noted Ministerial support of the bid.
Martin also noted in her report that Durban is “95 per cent there, and very close to the finish line” in the race to host a successful Commonwealth Games.
“The CGF assessment team’s report proves that Durban has all the qualities to host a very successful Games in 2022,” said Reddy.
“We have demonstrated that Durban’s proposition was indeed of a world-class standard and that the stringent technical criteria demanded by the CGF have been met by Durban.”
Mark Alexander, chairman of Durban 2022, promised they will deliver a great event but appealed for financial support from business to help it succeed.
“Durban 2022 will inspire a generation of young athletes from the African continent and it will attract world-class athletes from all over the Commonwealth,” he said.
“Durban will have world-class sporting venues which will meet the city’s long term development strategy to position it as a sporting hub for global events.
“Our legacy for Durban 2022 is for sports and economic development where our primary focus is on the youth of our country.
“We need local business and global companies to partner with us to ensure that we fulfill these obligations.
“Durban has the facilities, the diverse population and the expertise to put on a world-class event that will attract millions of international visitors, athletes and global investors.
“We are ready to inspire all of them.”
Durban’s bid delegation in Auckland is set to be led by South Africa’s Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and the city’s Mayor James Nxumalo.
The announcement of the vote, due to take place in Auckland at 8.30pm local time, will be televised live in South Africa, where it will be 6.30am, on Supersport, SABC, ENCA and ANN7.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Inside the Games.