Fikile Mbalula recently held a press conference to address the issue of Durban losing the rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Following the announcement on Monday that Durban had lost the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the reasons being an operational budget could not be agreed upon and the fact that Durban had missed deadline after deadline since being announced as hosts – after being the lone bidder for the event.
A large amount of money was spent on the bid with the figure reported to be ranging between R98 million and R118 million. While those costs were expected to be recovered – with a profit of R20 billion being projected – that is now money down the drain.
This is money that could have gone to supporting South Africa’s athletes who desperately need it and who frequently have to pay their own way when competing at championships. Fikile Mbalula was scheduled a presser for 11am on Tuesday to discuss the matter, arrived over an hour late.
Mbalula expressed what he described as “regret” that Durban was withdrawn and said that the “host city agreements” were never signed at the time when the Games were awarded as some clauses in agreement would have compromised the costs for the government.
The minister also added they had learnt from past events and they did not want to make guarantees. He insisted that they acted “in the best interest of South Africa” and that the money approved for the Games, which was R4.32 billion, would have been sufficient for Commonwealth Games in 2022.
There were some mixed emotions on the Twitter:
It's fine. Durban can lose the Commonwealth Games as long as they're still able to host what matters – SAMAS, Metros, July & Tira's bdays ..
— Sibongile Mafu (@sboshmafu) March 13, 2017
— Iam Soso (@Iam_SosoRSA) March 13, 2017
So the Commonwealth Games aren't coming to Durban afterall. We really couldn't justify that kind of spending given our competing needs.
— Thabiso TT Tema (@ThabisoTema) March 13, 2017
Mbalula will also be expected to comment on the reported R118-million that the bid is believed to have cost the country.
(Featured Image: File Image)
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