As our headline screamed yesterday ‘Durban is ready for 2022 Commonwealth Games’ this was confirmed this morning by the headhonchos in New Zealand.
Following intensive bidding by countries that had previously hosted the games, an African country was the only outside bidder and as that ‘envelope’ was being opened: SA was mentioned as the host for the very first time on our Soil and in the African Continent.
Yes, one can easily affirm that the memories of 2010 FIFA World Cup are being revisited yet again!
Durban has one of the best infrastructures in the country and most visited tourist destinations in the world.
On his congratulatory message the minister of sport Fikile Mbalula says the South African government took a deliberate decision to position our country as a tourist destination and these games will once again affirm this when we deliver yet another successful world class event.
“As a ministry and department we put all our efforts in ensuring that the bid to host the Commonwealth Games is successful. We are excited to see our efforts bearing good results.
With these games we plan to create a better quality of life that is as
free as possible of social ills and other challenges faced by young people.
We will tell through these games our story of an unparalleled unity in diversity, reconstruction and development, our rise and affirmation,” says Mbaks (as he’s known) who didn’t make it to New Zealand.
It expected that up to R20 billion in outputs to the economy that translates to R11 Billion in GDP growth delivered by the 2022 Commonwealth Games, will be generated.
Already skeptics are concerned with costs associated in hosting the games considering the economic meltdown globally, amongst others.
In his response Mbalula said we shouldn’t be likened to Greece that after hosting the Olympics, the economy went pear-shaped.
“We’re only going to renovate not build from scratch. As Government we built such infrastructure in mind to suit such games. Simply put, we had a plan.”
Continued the Minister: “The same skeptics said the same thing about the World Cup; and look at the response we got. Let’s celebrate and pat our shoulders for being the first African country that will host such a phenomenal spectacle. Next are the Olympics on our agenda.”
Overly excited City of Durban Tourism CE Phillip Sithole says due to hard work and good capital investment by the eThekweni Municipality, they’re thrilled with the outcome of the news.
“Hosting of Commonwealth Games will give us a platform to continue to market Durban as a destination. This will also increase the inflow of tourists to the City of Durban.
Commonwealth countries are our source markets. Durban was well received here in New Zealand,” says Sithole, who spoke to SLM from NZ.
With seven years’ to prepare for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, its game on!