Durban impresses with presentation to host 2022 Commonwealth Games

2014-07-22 08:58

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Durban was thrust into the international spotlight following an impressive and professional presentation to the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly in Glasgow.

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, along with Sascoc president Gideon Sam, Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy and head of sport for the City of Durban, Vuzi Mazibuko, were in the UK city to make the presentation. The other candidate for the 2022 Games is the Canadian city of Edmonton.

South Africa’s proven track record in hosting major events – including the football, rugby and cricket world cups – was a strong theme of the presentation, as was the fact that sport has been a powerful tool in uniting the country. Africa has yet to stage the Commonwealth Games.

“We’ve gone through fire to get here and the 2030 plan requires sport to make the contribution to build South Africa into the giant on the continent of Africa,” said Sam.

“We’re bold enough to say that South Africa can host any event. We’ve shown that to the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. We can say it is Africa’s turn.”

In a vibrant video shown to the general assembly, former president Nelson Mandela was shown casting his first vote in the 1994 elections in the City of Durban.

“We’ve shown that we have the investment, infrastructure and capacity to deliver world-class events,” said Reddy.

The City of Durban has invested some R3.4 billion in sport.

“It’s our turn, but more than the fact it’s our turn is that we’ll do a quality job,” added Reddy.

Mbalula pledged his support for Durban’s bid.

“We guarantee the government will play its part in hosting the most successful sporting events in South Africa. The Commonwealth Games to us are important Games in terms of what we seek to achieve collectively over the years. It’s our turn as the African continent.

“If you give [the Games] to Africa we guarantee you our 102 percent commitment in making it successful. Do it for Africa,” the sports minister concluded.

The vote on which city will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games will be conducted in Auckland on September 2 next year.

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