London - The City of Durban’s Commonwealth bid committee has lodged an impressive and compelling presentation to the executive committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Monday at Mansion House in London.
"Our presentation was professional, dynamic and captured the vibrancy of Durban while at the same time showcasing the city’s world class sports facilities," said Mark Alexander, chairperson of the Durban 2022 bid committee.
"The CGF Committee were very impressed and we are confident and remain upbeat that when the decision is made on 2 September 2015, Durban will be rewarded as hosts for the 2022 Games’," Alexander added.
Durban’s bid committee was headed by the minister of sport and recreation, Fikile Mbalula, Mayor of Durban, James Nxumalo, MECs from the province, as well as official sports ambassadors, Cameron van der Burgh, Khotso Mokoena and Dyan Buis.
The bid lodgement in London was the first of the milestones that the City of Durban will address as part of the official process with the CGF.
Alexander added that South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) and the National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) underpin the decision to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
"The bid committee of the City of Durban is pursuing a dream.
"It is a dream that will see Africa host the very first Commonwealth Games where some of the finest athletes of the world compete for gold and glory; where the real values of the Commonwealth – resonate with the indomitable spirit of heroes past and champions of the future," said Alexander
"Our mission to London was simple: to present an unsurpassed bid document that will at once captivate the Commonwealth executive and then, rightfully allow the people of South Africa to be your host. Durban 2022 is ready to inspire!"
Addressing the question of why Durban, Nxumalo said: "Durban is the Gateway to Africa with a legacy in sports.
"Home to approximately 3.5 million people, its inhabitants are united in their great diversity by a determination to make theirs a socially cohesive, sustainable and economically vibrant city.
"The Games will assist the eThekwini Municipality’s Long Term 2030 Development Plan, which aims to make Durban Africa’s most Caring and Liveable City."
The most valuable proposition contained in the bid is to host the most compact Games.
"With at least 80% of the sports activities happening within a 2.5km radius, the City’s vision is to develop Moses Mabhida Stadium as a mega multi-sport events precinct positioning it as a premier sports tourism destination.
"Integrating the games precinct into urban core renewal plans supports the eight-point plan of the Integrated Development Plan," added Alexander.
Moses Mabhida Stadium; Durban International Convention Centre; Durban Exhibition Centre; Kings Park Rugby Stadium and the University of KwaZulu Natal have all been pegged as potential venues for the Games.
These venues are placed alongside already effective and efficient transport routes, as well as an array of beach, leisure and entertainment facilities.
The easy movement of people through both competition and non-competition venues will contribute to the success of the Games.
"Without doubt, the investment in sporting codes is paramount and there are strategic plans focused on sports talent identification and support programmes that will not only help deliver medals for our country in 2022, but will inspire future generations through sport.
"Bringing the Games home will further assist with the development of sports in South Africa giving athletes the opportunity to showcase their talent on home ground," said Tubby Reddy, CEO of SASCOC.
The Durban bid committee noted that there is still a long road ahead until the final decision is made in September this year.
"It is now up to all the stakeholders and people of Durban and South Africa to echo the messages that were lodged at the CGF today in London.
"We are one team and so I urge all South Africans to continue to show their support for the bid," appealed Reddy.