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Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games under threat

Durban may not be able to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games due to the cost of staging the event, Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula said on Tuesday.

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Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula has announced that the 2022 Commonwealth Games may not take place in Durban

South African officials said in December that they remained “fully committed” to hosting the event despite falling short of requirements. Durban was awarded the Games in 2015 after being the only city to make a confirmed bid.

“I don’t want to raise your expectations and say everything looks good, it doesn’t because we don’t agree on the fundamentals and that is the operational budget,” Mbalula said.

The country was forced to reconsider whether it could host the event due to doubts over the economic legacy of the Games and sluggish growth. The government estimated that the Games - a multi-sport event held every four years featuring mostly former British colonies - could deliver up to R20bn in output to the economy.

“We gave it our best shot but we can’t go beyond, if the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t really,” Mbalula said, adding that a final decision would be made soon by the Commonwealth Games Federation. The 2022 Games could be the first time they have been held in Africa, possibly setting up the chance for SA to make another bid for the Olympic.


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