Cape Town - Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Fikile Mbalula, has congratulated Durban on its successful bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“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,” Mbalula commented via a press statement on Wednesday.
“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 through these games tell our story of an unparalleled unity in diversity, reconstruction and development, our rise and affirmation.”
It will be the first time an African city hosts the Commonwealth Games.
Canadian city and previous host Edmonton withdrew from the 2022 race in February, citing oil price-related financial concerns, leaving the South African port as the only bidder.
Mbalula believes the hosting of the event will be a boost for tourism in the region.
“Our National Development Plan (NDP) enjoins us to do more in developing the Southern African region as an international tourist destination by promoting its broader biodiversity, cultural diversity and scenic beauty. It further calls for easier travel between countries in the region. This then will help us in integrating not only Africa but also the commonwealth nations together. Sport continues to unite South Africans, healing past wounds and creating a better future for all.
“We expect up to R20bn in output to the economy which thus translates to R11bn in GDP growth delivered by the 2022 Commonwealth Games. We are at a great advantage because we won’t build but renovate and use existing infrastructure made possible by the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”