A DELEGATION began its inspection of several key sites in Durban as the city continues to lobby to be the host of the first Commonwealth Games event on African soil.
Delegates representing 21 countries that form part of the Commonwealth Games Federation will, during a four-day visit, assess the city’s state of readiness to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
According to the city, the delegation will focus on “analysing the detailed technical aspects of Durban’s impressive bid”, which was submitted in London on March 2.
“Durban’s fate will be decided in September this year, when the Commonwealth Games Federation members cast their vote at their general assembly in New Zealand,” said a city statement.
Pietermaritzburg’s bike park will be inspected tomorrow.
Local organising committee member Ruben Reddy, speaking at the Rachel Finlayson Pool where all the swimming events are scheduled to take place, said the idea is to have all the events within walking distance.
“For events such as swimming, wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball we want the spectators to have the view of the Indian Ocean. The majority of the infrastructure being put in will be temporary,” said Reddy.
Sports such as shooting will take place on the Bluff and the marathon will mimic part of the Comrades Marathon route and start at the city hall. The beach promenade will also be used as a running space while facilities such as Kingsmead and King’s Park swimming pool will be used to house media and broadcasting while being used as training centres for athletes.
The delegates were whisked around the beachfront on rickshaws while snacking on pineapple dipped in Masala, visiting the various sites.
On Wednesday, Premier Senzo Mchunu said plans are already in place to ensure that “we welcome the international community during the Commonwealth Games in 2022”.
eThekwini mayor James Nxumalo said Durban’s credentials attest to the city’s ability to provide “memorable experiences” such as the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Africa Cup of Nations, Tourism Indaba, COP 17 Climate Change Conference and the Fifth Brics conference among other world-class events.
“Hosting an event of this magnitude will leave a lasting social legacy for the people of South Africa as it requires community engagement and development,” said the mayor