Johannesburg - Durban hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will reaffirm South Africa as a tourist destination, Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday.
"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," Mbalula said in a statement.
"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."
Durban was announced as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games following a unanimous vote by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) in Auckland, New Zealand, early on Wednesday morning.
Canadian city and previous hosts Edmonton withdrew from the 2022 race last February, citing oil price-related financial concerns, leaving the South African port as the only bidders.
Mbalula congratulated Durban for its successful bid.
‘Tell our story’
"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," he said.
"We will tell, through these games, tell our story of an unparalleled unity in diversity, reconstruction and development, our rise and affirmation."
Further, the National Development Plan (NDP) enjoined government to do more in developing the Southern African region as an international tourist destination by promoting its broader biodiversity, cultural diversity and scenic beauty.
"We expect up to R20bn in output to the economy which translates to R11bn in GDP growth delivered by the 2022 Commonwealth Games," the minister said.
"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."