Durban – Financial disagreements
with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) led to SA losing the bid to host
the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula
said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Moses Mabhida
Stadium in Durban, Mbalula said that one of the main reasons for SA losing the Games was because the CGF were not happy with SA's financial bid.
"Our bidding was very cautious, unlike with soccer where we built many stadiums that we did not plan for and
had cost overruns we have experience. We cannot be duped, manipulated or
threatened. We know what we want and it is within our means," Mbalula said.
Mbalula said cabinet had approved a
budged of R4.32 billion for the Games. However, CGF felt that SA and government
needed to bring more to the table, the Minister said.
Mbalula added that when the Games
were awarded, SA did not sign a host city agreement.
The reason for this, he said, was
because clauses in the agreement would have compromised SA and government was
not prepared to sign an open-ended financial guarantee.
Mbalula said the clause asked that
government meet any potential shortfall in the budget of the organising
committee that arouse from preparations for the hosting of the Games.
In giving the CGF a financial
guarantee, in July last year Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan signed an
operational budget guarantee budget of R2.6 billion with a contingency budget of 18%
of the full budget amounting to R479 million.
Mbalula said the financial guarantee
was also subject to the willingness of the CGF to constructively engage with SA
and Durban on all possible revenue sharing streams related to the games
including ticketing, merchandising and broadcast rights.
Mbalula indicated that these matters
could not be agreed upon.
"Having learnt lessons from other
events, the SA government had no appetite to issue an open ended guarantee…the
expectation that the SA government will have to provide more than what cabinet
had approved could not be sustained in the current economic environment," he said.
Mbalula added that in the need for
fiscal discipline, government believed it acted in the best interest of SA.
"We thank all political principals
and officials from all spheres of government who worked tirelessly on these
games," he said.