South Africa has reaffirmed their commitment to hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the coastal city of Durban, despite failing to adhere to certain key deadlines this week.
Durban was officially chosen as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Federation’s general assembly in New Zealand this April. According to government the decision is set to benefit the South African economy with around $1.49 billion expected to be injected into the country.
The Kwazulu Natal city became the only host bidder for the multi-sports competition following the withdrawal of Canada’s Edmonton in February, due to financial concerns.
But concerns have been raised in the media due to what has been described as a lethargic effort from the authorities since the successful bid was announced.
On Wednesday this week two key deadlines passed without resolution. A local organising committee was supposed to be set up within 180 days of winning the bid on April 1, while an initial payment of $1.79 million was required to have been paid.
Neither of these two issues were dealt with in time for the deadline, but South African government officials have confirmed that they remain committed to the task at hand.
“The South African government is still fully committed on hosting the Games,” said Esethu Hasane, the spokesperson for the Department of Sport and Recreation, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
“Unfortunately, now the Department is not in a position to be making any pronouncements on ongoing talks. Doing so would be acting in bad faith of such discussions,” he added.
The 2018 Games will be held on the Gold Coast in Australia, and if Durban is indeed given the chance to welcome the world for the Commonwealth Games in six years, it will be the first time the event is held in Africa.
The competition is set to take place from July 18-30, opening on the former South African president Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
The Commonwealth Games have been held since 1930, with the competition taking place every four years, as athletes from over 50 countries compete.