Durban Could Be The First African City To Host The Commonwealth Games

Durban Could Be The First African City To Host The Commonwealth Games

The Chief Executive Officer of the Durban Commonwealth Bid Committee, Tubby Reddy, is confident that the 2022 games will be a success for the South African coastal city.

The committee for the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games bid was in London to present and officially lodge their application to be in the running to host the globally recognised multi-sport event at the beginning of March, and they presented a 600-page bid book containing a vast array of information concerning Durban’s ability to host the event, and the positive economic effect that the coastal city will benefit from.

AFKSports spoke exclusively to the CEO of the Durban Commonwealth Bid Committee, Tubby Reddy, and he was candid about the bid, the fact that it is not yet secured and the work that still needs to be done.

The Durban 2022 bid looks positive at the moment, as the South Africans were the only city that officially put themselves forward at the bid lodging event. Edmonton, Canada seemed to be in the running until a few weeks before the event, when they withdrew from consideration due to economic reasons.

“The decision by Edmonton has not affected our preparations to firstly, lodge our bid with the commonwealth games federation, and secondly to host a successful Games in durban in 2022,” Reddy said.

“Undoubtedly the hosting of a successful games by Durban will provide inspiration to other cities on the continent. while this is a Durban Games, it also is an African games. We also believe that Durban has all the attributes to be a sports destination of choice for major global events.”

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Work Still To Be Done

CEO of the Durban Commonwealth Bid Committee - Tubby Reddy
CEO of the Durban Commonwealth Bid Committee – Tubby Reddy

The games are not yet secured, however, as the Durban bid still needs to follow due process before the eventual announcement of the host nation in New Zealand in September.

“There is still a log way to go before the final announcement is made by the CGF in September 2015. We have lodged the bid document on 2 March 2015 in London. We now await the visit from the CGF Assessment team that will scrutinise what we have included in our documents against what they inspect at the sites in Durban,” he told AFKSports.

Expanding on what still needs to be done, Reddy mentioned that most of the infrastructure is in place, aside from a few elements.

“The major infrastructure development that has to be built, and which is already budgeted for in the City’s national development plan, is the housing for the athletes. These units will be used during the Games and will then be upgraded and sold as mixed income housing. Most of the sports infrastructure needs to be upgraded to meet world class standards. No new sports infrastructure will be built,” revealed the CEO.

The bid presentation suggests that hosting the Commonwealth Games in seven years time will provide a boost to the economy, create jobs and add to the existing transport and social infrastructure. The committee projects that the event will create almost 12,000 jobs and provide around R20 billion additional funds for the economy as a result.

With the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) visiting the city for an assessment in May, Reddy is aware that there is still work to do.

“There will be tough questions asked and we have to demonstrate our ability to host a cost-effective and successful games. we are preparing for a detailed and serious assessment of our bid from the members of the CGF,” he added.

He mentioned that the bid committee has received all the financial guarantees that are required by the CGF for a successful bid, adding that they “are beginning the process of engagement with potential sponsors and at this stage we are not at liberty to disclose the name of these sponsors.”

It seems that the bid committee has all of their ducks in a row at the moment, and with a final message to South Africans, Reddy concluded, “We call on all South Africans to show their support for the bid and the games. There are many ways in which they can get involved via social media. Our website has all these details.”

The official site for the 2022 Durban bid is http://www.durban-2022.com/