Durban, South Africa will not be hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, simply because it could not honour its financial commitments.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had required the host nation invest a minimum of 600 million dollars in preparation for the Games. However, the South African government could only commit to 400 million dollars; with sports minister Fikile Mbalula, revealing that the nation just could not afford the required budget.
“We gave it our best shot but we can’t go beyond. If the country says we don’t have this money, we can’t”, he said.
According to the BBC, Durban was awarded the Games in September 2015 and was due to become the first African city to host the event, which was first held in 1930.’
The Times Live revealed the rocky relationship between South Africa and the CGF from the go. ‘First‚ a crucial host city payment of £1.5 million (about R26 million) was missed. Then the country failed to establish a local organizing committee‚ and did not sign a host city contract. Also, the CGF gave South Africa an ultimatum to supply all documentation by November 30 last year‚ with the deadline met with just days to spare.’
David Grevemberg, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation expressed his disappointment but maintained that the CGF remains “committed to the inspiring potential of Games on the continent.”
The Games had been earmarked to start on July 18, the birthday of Nelson Mandela.
With the CGF announcing it was “actively seeking alternative replacements”, Liverpool has offered to host the Games in 2022. Australia, already a confirmed host in 2018, has already put forward a bid.
South Africa, currently battling high unemployment and a failing economy, estimated that the Games could deliver up to $1.54 billion in output to the economy.