DURBAN IS READY TO INSPIRE!

Media Statement
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DURBAN IS READY TO INSPIRE!

The bid by the City of Durban to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022 was officially lodged at the headquarters of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Monday.

The Bid team, headed by the Minister of Sport and Recreation, Honourable Fikile Mbalula, comprised the Mayor of the City of Durban, Cllr James Nxumalo, the CEO of the Bid Committee, Tubby Reddy and the Kwazulu Natal MEC for Sport and Recreation, Mrs Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha. Also included were South Africa’s High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Obed Mlaba, athletes Khotso Mokoena, swimmer Cameron van der Burgh and paralympian Dyan Buis together with prominent businesspeople and other dignitaries.

While Durban is the only city bidding to host the Games, CGF rules and regulations requires us to follow due process. This means that, as the Bid committee, we have to ensure that all procedures, processes and deadlines have to be complied with. The first milestone was lodging the bid, which will now be followed by incoming visit by assessment teams that will be conducting due diligence analysis based on what we had submitted in the Bid documents. The final decision and voting will be done on 2 September 2015.

The Bid Committee of the City of Durban is pursuing a dream that will see Africa host the very first Commonwealth Games. Our mission to London was a simple one: it was to present a Bid that would capture the spirit of South Africa – its people and their passion. We as the Bid team believe that we were successful in our goal of presenting a highly professional and cost effective set of plans and programmes that addresses all the requirements of the CGF.

In pragmatic terms, South Africa is a story of reconstruction and development, to accelerate progress, and to build a more inclusive and an empowered citizenry. We attempted to showcase how the Commonwealth Games can contribute directly to improvement in the lives of ordinary people and help develop the city to be a better place in which to live.

We believe that the Games in South Africa will be a catalyst and game changer in the lives of many ordinary people. South Africa’s 2030 National Sport and Recreation Plan (NSRP) clearly identifies “sport as a tool to support and achieve a diverse range of national and global priorities”, putting emphasis on the following: sports tourism, sport for peace and development, sport and the environment, and sport and national government priorities.

With regard to the vision around the Games, we hope to achieve:

For the Games: an Internship programmes aimed at providing access to job opportunities and skills empowerment will form a cornerstone of our procurement and delivery infrastructure. In fact, our intent is to ensure that at least 30% of the entire workforce directly related to the Games comprises of young people. We will also provide volunteer training (involving young and old) to build broad-based volunteer corps. We will use our National Schools Championship as a platform for the Games, and its values of Humanity, Equality and Destiny to promote the Games for the four years leading to 2022.

For the sport: The Games will provide a perfect platform for us to showcase our talent and for athletes to participate and excel in international competitions. In the build-up to the Games, we will sharply focus our talent identification and support programmes on those sports that will help to deliver medals for our country and inspire us into a cohesive nation. In the build-up we also wantto provide specific opportunities and enter into partnerships with some of the Commonwealth member countries to provide preparation opportunities for their teams in our high-performance institutions.

For the City of Durban: The Games will provide the city with a unique opportunity to focus its attention on the delivery of infrastructure in certain nodal points to create shared social spaces. Lastly, our marketing programme for the Games will also be aimed at showcasing South Africa and indeed the region as a destination of choice for sports tourism.

Durban already has 100% of the sports facilities required to host these Games. The improvements and upgrades to cater for the Games’ special requirements will primarily be served by temporary structures to fulfil capacity needs. This means that there will be no new sport infrastructure construction.

The city has developed a three pronged approach to address the housing backlog, including building gap housing aimed at moderate income persons. The intention is for the athletes’ village to fit within this category. Post the Games, the village units will be converted into family housing units to be sold at subsidised prices to moderate income earners.

The city’s Integrated Development Plan proposes Cornubia as a mixed use and mixed development priority project spanning more than 20 years. The building of the Commonwealth Games Village is founded on this plan and would act as a catalyst to fast track gap housing needs identified as vitally important in this proposed suburb.

The eThekwini Transport Authority has developed an IRPTN – a wall-to-wall public transport system for the entire metro. This plan defines the ultimate (2025) public transport network for the municipality, and the city has begun an incremental implementation of this plan.

The Bid team has always worked within the framework and objective of delivering an affordable Games and we have presented to national, provincial and local government a budget that we believe meets these criteria. The operational and delivery costs to host a successful Games is R6 billion. That includes R1.5 billion to build the athletes‘ village, which will be funded by the Department of Human Settlements and approximately a R1-billion for the preparation of the South African team. This would mean that we would require about R3.5-billion to deliver the Games. The team preparation costs would be borne by Sport and Recreation SA, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the Lotto and corporates.

Durban offers sportsmen and women a breathtaking backdrop of the Indian Ocean, the opportunity to compete in world-class venues and the warmth and hospitality of a vibrant city. Durban is many worlds in one city. Durban is Ready to Inspire!

Mark Alexander
Chairman Bid Committee, Durban Commonwealth Games 2022

Written by Media Team