With administrators and politicians having kept mum in recent weeks on details about the fate of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Durban, a lengthy debate is expected to come to a close this weekend as the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) delivers its verdict on Durban’s rights to host the spectacle.
Government and the SA Sports Confederation and the Olympic Committee, reportedly at loggerheads after the initial R6.4 billion budget was increased, met a CGF deadline in November to submit documents in an attempt to prove they had resolved various outstanding matters.
Local officials said at the time they were confident all the required paperwork had been filed after a number of early deadlines had been missed.
Eighteen months after winning a lone bid for the Games, which cost about R100 million, despite Edmonton withdrawing as the only opposition bidder, initial payments to the CGF had not been made, the hosting rights agreement had not been signed and a local organising committee had not been formed.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula admitted last month the coastal city was on the verge of losing the Games unless stakeholders could find the required funding.
The Games organisation’s president, Louise Martin, was in South Africa for meetings last week in a last-ditch effort to save the showpiece.