Durban could lose hosting rights for 2022 Games

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says if the financial guarantees are not signed off, the bid could be lost.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says Durban's plans to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games could still be derailed.

Questions have been raised around South Africa's ability to successfully host the games and a lack of financial guarantees from National Treasury has raised further concerns.

Mbalula spoke about the issue at a sponsorship announcement that saw Telkom return as a big-time backer of team South Africa, just a few months ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.

Worryingly for South Africa, Mbalula says if the financial guarantees are not signed off, Durban could lose its hosting rights for the 2022 Games.

"That will be the end of the games, we will forfeit if it means they are not signed. It will not be good for South Africa but that has got implications. I'm still optimistic we will pass through."

The KwaZulu-Natal capital was the only horse in the race for the rights after the Canadian city of Edmonton pulled out before the unveiling of the host city last September.

South Africa can't name a local organising committee until government guarantees are in place, something Mbalula says could be completed within the next week.