Zuma to meet Commonwealth Games chair over Durban hosting

On Tuesday, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the country cannot afford to live beyond its means, intimating that the costs of hosting the event had now become prohibitive.

Durban beach. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN – The city of Durban could be on the verge of losing the right to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games following a final assessment by the organisation's technical team.

Eyewitness News understands that the chairperson of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Louise Martin, is set to on Wednesday meet with President Jacob Zuma to inform him of the body's decision.

On Tuesday, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said the country cannot afford to live beyond its means, intimating that the costs of hosting the event had now become prohibitive.

The growing silence around Durban’s hosting of the 2022 Games looks set to come to a head on Wednesday with Martin now delaying a trip to Rwanda in an effort to meet personally with the president.

For over a week, EWN has sought clarity from the Presidency, National Treasury and the Department of Sport over the status of the Games with none able to provide an update despite Commonwealth Games Federation assessors compiling their final report and presenting that to their executive board.

Now, despite continued assurances that Durban was on track since being awarded the showpiece in 2015, including full backing by Treasury in the final bid, on Tuesday Mbalula seemingly primed the nation for disappointment saying Durban’s hopes didn’t look good.

The English city of Liverpool has already said they’d be willing to step into the breach should the plug be pulled on a first ever Commonwealth Games on the African continent.

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)