Durban to bid for Olympics?

By Ashworth Africa, July 5, 2010

Durban has announced its intention to bid to host an Olympics but is waiting on permission from National Government before proceeding with the bidding process.

City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe, has indicated the city’s position: “Over the past five years developments in the city have been organised around our ‘2010 and beyond’ strategy. This entailed ensuring that whatever we do for the 2010 Fifa World Cup is geared to also be in line with our post-2010 plans.”

However, the city will have to await a decision from National Government and SASCOC on whether South Africa would be bidding for an Olympics. EXCO and Council would then have to decide on whether or not Durban would put its hat in the ring to be selected as South Africa’s preferred host city.

Sutcliffe added: “Our plans for the Moses Mabhida precinct have taken into accounttherequirements for all the major sporting codes.  That is why we built the iconic MosesMabhida Stadium, which can flexibly seat 85 000 spectators for an event the size of the Olympics and has room for an athletics track.  We have ensured that everything we plan and develop must fit into our long-term plans.”

Importantly, Durban will host the 123rd International Olympics Committee session, the first time it will have been held in Africa.

“We are focusing on working with SASCOC to deliver this incredible event in July next year.  This is yet another affirmation that Durban is being recognised world-wide as a suitable venue to host major events. Our focus is to deliver a great session on behalf of our country and continent.”

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