Confused Mbalula must scrap Commonwealth Games

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s flip flop and lack of clear direction on Durban’s intention to host the 2022 Commonwealth games is enough reason to scrap the event.
The prognosis is simple, South Africa can not afford to host such an expensive sporting event. Limited fiscal space, low economic growth and growing unemployment, especially among the youth, require that resources are spent on expanding opportunities for our lost generation.
Prioritising a sporting event over jobless South Africans will simply be a betrayal of the worst kind.
In a 2016 Parliamentary reply, Minister Mbalula, did not rule out hosting the games but indicated that his Department was in the process of obtaining information from Durban on whether the City was able to host the games. Yesterday, in an about turn, he indicated that “it doesn’t look good for Durban’s hopes of hosting the games”.
Today, he released a statement in which he indicated that talks between the South African government and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CFG) were still ongoing. This is a reflection of the level of confusion within the Department of Sport and creates uncertainty over an issue which should never have been involved in at all.
The Minister needs to be honest and inform South Africans that we will no longer be hosting the games. Minister Pravin Gordhan, in his budget speech, indicated that we need to reign in on government borrowing and the widening budget deficit. If Durban goes ahead and hosts the games, budget cuts will have to be made from essential social services to free up money to fund the event.
In 2014, the city of Glasgow spent £575 million (R11,8 billion) on the Commonwealth Games. This is enough to fund all the students who have been denied funding by NSAFS for the 2017 academic year.
The DA will not stand by while scarce resources are spent on non-priority pursuits instead of the urgent need for jobs, entrepreneurial seed funding and education opportunities for our youth.