By Duncan Mackay

The Moses Mabhida Stadium would be the centrepiece if Durban wins its bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty ImagesApril 3 - There has been a mixed reaction to the announcement that Durban is planning to bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where it is set to face opposition from Canadian city Edmonton. 

The South African city has been installed as the favourite, mainly on the basis that Africa has never staged the Games.

"Events of this magnitude, for any city, will be good to host, and a lot of preparation will need to go into it," said Durban City manager S'bu Sithole.

"We do hope that getting the Commonwealth Games will be a stepping stone to getting the Olympics."

The centrepiece of the Games would be the The Moses Mabhida Stadium, nestling on the shores of the Indian Ocean.

The Stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup when it hosted seven matches, including Spain's 1-0 victory over Germany in the semi-final.

The most striking feature of the 54,000-capacity Stadium, which cost $450,000 million (£271,000 million/€328 million) to build, is its 350-metre long free and 105-metre high span arch which holds up the roof of the Stadium and which rises to 106 metres above the pitch.

Durban's stunning beaches will prove an attractive feature of the city's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty ImagesDurban's stunning beaches will prove an attractive feature of the city's bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

But the city will be seeking financial support from the South African Government, who have yet to officially back the campaign.

"When it comes to hosting such an event we will not be doing it as Durban alone," said Sithole.

"This is an international event and we will expect [the] national Government to assist."

Some politicians, though, have hit out at the bid, claiming the city cannot afford it.

"It is going to cost billions if Durban is to be the host city, and we need to be realistic - we just don't have the money," said Durban Councillor Heinz de Boer.

Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and Africa's busiest port. 

But another Councillor, Patrick Pillay, claimed it would be difficult to justify hosting a mega-event when there were more pressing local needs.

"So many people are still waiting for houses and they should be prioritised," he said.

"We also know that whatever infrastructure is built for the Games will become a white elephant while our people continue to suffer."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
March 2014: Durban and Edmonton to bid for 2022 Commonwealth Games
March 2014: Exclusive - Hooper confident of bids for 2022 Commonwealth Games as deadline looms