Durban - Emerging and small businesses are set to benefit from the eThekwini Municipality’s R3.6 million injection into the Premier Soccer League (PSL) Telkom Knockout semi-final match being hosted in Durban on Saturday.

Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will face off.

In preparation, the city decided to fund public viewing areas on the beachfront and in townships around Durban for people to view the derby.

The city’s Economic Development Cluster tabled before the executive committee a detailed report on how the event was planned for, and its possible benefits.

According to the report, the projected economic spin-offs from the game indicated that there would be 55 000 spectators at Moses Mabhida Stadium and 30 000 combined in the targeted public viewing areas.

The township viewing areas would be Max’s Lifestyle in uMlazi, Artizen in KwaMashu and Comfort Zone in Clermont. These fan parks were expected to accommodate between 5 000 and 10 000 people, while the New Beach fan park, which would have free admission, is expected to accommodate 10 000 to 15 000 spectators.

When the Premier Soccer League announced on November 8 that the two Soweto giants would play at Moses Mabhida, all 55 000 tickets were sold out before the end of the day.

A report stated that the city was approached by a Durban-based events organising company, Fuze Creatives, selling the idea of staging fan parks for public viewing to avoid a stampede during or after the match.

The event organiser would also facilitate and monitor the co-ordination and management of the fan parks in liaison with SuperSport and the PSL.

Local business opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprises would be created as they would be allowed to sell offerings including refreshments and soccer clubs’ regalia.

Opposition parties supported the idea but questioned how Phillip Sithole, deputy city manager of Economic Development and Planning, had arrived at the R3m amount for the New Beach Park.

DA caucus leader Nicole Graham said the difference in cost between the beach park and the rest of the venues should be explained.

Sithole said the R3m was an estimate.

“There is no infrastructure at the beach park There must be lighting, a sound system, big screens and marshals. The whole set-up must be in line with the requirements of live-streaming,” he said.

Sithole said the fan parks would be good for Durban as hotels were booked with thousands of fans travelling to the city for the match.

“There will also be live crossings from the fan parks on SuperSport, which will further showcase Durban.”

Daily News