Durban – The residents of Richards Bay, Empangeni and surrounding areas should brace themselves for the horse racing spectacular to be hosted by the King Cetshwayo District Municipality this weekend.
The King Cetshwayo District July Horse Racing event will see event categories such as a Carnival Walk, that will see men walking through the streets of Richards Bay, aimed at conscientising society around the issues of gender-based violence perpetrated against women and children.
There will be the Mr and Miss King Cetshwayo July pageantry that will be held at King Bhekuzulu Hall, University of Zululand on Friday evening.
The horse racing, which will be the main drawcard, will take place at the Old Empangeni Airfield, and then conclude with a picnic on Sunday, held in conjunction with a car spinning/ racing event, to be held at the Umhlathuze Sports grounds.
King Cetshwayo District Mayor Councillor Thami Ntuli said that the horse racing event is on its second leg this year, after it began last year.
Ntuli said the main aim of the event was to promote tourism in the region, as well as provide more job opportunities for the local people.
He stated that the event was a build-up from the Inkandla May horse racing, and said that he hoped the residents of King Cetshwayo and surrounding areas will benefit immensely from the hosting of this event.
“We expect the tourism industry to be the main beneficiary of this event. The hospitality industry such as the local shops, hotels, B&Bs, textiles, restaurants, and other food outlets will also benefit.
“From last year’s experience, we had visitors coming from as far away as Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, and this year we hope it is going to be jam-packed here in Richards Bay, and our hotels and other such facilities are ready to welcome the guests.
“The festivities will kick-off with a men’s parade on Friday, which will be held in conjunction with the Carnival Walk through the streets of Richards Bay town.
“Seeing that July is the men’s month, we aim at using male voices to tell other men that abusing women and children should be frowned upon.
“Then later on Friday, heads will head off to the University of Zululand where young men and ladies will take centre stage, vying for the Miss and Mr King Cetshwayo July crown, which will be held at the university’s King Bhekuzulu Hall”.
Ntuli said for the pageantry event, 5 000 tickets will be made available, because of the capacity of the Bhekuzulu Hall, and for the main horse racing event on Saturday, 20 000 tickets.
“There will be mouth-watering prizes such as the car for the Miss King Cetshwayo winner, R50 000 for the fashion show designer winner, which will be split up into R30 000 for the winner to buy sewing machines, and R20 000 for him/ herself.
“The winning horse and its rider will walk away with a massive R200 000 prize. A myriad of employment opportunities will be made available for the youth of the region. We expect restaurants to take in more temporary workers, and have pleaded with them to focus on youth employment more.
“Emerging artists that will be providing entertainment at the weekend’s events will be mainly young people, the Miss and Mr King Cetshwayo pageant will be particularly for the youth. We also expect that some of the young people will get opportunities to provide food through food stalls.
“The horse racing event will also have a category for the women-ridden horses only, so that the women of the region will also be provided with an opportunity to venture into this industry,” Ntuli stressed.
He added that as leadership, they expected this three day event will have massive economic spin-offs.
“From hotel accommodation, B&Bs, guest houses, restaurants, open air food stalls, bars, our local shops, to all other entertainment facilities such as our pristine, welcoming Alkantsrand Beach down in Meerensee, our tourists and visitors will be spoiled with amazing choices of entertainment to choose from,” Ntuli ended.
The Friday men parade/ Carnival Walk will begin at 12:00 noon, the evening event begins at 18:00, and the Saturday horse racing will take place at 09:00 am.
The fun-filled King Cetshwayo District Municipality will curtail its activities with a picnic, entertainment provided by car spinning and racing.
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