Durban – The MTN8 final and events have brought in millions of rand to eThekwini.
That was according to eThekwini Municipality city manager Musa Mbhele, who was commenting after the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban hosted a sold-out MTN8 final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in which the latter clinched the title with a 3-1 victory following a penalty shoot-out on Saturday.
An estimated 60 000 supporters from across the country descended on Durban, bringing a much-needed boost to the local tourism sector and economy.
Mbhele said the city was abuzz with various activations taking place in prominent tourism precincts over the weekend.
“A highlight of this past weekend was showcasing our capability to host major events that are incident-free. We are sending a message to the 950 000 travellers anticipated to flock to Durban for the summer holidays that we are ready to host them,” Mbhele said.
“The expected total direct spend to be injected into the local economy from this past weekend is approximately R43 million, with a contribution of R108m to the GDP. The projected contribution to taxes is around R8m with a total of 208 jobs created.
“This is an indication of how crucial tourism is to driving local economic growth and creating employment opportunities. This is why we are doubling down on our efforts to promote destination Durban to attract tourists that will spend in the city and boost local tourism businesses,” Mbhele explained.
Mbhele also said that hotel occupancy was reported to be at 95% due to bookings of those attending the match as well as conferences taking place at the award-winning Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre over the weekend.
He added that the City will continue to beef up law enforcement personnel at tourism sites to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.
Mbhele said hosting big events also benefited related value chains such as the township and informal economy and the transport sector.
Mbhele noted that the City’s capability of hosting major events comes as no surprise as it came out tops in the 2022 World Travel Awards in the Events and Festivals Category for the second consecutive year.
eThekwini was also elected for the sixth consecutive year as Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination, Mbhele said.
The municipality already has events lined up for the festive season in Durban, including concerts by Boyz II Men, Chris Walker and Regina Belle. Other planned events include Endless Summer, 503 Music, Any Given Sunday, Xmas Ekasi, Durban Underground, Music is King, Fact Durban Rocks, and the Annual All White Elegant Lifestyle.
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