Durban — Despite losing the opportunity to host this year’s edition of the South African Music Awards, eThekwini stands to rake in millions of rand with several major events taking place in Durban this weekend.
Through its Durban Tourism, eThekwini Municipality is an official sponsor of Gcwalisa Picnic which brings top notch artists to perform in the City. The event which has been organised by maskandi great Khuzani Mpungose will take place at Kings Park stadium.
It coincides with two Carling Black Label cup quarter final games between Pirates and Richards Bay FC as well as AmaZulu and Golden Arrows. Richards Bay FC will host Pirates at King Zwelithini stadium in uMlazi at 3pm while AmaZulu hosts Arrows at Moses Mabhida stadium at 8pm.
Another major economic boost for the City at weekend would be the Springboks Cup tour with the entire Boks team parading the cup in the City. According to the programme, the Bokke will start in uMhlanga, move to KwaMashu before being hosted at City Hall on Saturday.
Speaking on behalf of the organisers of the picnic, Mthokozisi Zuma said they were excited that again their event will coincide with another major sporting event like last year. He said their event benefited from last year’s MTN final cup match which took place between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu FC. The game which was attended by more than 60 000 people was won by Pirates and contributed millions of rand to the City’s economy through hotel and restaurants.
Zuma said with the top line-up of local and national artists he was expecting nothing less than 10 000 people to attend, adding a sizeable chunk of would join his event after watching a Carling Black Label quarter finals.
“It’s all systems go and tickets are selling like hot cakes. Durban would be a place to be this weekend. All I can say is that people must go buy tickets because I think by Friday morning all will be sold out.”
Zuma said what makes the event attractive was that all artists that have been booked were the ones whose hit songs had reached more than a million views on Youtube. He said apart from returns he was expecting from the event, the organisers had invested R10 million and have hired local service providers which was in line with local economic development strategy and social upliftment.
When eThekwini Municipality council approved the sponsorship last month, mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said sponsoring such events would be a major boost to the economy with big cities all over the world adapting similar strategies to attract tourists.s
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