DURBAN - City of uMhlathuze mayor Xolani Ngwezi has congratulated Richards Bay FC for winning the Glad Africa Championship 2021/2022 season and in the process earning qualification for the DStv Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Richards Bay FC finished top of the the Glad Africa Championship standings with a goalless draw against Cape Town Spurs on Sunday. It was enough for them to get automatic promotion to the PSL, while also claiming the crown of the National First Division title.
Ngwezi said that the city also attributed the club’s success to the existing three-year contract that the municipality signed with the club. In terms of the contract, the municipality funds the team’s operations to the tune of R3 million annually.
“The city is in the process of reviewing this amount ahead of the 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25 MTREF (Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework) budget approval period that begins on July 1, 2022.”
Ngwezi said that being able to stage PSL matches would boost tourism.
“The city has noted that staging the scheduled DStv Premiership games in Richards Bay will not only bring professional football to our area, but it will put our area on the soccer map, assist with scouts who will identify more talent in the area, contribute to tourism development and most importantly, harness economic growth mainly in the hospitality businesses.”
Ngwezi added that there are several other spin-offs such as employment opportunities and other indirect benefits.
“The city has made a provision of R15m to repair the stadium’s roof because of leaks and other damaged areas. We are in the process to award this tender for the stadium repairs. While this process unfolds we shall periodically consult to ensure that we meet the guidelines as stipulated by the DStv Premiership,” Ngwezi added.