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Durban July experience spreads to townships and rural areas

EThekwini mayor says the easing of Covid-19 restrictions could not have come at a better time for the busy winter tourism season and the much-anticipated Durban July.

EThekwini Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Picture supplied.

Published Jun 29, 2022

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Durban - ETHEKWINI mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said the easing of Covid-19 restrictions could not have come at a better time for the busy winter tourism season and the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

Speaking at the Durban Tourism launch of the Durban July yesterday, Kaunda said the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions was a turning point for the hard-hit tourism industry.

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Kaunda said this would make the Durban July township and rural experience grander as all venues could operate at full capacity.

There are five township satellite venues which will livestream the races on Saturday. They are Mojos Carwash & Shisanyama in Wiggins, Max’s Lifestyle in uMlazi, Magaba Lounge in Hammarsdale, Maqaqa Lounge in Umbumbulu and Under the Moon in Inanda.

“We are excited about the economic spin-offs that this event is going to bring to our city. The estimated 35 000 people who will head for Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Saturday are expected to spend R145 million, with the Gross Domestic Product in economic activity projected to be R362m. An estimated 740 people will get employment because of this event,” Kaunda said.

He said that while water rationing was in place, the city continued to monitor systems to ensure that it did not have an adverse effect on business and communities.

“While our beaches are closed due to the high-levels of E. coli, our teams are working day and night to finalise repairs to the sanitation infrastructure that was damaged during the recent floods,” he said.

Kaunda added that the municipality was constantly monitoring the water quality at the beaches, adding that recent tests had indicated that the water quality was improving at some beaches in the north.

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Hollywoodbets operations head for Africa Sandisiwe Bhengu said people were eager to see what Hollywoodbets had to offer as the headline sponsor for the Durban July. “The success of our business was built on the foundation of horse racing, and now we are able to continue this legacy with the assistance of a powerful platform.”

Bhengu said Hollywoodbets wanted to up the stakes, and with Gold Circle had increased the Durban July prize money to a record-breaking R5m, which more than doubled last year’s stakes of R2m.

Gold Circle’s marketing and events executive, Steve Marshall, said the demand for tickets and hospitality tickets had been brisk and Hollywoodbets Greyville was preparing to host more than 30000 racing fans on Saturday.

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Marshall also announced that tickets would now be available at the gate on the day of the main event since Covid19 curbs had been dropped and the racecourse could take more people.

Sadly it’s not all systems go for apprentice jockey Rachel Venniker, who will not be riding on Saturday after she had a fall at the start of a race on Monday at the Greyville racecourse.

“She suffered concussion and whiplash and, as a precautionary measure, her doctor has advised that she takes time off,” said Marshall.

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All eyes were on Venniker as she was expected to make history as the first woman jockey to line up for the Durban July.

THE MERCURY

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