Durban July ready to welcome 50 000 people

Model Cheri-Lee Thangalan shows off designer Krishan Ramdewu’s outfit at the official Gallops held at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Thursday morning.

Model Cheri-Lee Thangalan shows off designer Krishan Ramdewu’s outfit at the official Gallops held at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on Thursday morning.

Published Jun 30, 2024


Durban — The countdown to the biggest horse racing event in South Africa, the Hollywoodbets Durban July, has begun, with punters, racegoers and fashionistas set to descend on the theatre of champions, Durban’s Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse, on Saturday.

While punters will be placing their bets on the 12 races, designers and fashionistas will show off their creations and display their interpretation of this year’s theme, “Ride the Wave”.

This week the final field of the R5 million Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July was announced.

Devin Heffer, brand and communications manager for Hollywoodbets, said they were looking at achieving a maximum capacity of 50 000, a return to pre-Covid figures.

He said the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse would warmly welcome seasoned racegoers, once-a year visitors, punters, owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, breeders and race officials.

“This is where they are all the stars of this show as we eagerly anticipate 12 races showcasing top-level equine performance in Africa’s greatest horse racing spectacle. Our home-grown favourite group, Mango Groove, will proudly perform our national anthem on the day. The multi-award-winning act has been getting the world to ‘Dance Sum More’ for over 30 years, and these special stars will be uniting us all as we join hands and have fun.

“The main event of the day, the Grade 1 Hollywoodbets Durban July, will feature 18 of the country’s finest thoroughbreds competing for R5 million in stakes. Hollywoodbets will also be giving away a brand new Omoda vehicle to a lucky punter in the ‘Make Waves’ horse racing competition, with the handover taking place on race day,” said Heffer.

Model Kekeletso Makhetha (designer Olwethu Payi) enjoys a glass of mimosa with Boitumelo Mhlongo (designer Avuyile Sihlobo) at the Gallops held at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse.

He said an integral part of the special day were the fashionistas, fashion designers and the finalists of the Young Designer Award, presented by the Durban Fashion Fair, who are set to dazzle with their interpretations of this year’s theme, “Ride the Wave”.

Guests on the day include Hollywoodbets brand ambassadors Carol Tshabalala, Robert Marawa, Brian Baloyi, Teko Modise, Jerry Sikhosana and Anthony Delpech. Among A-list celebrities are Maps Maponyane, Pamela Mtanga, Kwenzo Ngcobo, Sinikwe Mhlongo, Nadia Jafta, Valencia Naidoo, Naliyani Uma, Simphiwe Mbatha and Phupho Gumede.

The Boomtown village at the event, known for its hospitality and live entertainment, will feature some of the biggest names in the South African music industry. Tickets range in price from R565 to R3 652 for VVIP.

The line-up includes international DJ duo export Major League, and hip-hop royalty K.O will make his debut on the Boomtown stage this year. Local favourites KOTW make a return to the bill, and supporting them are Ms Cosmo and Ten Oceans. There will also be Goldmax, Shilly Mingz, DJ Hands and Devlin.

The Durban July all-inclusive hospitality marquees are offering food, drinks and superior décor elements at R7 475 and R8 045.

Gugu Sisilana, eThekwini Municipality’s spokesperson, said the direct spend was estimated at R270 000, with a total of R669 000 contribution to the eThekwini GDP.

“The total number of jobs to be created around the Durban July activities is estimated to be 1207. The City is looking forward to the event and to welcome punters and visitors from all over the country and world. This is one of the city’s anchor events, which generates massive profits and boosts businesses. We will also prioritise the safety of the citizens and visitors. Metro police and other law enforcement agencies are working together to roll out safety plans.

“As Durban is also Africa’s events and festival-leading destination, the City will partner with several events as part of council-approved destinations leveraging partnerships. The side activities include Fact Durban Rocks, Mother of All Parties, Mojo’s July Weekend, Any Given Sunday, eThekwini Jazz Jam, ekasi Durban July and Artizen Durban July,” said Sisilana.

An entrance ticket to the races costs R230.

Sunday Tribune