Jockey Kabelo Matsunyane celebrated the first major win of his career in a Grade 1 race when he and horse Winchester Mansion won the main race at the 2023 Hollywoodbets Durban July on 1 July at the Greyville Racecourse.
THE 2023 instalment of the Hollywoodbets Durban July contributed to the recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector. Held on 1 July at the Greyville Racecourse, the event was packed to capacity. Jockey Kabelo Matsunyane, riding Winchester Mansion, scored the biggest win of his career when he was crowned the winner of this year’s main Grade 1 race.
Over 30 000 spectators were reported to be at the Greyville Racecourse. Africa’s biggest horseracing event ensured Durban had a bumper Durban July weekend. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said projections indicate that 1 500 jobs were created through the event which is expected to contribute about R130 million to the Municipality’s GDP. Direct spend from the event is expected to reach R65 million. Hotel occupancy was expected to be 75 percent, but the industry reported reaching over 85 percent occupancy rates. “The major boost to the local economy is welcomed. Businesses across various sectors, including the informal economy, experienced a boost as there was a direct spend from this sector. Businesses that gained this weekend were fashion and textile, transportation, hair and beauty, and those selling fast food takeaways.
Business was really booming in Durban this weekend,” he said. Mayor Kaunda said the City’s forecast indicated that more tourists will be returning to visit eThekwini. “This is because we utilise major events like the Durban July to further position the City as a destination of choice. As travel is now easy between Zambia and Eswatini to eThekwini due to direct flights, we hosted trade and media by taking them to our key attractions and hidden gems. All of this was documented and will be shown in their broadcast mediums which will attract more visitors.” Fashion was also the order of the day with both emerging and established designers showcasing their creations in keeping with the event’s theme ‘Out of this world’. On the day, the most creative Young Designers were awarded with bursaries from the Hollywoodbets Foundation.
The first prize of a R50 000 bursary went to Lwandle Zwewe from PMB School of Fashion, with the second spot awarded to Thabiso Ncanana from the Durban University of Technology (DUT) who received a R30 000 bursary. Third place went to Andile Nsele also from DUT who received a R20 000 bursary.