THE Moses Mabhida Stadium was abuzz with economic activity on 29 October during the historic handover certificate ceremony of AmaZulu King, His Majesty MisuZulu kaZwelithini. The precinct around the stadium was a hive of activity with arts and crafts on display, and a fashion and food pop-up marketplace. These activities boosted local businesses in the informal economy sector as well as the hospitality and tourism industry.
Over 150 informal traders were issued with special event trading permits to sell their products to attendees from demarcated trading areas. They benefited from the thousands of visitors and well-wishers who converged at the Moses Mabhida Stadium for the significant ceremony. The demarcated areas were located around the stadium in Isaiah Ntshangase Road, the Durban Old Drive In Site, and the Kings Park Swimming Pool. The traders were selling items ranging from perishable goods as well as arts and crafts. All exhibitors expressed their gratitude for the opportunity and said it was a good boost for their business, especially the food vendors who sold out before the day was over. The event also impacted the tourism and hospitality industry with a projected 82 000 people flocking to eThekwini over the weekend coming from across the country and the world. The direct spend is estimated to be R65 million with a R130 million contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Around 207 jobs were also created because of the event. Accommodation establishments reported above 80 percent occupancy rates across the Municipal area. EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said hosting such a big event was a welcome relief for the hospitality and tourism sector which is still recovering from several setbacks over recent years. “The R65 million direct spend was shared by many local businesses as the projected 82 000 visitors who were in Durban this weekend booked into various accommodation establishments. They also spent at eateries, enjoyed tourism experiences, visited shopping malls and many other businesses which is a boost to the City’s economy,” said Mayor Kaunda.
The economic benefit of the event is further extended to our informal economy as special license traders were able to sell their products and boost their incomes, he said. “The informal sector is very critical to local economic growth as it creates employment. It is for this reason that as the Municipality will be hosting the Informal Economy Indaba to further outline the sector’s support on 2 November at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
The conversations will be streamed live on eThekwini Municipality’s and the Durban Business Fair’s social media platforms,” he said. Mayor Kaunda said the Municipality is happy with the economic spin-off of this historic ceremony. He also expressed his gratitude to the traders for obeying Municipal trading bylaws.