KwaZulu-Natal authorities say more than 700 jobs have been created with the return of the Hollywoodbets Durban July. Over 35 000 people attended the premier horseracing event.
This is the first time in two years that the prestigious race has welcomed punters and fashionistas to attend the event in person, following the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event celebrates its return to racing:
Thousands of people flocked to Durban to attend the Hollywoodbets Durban July horse race. South Africa’s finest designers showcased their extravagant designs to thousands of spectators. It was a sea of colours and different shades of yellow in line with the ” Show Me The Honey” theme.
Some made grand entrances in private helicopters. Winner of this year’s Hollywoodbets Durban July’s emerging designer, Martin Steenkamp, says he is thrilled that his work is being recognised and celebrated.
Through his design, this young designer managed to capture the theme’s essence with his model dressed in a garment sculptured like a beehive. Steenkamp says since the event was being held virtually for the last two years due to COVID-19, he missed the way people responded to his work.
“The feeling was worlds apart because there wasn’t as much social engagement as we as now. It’s more social. There’s a lot of engagement. You get to see the excitement and you get to see the enthusiasm of the people around the Durban Durban July, but you also get to see how people respond to your work,” he said.
He adds: “Most importantly, we’re supposed to with the virtual shows, we couldn’t see how people already responded to your work. So it’s really exciting to have this platform back again,”
Guests dressed to impress in their designer outfits. These guests Mamantsoe Mokoatle from Matatiela and Nhlanhla Mbana from the Eastern Cape say they missed dressing up for the event.
“Most of the time, I like bright colours because of my skin, I’m thrilled that we are back in public because almost two years now, we were not allowed to be around like, you know a lot of people.”
KwaZulu-Natal Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says hosting the Hollywoodbets Durban July has helped to create several job opportunities.
“More than 750 people are employed in this work that is brought by this. Now it means we’re going to have that vibe that is also playing live to the people. But it also means the economy is now going to grow more than what we’ve seen in the past two years,” says Zikalala.
Meanwhile CEO of Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal, Neville Matjie says he is optimistic that if the province could host more events similar to this, its economy will fully recover.
“The numbers themselves should be able to give you an indication our hotels are full from the tourism side. It’s a great opportunity. We’ve seen, of course, recent products such as Radisson Blue championed by Vivian Reedy, that is also food to capacity programs taking place,” he says.
He adds: “ I’ve also seen some diplomats are met earlier than best of the UAE who’s also here really gets to show that everyone wants to be in Durban. And the economy is open, Durban is open.”
The race saw 18 horses competing for the R5million prize money that was ultimately won by Sparkling Water ridden by Smanga Khumalo with Jet Dark coming in second.
Sparkling Water wins the 2022 Hollywoodbets Durban July: