TOP GEAR FEVER: DURBAN DOES IT AGAIN
By: Gift Nyamapfene and Snenjabulo Sithole
The eThekwini Municipality is confident that Durban is ready to host the Top Gear Festival this month at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Mayor of Durban, James Nxumalo, made the announcement and iterated how the city has become the centre for international events in the country with the most recent being the Comrades Marathon and Tourism Indaba.
“The City has enjoyed an estimated 140 000 visitors over the past four weeks due to the number of events taking place here. The impact of this is not to be underestimated. All these events play an important role in positioning Durban as an international events and tourism hub, and is a strategic move to ensure that Durban remains on the global radar as a tourism and investment destination,” said Nxumalo.
Of particular importance is the economic impact of the Top Gear Festival on the livelihoods of the community whose economy is anticipated to grow subsequently.
“Hosting the Top Gear Festival has huge economic spin-offs for the city, estimated at more than R90 million, and the vast international exposure means a massive boost for Durban and the KZN region,” added Nxumalo.
Some members of the public have also been overwhelmed by the expected end product of the event.
“I think it is good for tourism and it will boost the economy of this country,” said Londeka Shange.
During the two-day motoring extravaganza, Durban will entertain thousands of international and local Top Gear fans.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium will host the Live Show presented by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and the STIG.
Top Gear’s street circuit, which is winding around the streets of the city, will allow Durbanites to actively participate in the two-day event.
“All progress with the arrangements for the festival are proceeding well and going according to schedule,” said Philip Sithole, Head of the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit.
“Over the past few weeks, residents saw the structures being put in place for the event. Installation of the safety barriers is well underway and should be completed by the 10 June with the handover of the street track by 13 June,” added Sithole.
Safety and security measures have reportedly been underway in preparation for the Top Gear Festival.
“There will be road closures during the weekend of the show. However, these will be minimised to prevent inconvenience to the motorists. We appeal to motorists to find alternate routes and to exercise care and patience during the road closures,” said Sithole.
Metro Police spokesperson, Eugene Msomi confirmed that Metro Police will be on duty to assist and guide motorists through the precinct.