THE Executive Committee (EXCO) has approved the hosting of two Bafana Bafana matches at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the next two months.
 
EXCO held its meeting at the City Hall on Tuesday, 30/07/2013.
 
EXCO authorised City Manager Sibusiso Sithole to enter into an agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to host the Mandela Challenge match between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria on August 14 and the Brazil 2014 World Cup Qualifier match with the Botswana national team on September 7.
 
Mayor James Nxumalo welcomed the decision to host the Bafana Bafana matches.
“Our City is growing and it is becoming a popular tourist attraction. We are happy to host the Bafana Bafana soccer matches now and in the future. This is another confirmation that Durban is South Africa’s playground,” he said.
 
City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said hosting of big soccer matches have proven successful in the past and has benefited the City’s economy. “It is a sign that the soccer organisation has confidence in eThekwini to host such big games and in mobilising support for Bafana Bafana,” he said. At present, the budget for the two matches has been estimated to an amount of R 5 million, with R1.5 million budgeted for the first match and R3.5 million set aside for the Botswana qualifier. Sithole said the City was to communicate with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation, on financial assistance.
 
The successful hosting of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2013 has contributed in consolidating eThekwini as a first choice venue for Bafana Bafana. These successes have seen Moses Mabhida and Durban being chosen ahead of other venues when it comes to football. Recently the venue among other major national and international tournaments hosted Manchester United and Manchester City as well as the Nedbank Cup Final between Kaizer Chiefs and Super Sport United in May this year.
 
Other Exco Members also welcomed the decision and suggested that local schools be invited to attend the soccer matches. Speaker Cllr Logie Naidoo called on the corporate sector to support soccer like it happens with rugby and cricket. He suggested that the City approach corporate citizens to drum-up support. Cllr Patrick Pillay said he supported the initiative because it promoted social cohesion. Cllr Heinz de Boer added that the initiative was an investment and would expose tourists to the City.
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality's Communications Unit. Contact Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820/ 0827317456 or email:thabo.mofokeng@durban.gov.za or Silindile Maluleka on 031 311 4811/073 332 639 or email: silindile.maluleka@durban.gov.za