R155m sig­nals a win for all

Apart from the gate tak­ings, hawk­ers with food, drinks, flags and re­galia are look­ing to score big time to­mor­row

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Free State News - MICHAEL TLHAKUDI michaelt@afro­tone.co.za

THE sec­ond Test be­tween South Africa and Eng­land to­mor­row at the Free State Sta­dium in Bloem­fontein is ex­pected to con­trib­ute about R155m to the lo­cal econ­omy, chair­per­son of the board of di­rec­tors of the Free State Chee­tahs Ryno Op­per­man said.

“By play­ing the pow­er­ful English side in Bloem­fontein, the Spring­boks will also con­trib­ute to a huge eco­nomic in­jec­tion for the lo­cal econ­omy. His­tory shows that a Spring­bok Test match can re­sult in a to­tal con­tri­bu­tion of R155m to the lo­cal econ­omy.

It is also an­tic­i­pated that a Test match can re­sult in the cre­ation or sus­tain­ing of about 400 tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent jobs. So there is a huge ben­e­fit in host­ing such an im­por­tant event,” he said.

To­mor­row’s match, which will be the 40th Test be­tween these sides, is ex­pected to be full to the rafters fol­low­ing the nail-bit­ing clash last week­end at El­lis Park Sta­dium where the Spring­boks emerged vic­tors by 42-39.

The match is ex­pected to pro­vide lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple with op­por­tu­ni­ties rang­ing from ac­com­mo­da­tion, cater­ing, so­cial clubs and street ven­dors among oth­ers, with sig­nif­i­cant re­turns this week­end.

Bloem­fontein Hawk­ers mem­ber Pule Mokoena said they were ex­pect­ing to do well this week­end. “We, the hawk­ers, who will be sell­ing flags, re­galia as well as food and drinks around the sta­dium are thrilled with this op­por­tu­nity.

We nor­mally sell food at a soc­cer match but now the league is in re­cess so we will shift to rugby in or­der to make ends meet. Our mem­bers will be smil­ing all the way to the bank on Monday.”

Artist Bren­don Roets says he will be ap­ply­ing face paint to fans es­pe­cially young peo­ple who love the Spring­boks. “I know young peo­ple love to paint their faces, so I’m ex­pect­ing to have more peo­ple us­ing my ser­vices on Saturday, hope­fully we will make more money this time around,” he said.

Mark van Wyk said his guest­house was al­ready fully booked af­ter a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of book­ings early this week. “We have peo­ple from as far as Upington who will be at the match, so it will be a good week­end for us ,”he said.

The Free State Rugby Union said it was par­tic­u­larly ex­cited about the prospect of host­ing such an im­por­tant Test in Bloem­fontein.

“It’s a spe­cial oc­ca­sion for the prov­ince and peo­ple. It will be a great priv­i­lege to see the Spring­boks and Eng­land play in Bloem­fontein,” Jerry Seg­waba, the pres­i­dent of the prov­ince’s rugby union said.

He said they were aim­ing for a good crowd to­mor­row, es­pe­cially be­cause it will be Youth Day. “We looked at the needs of our sup­port­ers and cre­ated more ticket cat­e­gories to of­fer more af­ford­able ticket prices,” he said.

The tick­ets price be­gins at R100 with the most ex­pen­sive just over R1 100.

Metro mayor Olly Mlam­leli said they were ex­cited about the event. “As the metro we are go­ing to roll out the car­pet to our guests who will be com­ing in droves. We want them to feel wel­come in the City of Roses.”

The game kicks off at 5.05pm.


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