from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – PREVIOUSLY-disadvantaged communities are to participate in the economic opportunities presented by the horse racing value chain, following the collaboration by the National Horse-racing Authority (NHA) and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR).
They have finalised the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Traditional Equine Industry (TEI) with the KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board (KZBGBB) and the Agribusiness Development Agency (ADA).
This will enable local communities participate in the opportunities including sport, agricultural aspects, tourism aspects, regulation, administration and gaming.
The agreement will also enable the TEI to unlock funding opportunities to support the development of the sport, infrastructure, agricultural support, veterinary services and other industry related services.
“The master plan for the development of the TEI is an immensely exciting initiative and the NHA are honoured to be able to play a part,” said Susan Rowett of the NHA.
NHA looks forward to using its operational expertise as regulator of the thoroughbred racehorse industry to assist in the development of the traditional equine industry.
“We anticipate that there will be many areas of synergy and mutual benefit because everything revolves around appreciation and respect of the horse,” Rowett said.
TEI has a rich history of promoting long standing traditional horse sporting activities in the KwaZulu-Natal regions, providing temporary economic opportunities to thousands of people during their annual events such as the Dundee July which contributes more than R15 million annually to the local economy.
Dr Cynthia Thobile Sifunda, from the provincial DSR, is upbeat at the prospects ahead.
“Traditional horse racing started from humble beginnings and has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. With this partnership the industry is set to become a major contributor to economic growth and radical economic transformation,” Sifunda said.
The MOU is anticipated to boost the development of the traditional equine sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
“We look forward to fruitful engagement with the Authority and all other stakeholders in the implementation of this Traditional Equine Industry programme,” said Portia Baloyi of the KZBGBB.
– CAJ News