Ricardo Mackenzie MPP
DA Western Cape Spokesperson on cultural Affairs and Sport
Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament
Research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Research indicates that sport has contributed in excess of R8,8 billion to the GDP of the Western Cape, between 2012 and 2015. This tells of the important role that sport, and sporting tourism, plays in economic development.
In a briefing to the Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, it was revealed that the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport intends to increase the funding that is made available for the development of sport in the province.
With sport being a multi-billion dollar global industry, it is encouraging that the Western Cape has a proven ability to host major sporting events such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Epic. The province also boasts key sporting infrastructure, as such it makes sense that we pursue sport tourism as a viable route by which to develop our job-creating sport tourism industry.
It is important that the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport continues to earmark communities which stand to gain from exposure to major sporting events. This is a means by which to nurture talent in the province in order to assist the emergence of future sports stars from grassroots level.
Sport is not only fun, but plays a pivotal role in social inclusion as well tackling the social ills facing many of our communities. Through participating in sport, the youth of the province place themselves in a position to make a positive contribution to their own communities and become role models for those younger than themselves.
The DA believes that the Western Cape is a province of sports-lovers, with top-class sports facilities, a functioning tourism sector and exhibits the best ‘gees’ at sporting events. Therefore, it makes sense for the Western Cape Government to cultivate the lucrative sport tourism industry.