Mbalula praises Tshwane Open
Pretoria - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says the income generated from the Tshwane Open at Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate will greatly benefit local tourism.
Despite the lack of spectators attending the event - the leading group had less than 20 in the gallery - Mbalua praised the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour tournament for its global appeal.
"There's so much at stake here, the slogan [It's more than just golf] fits well," Mbalula said on Saturday.
"The country benefits, there's huge revenue for South Africa coming out of this."
Mbalula referred to, as examples of global sports events in the country in recent years, the recent hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament, and other co-sanctioned golf events.
"This follows a series of events of this nature that have been hosted here in South Africa. It continues to show our capacity and ability. This is about job creation," he said.
"This is it in action, this is going to generate viewership across the globe. People will get to know Tshwane, [that] you've got spaces in this country that are great for tourism."
Development was key for a tournament of this nature, according to Mbalula.
"This is great for golf. For me the bigger picture is that we need to focus on development," the minister said. "We must look at the talent elsewhere that is untapped in South Africa and make sure the guys come through."
South African golf had continued to grow with the hosting of six co-sanctioned events, Mbalula believed.
"It has been a good summer for all South Africans, from the Joburg Open to the Tshwane and the Africa Open. Great players come to the fore to prove their skill and their worth and that's good for the players as well."