The Durban ICC was originally built as a catalyst for economic development for the City of Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal province. Having completed its 22nd year of successful operation, it is clear that the Centre is performing admirably on this mandate.
An independent Economic Impact study has been commissioned annually since 2007 to assess the extent of the Durban ICC’s socio-economic benefit to the City, Province and Country. International accounting and auditing firm BDO was appointed to conduct the detailed study for the past fiscal year.
The 2019 Economic Impact Report reveals that the Centre has continued to make a massive contribution to both the local and national economies and significantly complement the job creation efforts in KwaZulu-Natal.
The gross benefit to the region is the wealth created as a result of the delegates’ expenditure whilst attending the events secured by the Durban ICC. In order to quantify the region’s financial benefit, the expenditure derived from all visitor activity in the relevant economic sectors must be calculated. The report tracks the contribution made in a number of key economic indicators including contribution to KwaZulu-Natal’s Gross Geographic Product, the overall contribution to South Africa’s GDP and the impact this had on job creation. In addition, the study reports on the flow to government taxes, net foreign exchange earnings and the contribution to low-income households.
In the past financial year alone, a total of 14 064 people were employed as a result of the Durban ICC’s activities. In 2019, 7 991 people were employed directly and a further 3 033 people were employed indirectly as a result of events hosted at the centre.
The award-winning venue has always played an active role in supporting community projects and especially those which invest in the lives of young people. It has hosted and sponsored programmes aimed at empowering youth in the hospitality industry.
The Durban ICC has also been a major income earner – in the past fiscal year, the conference centre’s local, provincial and national contribution to the economy has been significant with R6.3-billion generated towards South Africa’s GDP. The majority of this contribution directly benefited the KwaZulu-Natal Gross Geographic Product during the year to the tune of R 6.1-billion.
The 2019 report reveals that during the past financial year, the Centre contributed R6.3-billion to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product. The majority of this contribution directly benefitted the KwaZulu-Natal Gross Geographic Product during the year to the tune of R6.1-billion.
As a catalyst for socio-economic growth, the Durban ICC’s cumulative contribution to the GDP of KwaZulu-Natal over the past thirteen years has been R43.3 billion whilst R45.4 billion went into the South African GDP. This is an outstanding achievement considering it does not include the Centre’s contribution in the first nine years of its operation, which was not quantified at the time.
Commenting on these achievements, Durban ICC CEO Lindiwe Rakharebe noted, “Just as we have led the way in growing the meetings, conventions and exhibitions sector in South Africa, we look forward to making history in the next 20 years and beyond. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all stakeholders who have been a part of this positive growth trajectory.”
She said the leading conference facility has lived up to the prophetic words of Madiba when he said in his opening speech that in constructing the Durban ICC, the people of Durban had shown “foresight, determination and initiative” in creating a venue “that all South Africans can be proud of”, said Rakharebe.