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Eastern Cape MEC Somyo officially launches the 2015 Africa Open Golf Challenge

The Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Hon Mr Sakhumzi Somyo, hits the opening shot to officially launch the 2015 Africa Open at the East London Golf Club. (Credit Luke Walker/SunshineTour/Gallo Images)

The Eastern Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Hon Mr Sakhumzi Somyo, has officially opened the 2015 Africa Open at East London Golf Club.

Over 150 players have already converged on the province and are ready to play in this prestigious tournament. 

MEC Somyo said: “The Africa Open forms part of the provincial strategy to promote the Eastern Cape globally and position it as a premier tourism sporting destination.” 

Somyo praised the collective effort demonstrated by the tournament organizers to attract world-class players: “The challenge continues to showcase unquestionable professionalism and remains among the best sporting events, especially in Africa.”

While consecutive wins by South African players of the tournament against a well-represented international squad bear testimony to African talent, development remains a key focus. 

Over 400 jobs have been created during the African Open with the total spend amounting to R4,4 million across the industry value chain.  The socio-economic impact of the tournament includes skills transfer to the local communities with opportunities ranging from caddies, transportation and specialised services for players.  The benefits will be felt in the accommodation establishments ranging from hotels and B&Bs, and the province’s prestigious restaurants where visitors can experience warm hospitality. 

The players are also been treated to the magnificent infrastructure which has been heralded by many as pristine and presents a memorable challenge.

Somyo wished all the players and visitors to the province a hearty welcome: “I wish each golfer a successful Africa Open and look forward to enjoying world-class golfing action and our hospitality in the coming days.

The Africa Open Golf Challenge is held from 05 to 08 March at the East London Golf Course, Eastern Cape, South Africa.