Soweto Marathon cancelled again because of R1m shortfall

2013-10-10 16:18

The Soweto Marathon has been cancelled – again.

This according to the office of Gauteng Sport and Recreation MEC Lebogang Maile, which issued a press statement this afternoon.

The statement said the task team established to raise funds for the event had failed to pass the 80% mark of the requisite budget for the November 3 marathon.

“The organisers have warned that it will be impossible to prepare for a race of this magnitude in the next two weeks. During the two week period, the committee has been able to raise about 80% of the requisite budget, but there is a R1 million shortfall,” read the statement.

“After two weeks of gruelling deliberations and fund-raising efforts by the newly formed interim committee, a difficult decision was reached to abort this year’s Soweto Marathon.”

The committee was set up by Maile after it emerged the iconic race has been cancelled because of a lack of co-operation from former organisers ASA (Athletics SA) to secure funding for the event.

This committee is a joint venture between the Gauteng government, the City of Johannesburg, Central Gauteng Athletics, Gauteng Sport Council and Soweto Sport Council.

“It is heartbreaking to see the Soweto marathon, the only South African premier race that takes place in a township, facing such serious challenges. As the provincial government we want to immediately support the organisers in preparing for next year’s marathon, so that they are able to present a world class event at the time when the country is celebrating 20 years of our democracy,” said Maile.

ASA president James Evans said the athletics governing body was excluded from the task team and he was disappointed Maile was now pointing fingers at ASA.

“There was exchange of emails recently where I even sent them the potential sponsors’ names,” said Evans.

Last month, a group calling itself the Soweto Marathon Trust started the confusion when it announced the race had been cancelled.

It later emerged that a trust, which had former ASA chief executive Banele Sindane as its spokesperson, was not registered and had no powers to organise or cancel the race.

The Gauteng government stepped in and Maile pledged R800 000 to assist in organising the race.

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