Big Bikes rally stay on coast

2011-03-04 00:00

A PARTNERSHIP has been struck between the Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM), the Ugu District Municipality, Ugu South Coast Tourism and Harley Davidson that will see Africa Bike Week remain on the south coast for the next five years.

A meeting between all of the stakeholders was held at Royston Hall in Umtentweni on Wednesday evening that saw HCM Mayor Nolwazi Shusha sign a contract that will now be sent to the Harley Davidson headquarters in Milwaukee, U.S.

The event will be held for the third consecutive year in Margate from April 28 to May 1 this year. Last year the event attracted around 12 000 bikers and 80 000 enthusiasts.

Shusha said that she was extremely happy that the event had been secured on the South Coast. “I am glad to see that Harley Davidson has recognised that women can do it too,” she said reacting to the nu,ber of women bikers who have attended past Africa Bike Weeks. “It is my hope that this year we will see 10  000 more bikers than we saw last year.”

The HCM mayor added that the event has the potential to be very beneficial to the Hibiscus Coast. “I hope that the event will create jobs for the people of our area, one third of … [whom] are unemployed,” she said. “We are proud of the event and how many people it has inspired to visit the Hibiscus Coast.”

South Coast Tourism’s Hilda Gabriel shared Shusha’s optimism as to what the event could bring to the South Coast.

“It is very healthy for our region in every aspect and it will help us grow,” said Gabriel. “We need to secure big events like this for the South Coast.”

With the streets of Margate expected to be flooded with Harley Davidsons come April 28, event organiser Martin Engelbrecht said that he anticipates this year’s event to be even more successful than that of 2010.

“This year we anticipate even more bikers and enthusiasts,” he said. “We have planned some exciting activities and we are expecting 3 000 riders to take part in the mass ride on Sunday, May 1 from the Shelly Centre to Port Shepstone.”

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