Soweto Marathon cancelled, but Gauteng promises to save it in 2014

2013-10-13 10:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Gauteng provincial government has promised to save the Soweto Marathon from extinction despite uncertainty around the event’s future.

This follows an announcement by the Gauteng department of sports and recreation on Thursday that the November 3 event had been cancelled due to a lack of cooperation from Athletics SA (ASA) and a failure to secure the required funding.

But the chief director of sports in Gauteng, Ivor Hoff, said they would try save the race next year.

The latest development turned into a war of words between ASA president James Evans and Gauteng MEC for sport Lebogang Maile.

On Friday, the MEC called Evans “a liar” on Talk Radio 702 when the latter said he had tried in vain to contact Maile’s office via Hoff.

Evans said: “We didn’t want to get involved because the Soweto Marathon is not a national event. We (posted) a R600 000 loss last year and ASA had agreed to hand the marathon over to Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) to organise. Maile must take responsibility for his staff. I think he owes me an apology.”

But Hoff said ASA was making the department the scapegoat. “We didn’t want to get involved in ASA’s battles with its affiliates,” he said.

“We asked Evans to give us two weeks to try and raise the sponsorship. He only gave us one lead and those sponsors turned us down. We played a supportive role and had R800 000 that was budgeted for this event. We’ll try and help the race again next year.”

In another twist, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said they would consider this year’s race as being on until ASA informs them otherwise. “ASA has yet to brief us on the latest developments. We’ll wait for a few days and if they (ASA) don’t come, we’ll go to them and engage,” he said.

The SABC planned to broadcast the event live as per its contract with ASA. “It is premature to say ASA is in breach of contract because the marathon is just a small portion of our agreement,” said Kganyago.

According to him, the SABC had nothing to do with the Gauteng provincial department or CGA.

ASA had handed over the event to CGA after accepting a proposal in October last year.

This was while CGA had been negotiating with the Soweto clubs.

CGA president James Moloi confirmed the provincial body had signed a memorandum of understanding with the clubs.

The clubs were in the process of forming a Soweto Marathon trust.

Last month, the trust announced that the marathon had been cancelled. It turned out that the trust was not registered and had no powers to organise or cancel the race.

CGA would not comment, saying the Gauteng government was speaking on its behalf.

» Meanwhile, the SA Race Walking Championships in Cape Town today will mark the last item on the domestic track-and-field calendar.

The 10km Spar Women’s Challenge took place this morning with the Joburg leg being the last of the five races that comprise the Spar Grand Prix Series.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.