Harry Gwala Marathon event gives local economy a huge boost

2018-03-16 06:00
Kokstad athletes who managed to finish the 42 kms at the Harry Gwala Annual Marathon are: Max Gono, Mthuthu Pikoli, Wave Zwane, Ayanda Tshambula, Gojela  Khanyile, Pamela Mbangi, Gcobani Mpetshwa and Zamile Makhanda.PhotoS: KhayaMagenu

Kokstad athletes who managed to finish the 42 kms at the Harry Gwala Annual Marathon are: Max Gono, Mthuthu Pikoli, Wave Zwane, Ayanda Tshambula, Gojela Khanyile, Pamela Mbangi, Gcobani Mpetshwa and Zamile Makhanda.PhotoS: KhayaMagenu

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THE Harry Gwala District Marathon generated more than R20 million for the district’s economy at the weekend, according to Harry Gwala District Municipality Mayor Mluleki Ndobe.

The annual marathon attracted more than 20 000 athletes from African countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and other towns within South Africa.

He said the economic spin-offs from large events that attract local and African participants hold enormous benefits for the district and its residents.

The marathon was held on Sunday morning, with the 42 km starting at the Ibisi Police Station and ending at Ixopo High School. The 21 km and 10 km were run from Umzimkhulu town to Ixopo High School.

The marathon was also attended by the president of Athletics South Africa, Alex Sikhosana.

Last year, the race created a huge number of economic spin-offs, especially in the hospitality and the retail industries.
The mayor said that district activities such as the Harry Gwala Marathon, are good for the economy as they extend the district’s tourism season.
“It benefits the whole province as well as the country. People come from all over the African continent to take part in the race. The tourism and hospitality industries benefit greatly, but also the retail sector,” the mayor said.

He said they spent R2 million on preparation for the marathon.

In the men’s category, the 42 km was won by Ntsindiso Mphakathi from Nedbank Athletics Club, while the women’s category was won by Loveness Madziva from Zimbabwe. Both winners received new Datsun Go cars.

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