- City of Jo'burg to kick off major sports events again in level 1 lockdown.
- Golf, cycling and, motorsport will make a comeback and fans can actually attend.
- Strict Covid-19 protocols must be observed at all times; wearing masks and regular sanitising is a must.
- For motoring news, go to Wheels24
The City of Johannesburg (COJ) has officially announced that particular sporting codes will return to action in the coming weeks. Golf, cycling and, most notably for us here at Wheels24, motorsport will make a comeback after more than 18 months of lockdown in South Africa which began in March 2020.
COJ acting director for strategic communications, Nthatisi Modingoane, says: "With the eased lockdown restrictions, after the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to move the country to Alert level 1 and allow for larger gatherings, the City of Jo'burg has lined up a series of critical strategic events hosted by the City to showcase its world-class infrastructure and position us as a global brand with the capability of hosting significant events."
Since the lockdown began more than 500 days ago, sporting events have had to be put on hold across the country. Motorsport has made a return in several cities around SA; however, spectators have not attended in most instances. Last weekend's race at the Dezzi Raceway in Kwa-Zulu Natal, for example, was the first race that spectators were allowed to partake in, albeit under strict Covid-19 protocols.
COJ believes that as the Covid-19 pandemic recedes, it's time to unlock a few events that sports fanatics have missed for far too long. Spearheading the City's sporting events calendar is one of the most prestigious golf tournaments on the South African and European golf circuit, the Jo'burg Open. As it's an outdoor event, 2000 spectators will be allowed to attend the upcoming event. Last year, no spectators were allowed to attend the tournament held at the Randpark Golf Club. Official dates for the 2021 Jo'burg Open will be announced in the coming week.
Also featured on the list of critical strategic events hosted by the City of Johannesburg is The Jo'burg Ladies Open, 947 Ride Jo'burg and the Kyalami 9 Hour.
The Kyalami 9 Hour became the first major international motorsport event to light up the country last year since Covid-19 halted all events in March. The race, which again stages the final round of this season's Intercontinental GT Challenge, returned to South Africa for the first time after 37 years in 2019 and proved a resounding success. Last year, fans had to watch from home, but this year, 2000 people will be allowed to attend the epic endurance race on 3 and 4 December.
"The City's strategic events are a timely significant boost to the country's economy, now more than ever. Our economy requires a boost following the COVID-19 lockdown, and with the President publicly calling for new business stimulus, the hosting of global events is perfectly timed to contribute significantly towards reviving the country's economy that has been ravaged by the coronavirus," Modingoane notes.
Hosting these major sporting events affirms Jo'burg as a sporting destination of choice and its readiness to welcome the world and provide an opportunity to showcase local tourism experience with diverse heritage, cultures, and offerings.
Wheels24 will bring you more information about the 2021 Kyalami 9 Hour as it breaks. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest insights on all things motoring related in Mzansi.