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Vendors, car guards cash in on Comrades Marathon

"The rates car guards charged also differs between blacks and whites"

CAR guards and vendors made a fortune at Sunday's Comrades Marathon.

The ultra-marathon race is one of the biggest events on the country's sporting calendar. It was run from the province's capital city, Pietermaritzburg, to Durban.

While top athletes received big prize money, vendors and car guards also benefited from the race.

Hawkers increased the prices of their wares, while car guards doubled their charge.

"We normally charge R10 for parking, but today we charge extra because we have to make real money," car guard Sihle Zulu said.

"Comrades Marathon comes once a year and we have to make something out of it. I woke up early to be here."

Zulu said the rates car guards charged "also differs between blacks and whites".

"You see, we have to charge extra for whites because we know they have money and they can afford it, compared to a black person," he said.

Ntombikayise Zibula said she got up at 2.30am to prepare her stock for the race.

"Normally, there are laws that prohibit us from trading when there are big events, but not during the Comrades Marathon," she said.

"We are allowed to put out stalls on the side of the road as long as we do not block the runners," Zibula said.

Zibula said she normally charged R30 for boerewors, but increased her price to R50 during the race.

"If I charge my normal price, do you think I will make enough profit? Comrades comes once a year. It means that once in a year I am able to make what I would normally get in a week," she said.

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