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Soweto Marathon prize pot unchanged despite new sponsor

We can't do everything in first year – bank

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Joshua Peterson, Mapaseka Makhanya and Thulani Sibisi during the launch of Soweto Marathon at Sakhumzi Restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.
Joshua Peterson, Mapaseka Makhanya and Thulani Sibisi during the launch of Soweto Marathon at Sakhumzi Restaurant in Vilakazi Street, Soweto.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

"That Soweto Marathon will be going ahead this year is the biggest prize we all have to celebrate."

This is what African Bank chief marketing officer Sbusiso Khumalo said when asked why, despite the bank coming on board as the race's new title sponsor, the first prize remains R250,000.

The launch to officially unveil the bank as the race's headline sponsor was at Sakhumzi restaurant on Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, yesterday.

African Bank's deal with the Soweto Marathon will run for five years. Khumalo suggested the purse money could increase in the next few years, insisting the first step was to make sure the race happens amid the chaos that erupted a few weeks ago when some of the Soweto Trust board members, who have since been suspended, declared that the race would be abandoned.

"We still need more financial resources. What we are contributing certainly doesn't cover the full budget of the event. We are hoping to sit down with the organisers to make the event attractive from a prize money point of view going forward. For now, it's an elephant we want to eat one piece at a time...we can't do everything in the first year,'' Khumalo said.

The People's Race will take place on November 5. Khumalo also explained why they will still joint forces with the Soweto Marathon amid the impasse between its Trust board members.

"Our role as a corporate is to not shy away when there are challenges but we want to be part of the solution by getting involved with the trustees, understanding what's happening and what they're doing to make sure they can get their house in order and get the governance sorted out,'' Khumalo said.

The arrival of African Bank has also seen the entry fees being reduced to R380 from R550 for the marathon, R300 from R450 for the 21.1km and R280 from R350 for the 10km.

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