Johannesburg – Money woes have placed the future of one of South Africa’s best-known marathons in jeopardy.
It will be known by September whether the Soweto Marathon will take place this year.
Currently, the Soweto Marathon Trust is trying to raise a minimum budget of R5 million to fund the famous race. If it fails to do so, the race will be cancelled.
The marathon has been without sponsorship for almost three years. First Nedbank pulled out, and Athletics South Africa followed suit last year.
The trust, which was established this year by various race clubs in Soweto, is in talks with a number of possible funders.
According to a statement issued this week, chairman Sello Khunou said the trust had done its utmost to try to secure sponsors for the race, “but unfortunately all our efforts drew a blank”.
“We neither want to make excuses nor point fingers for our failure to secure sponsors for the race.
“However, we have to make it known, without any fear of contradiction, that one of the main reasons for our failure to secure sponsors for the race is the climate currently prevailing in South African athletics.
“The climate now is toxic, and it renders the whole athletics environment hostile to potential sponsors, Khunou said.
He was aware of the far-reaching negative implications of cancelling this year’s race, Khunou said, adding that the trust had requested an urgent meeting with the president of Athletics South Africa, James Evans.
Evans said he was not in any position to comment when The Star contacted him.