The SA Olympic and Paralmpic teams will be wearing one of these designs for the opening and closing ceremonies in London. The public may vote online for their favourite design or by SMSing the word 'kit' and the number followed by their name and surname to 34923 before June 5.

Xolani Koyana

THE corporate look, something sporty – or even something with a little African flavour.

These are just some of the designs from among which South Africans may choose their Olympic and Paralympic teams’ kit.

Six top designers are vying to be chosen.

The Team South Africa kit will be worn at the opening and closing ceremonies in London.

The decision is being left to the public, who are being asked to vote for their favourite design.

The designers are Craig Native, Collen Eitzen, Gert-Johan Coetzee, JJ Schoeman, Leigh Schubert and [email protected]

The winning designers were to have been announced at an event to mark 100 days before the Paralympic Games, which are 96 days from today, but the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) felt that the public had not been given enough time to vote.

Committee spokesman Shane Keohane said initially voting had been open for a week, but Sascoc thought this was “short notice”.

The public now have until June 5 to cast their vote.

Keohane said an announcement would be made at a later date.

After an outcry over the “snubbing” of local manufacturers for the official competing kit, the committee had sent out a tender inviting top fashion designers around the country to submit proposed designs for the kit to be worn by the athletes during the ceremonies.

Criteria for the designs were that the outfits must be proudly South African and comfortable.

More than 20 designers submitted their entries, with some entering more than one design.

The public may vote for the design of their choice online through the You, Drum, Huisgenoot, SuperSport and SABC websites or by SMS.

The decision to give the opportunity to local designers has been backed by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union, which voiced its concern after the committee chose Chinese manufacturer Erke to design the general competing kit.

The chance to vote for the kit for the opening and closing ceremonies follows the use of public voting to choose the official South African mascot for the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The public chose Chukuru the rhino.

The London Olympic Games are scheduled to start on July 27, with the Paralympics taking place from August 29.

[email protected]