Durban - The Comrades Marathon, to be hosted in the eThekwini Municipality on June 10, is expected to inject R355 million into the city’s economy.
Sello Mokoena, KZN Athletics official said the race received 23 800 entries this year with 20 000 runners qualifying to run.
A commissioned independent economic impact assessment done by the North-West University found that the Comrades Marathon was the second largest event contributing to the city’s economy.
“The Comrades is second only to the Durban July which generates R440 million, while the Comrades contributes R355 million to the local economy. It is a huge event for the City and we are grateful to be partnering with the city for the event,” Mokoena said.
The race, which begins in Pietermaritzburg, will end for the first time at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
On Tuesday, Mokoena told eThekwini executive committee that the entrant numbers for the race were limited because of infrastructural constraints.
“At the start of the race, the road needs to be wider to accommodate runners. The finish also has to be bigger which is why we are pleased to partner with the City and have the race end at a bigger venue. We are working to increase the number of applicants as there is a great demand,” he said.
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said tourists were expected to flock into Durban for the race.
“We need to look at how we, as the city, can assist to draw bigger crowds to eThekwini for the race. We need to attract more visitors and help expand the race. The city manager’s office will deal with technical aspect of how we can assist in expanding the race and bring tourists into Durban as a result,” she said.