Runners compete in the annual Comrades Marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Picture: 123RF/ LEON SWART
Runners compete in the annual Comrades Marathon between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Picture: 123RF/ LEON SWART

The KwaZulu-Natal province is facing a whooping R700m in lost tourism revenue after the cancellation of the 2021 Comrades Marathon.

In yet another blow to the province, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has already said losses due to the cancellation of this year’s event due to Covid-19‚ which was scheduled for June 13‚ would  amount to  more than R20m for them.

The spokesperson for the provincial department of economic development‚ tourism & environmental affairs‚ Bheki Mbanjwa‚ said they were bracing for far-reaching effects on the entire tourism value chain.

“In 2019‚ the Comrades Marathon generated over R700m and created over 1,000 temporary jobs in the sector. Therefore‚ without a doubt‚ the cancellation of this huge event will definitely have a negative impact‚” said Mbanjwa.

“The Comrades Marathon is one of the province’s biggest sports tourism events. Over the years this event has had a positive impact on the province’s economy.”

Comrades Marathon organisers will once again host a virtual race this year and the provincial department of sport‚ arts‚ culture and recreation said they would support them.

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