The much-anticipated annual JG Zuma 52-kilometre marathon between Nquthu and Endumeni area at Dundee in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal has been cancelled.
The Umzinyathi District municipality has expressed its disappointment over the cancellation, citing reasons of change in government and the disturbances caused to sponsors at the last minute on Thursday.
The marathon, scheduled for Sunday, was also a Comrades Marathon qualifier. Several athletes including international runners have been disappointed about the cancellation as they were not notified in time.
However, the Municipality promises to hold a Sports Indaba with a full budget in the hope of reviving the marathon.
The Mayor of Umzinyathi District Municipality Petros Ngubane says this is a setback for the municipality.
“We are disappointed … and I think as the area where this happens, business won’t be as usual, because people were prepared to accommodate and offer whatever they do offer to these comrade runners. I am of the opinion that since it is during this time of the year and the change in government and all sorts of things that are involved might also have disturbed the sponsors and all those who partake of this marathon. I can’t be specific and point out the actual issues because that might disappoint other people.”