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Sappi cancels Eland’s Valley marathon


The much loved and iconic fixture on the South African road running calendar is no more. In a press release to THG from Sappi’s regional communications manager, Ms. Elsabe Coetzee, it was explained that the annual Eland’s Valley marathon has, as a result of Sappi “restructuring”, been terminated with immediate effect.


The press release goes on to relate: “We are aware that the EVM has become something of an institution and has provided a welcome financial boost to the local economy. The decision to terminate this event was therefore not taken lightly. Sappi recently undertook a comprehensive review of all the events that the company is involved with as part of the restructuring of the business. As a result certain activities have come to an end.”


“The company believes that the streamlining of our activities would give us better leverage to improve our engagement with our communities and stakeholders in the Lowveld. We remain firmly committed to executing local community events that are organised in partnership with the Lowveld community, such as the Ngodwana Community Upliftment Training Centre, the Sappi/Lowvelder Mother’s Day Concert, Innibos National Arts Festival and the Annual Sappi Mankele Mountain Bike Challenge.”


As mentioned in the Sappi release, the race had for many years, formed a welcome financial boost to the local economy – with a large influx of visitors from near and far booking out all available accommodation without fail on race weekend every year. Unfortunately, local hotels, lodges and b&b’s – already feeling the pinch in increasingly difficult times – will, accordingly, feel the impact of the event cancellation particularly sharply.

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