Port Elizabeth – The countdown has begun, in exactly 365 days, on the 1 September 2018 Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will be the proud hosting city of the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship. The Initial countdown

 The 1st of September 2017 marks exactly 12 months to go before the first race is held in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2018. The City has been hard at work behind the scenes putting together a multidisciplinary team consisting of City officials, Municipal entities, Provincial Government representatives and IRONMAN South Africa.

During the countdown gathering, among the delegates of the Municipality were Councillor MMC Andrew Whitfield, project manager Beck Gatangi and Chief of metro police Yolanda Faro.

Speaking on economic benefits and all the spin offs from an event of this calibre, Member of the Mayoral Committee Councillor Andrew Whitfield, who also chairs the high level committee responsible for this strategic event said: “This event could not have come at a better time, a time when our economy has gone through serious contraction especially in the automotive sector. What this event does is to offer us the opportunity to capitalize on our latent potential in tourism”.

“This event will see more than four thousand athletes racing over two spectacular days in our City; nearly thirty thousand international visitors will descend on Nelson Mandela Bay over a period of at least ten days. The direct spend over that period is estimated at an impressive R300m in Nelson Mandela Bay” concluded Whitfield.

Chief of Metro police Yolanda Faro added that safety of the athletes on the roads is their number one priority for the upcoming event, in ensuring that the event is a success and crime-free.

“we are well aware of the incidents that we have to plan for, therefore we are prepared for anything, we are also in partnership with the South African Police Service in order to ensure more safety and security for the IRONMAN World Championship” described Chief Yolanda Faro.

The City was announced as the successful bidder in September 2016 largely due the City’s impressive history in hosting major international sporting events including the award winning IRONMAN African Championship.

Lwando Nomoyi

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