The 2019 Ironman African Championship will continue as planned in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday next week.
The NMB municipality made the announcement on Friday after a Summerstrand SMME forum had threatened to stop the event if its members were not mentored or given work by bigger businesses working on the event.
The Summerstrand Business Forum claimed it was promised the work for the event in 2018 and accused Ironman SA CEO Keith Bowler and his organising team of reneging on this promise.
During the briefing at the Port Elizabeth City Hall, forum chair Khusela Mqoboli said the forum had now come to an agreement with Ironman SA that space will be created for SMMEs to become service providers for future events.
The forum represents SMMEs in Summerstrand, Humewood, Walmer, Lorraine and Seaview.
“We didn’t stop the Ironman work just because we want to vandalise,” Mqoboli said.
“The issue is that we wanted to engage and participate in the process.
“This event will go as planned because we brought this up at the 11th hour.
“We have agreed that we will be part of the negotiations for future events.”
Mayor Mongameli Bobani said the event on April 7 would continue uninterrupted.
“When we spend money on these events, we want value for money.
“We are using ratepayers and taxpayers’ money and these people want to see this value.
“Ironman is one of the projects that the city is proud of.
“There were challenges and problems with this event but the parties sat down and solved the problem – what is most important is the event must continue,” Bobani said.