Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani has given the assurance that a new three-year contract with Ironman South Africa will be signed in due course.
The city has not yet signed the contract to confirm its status as the host of the iconic world sporting event which has been held in Port Elizabeth for the past 15 years.
Mayor Bobani told the DMB on Algoa FM on Thursday that the Municipality would meet the June 16 deadline to sign the new deal and that the issue with Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises involvement, which threatened to scupper this year’s event, had been resolved.
Emphasizing that they would not let a 15-year history with the event slip through their fingers, the Mayor revealed that a mayoral delegation had already traveled to Europe to meet the owners of Ironman globally.
“The fact that we met with them in France and sorted out all other issues means that Ironman will continue. The issue will go to Council and I can assure residents that Ironman will go ahead,” said Bobani.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed President of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, Andrew Muir, said the Chamber was on standby should intervention be required between the two parties.
“Iconic events like Ironman are critical to our city to stimulate not only investment but domestic interest and broader interest. Ironman has a huge international following and reach and is a showcase for our Metro.”
Ironman South Africa MD Keith Bowler confirmed that discussions with all role players were on-going and that it was imperative that a Memorandum of Understanding be reached before the June 16 cut-off next weekend.
“We’ve drawn a line in the sand of June 16 which we cannot cross because if a deal is not reached by then, other interested cities need to be afforded the opportunity to pitch for Ironman,” he said.