THE WILDEKLAWER Schools Sports Festival held in Kimberley over the weekend attracted more than 20 000 spectators, however, although it was yesterday described as the “flagship tournament” for schools sport in the country, the city’s mayor failed to attend.
Despite several attempts to invite the Sol Plaatje Executive Mayor, Mangaliso Matika, to be part of the festival, no response was received, festival organiser, Cassie Carstens, said.
“The event, which came to an end last night, resulted in a massive economic injection of about
R60 million into the city over the past four days. All accommodation places, guesthouses and hotels as well as restaurants and the malls were packed to capacity.
“The event attracted international and provincial referees while the matches were streamed and broadcast live on national television.”
Carstens said that the event had received the support and funding from various local businesses, as well as the Office of the Premier, the Northern Cape Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture as well as product sponsors and the Northern Cape Chamber of Commerce.
He, however, indicated that they had not received any feedback or response from the Mayor’s Office.
“We sent several emails and letters to the PA in the Mayor’s Office while I also tried to contact him telephonically as we would have liked him to be part of the welcoming function and to continue the legacy of the former mayor, David Molusi, who was personally involved in the event for the past three years.”
He added that the event was attracting more sponsors.
“It costs millions of rands to host an event of this magnitude and we would like to thank the community for supporting it, as well as everyone who was involved in making it a success, including the local schools that hosted the matches.”
He stated that the main sponsor, owner of Wildeklawer, Louis de Kock, wanted to plough back into the community through this sporting event.
“The event that started in 2009, will now be held in Kimberley as it is a central meeting place for competitors all over the country. Our provincial teams competed well with the top rugby and netball teams from across South Africa. The winner of the rugby development team was Concordia Secondary School in Namaqualand while Kimberley Girls’ High won the netball tournament.”
Manager in the Office of the Executive Mayor, George Mosimane, indicated that they had not received any invitation to the event.
“If there were any correspondence or calls, the Mayor’s PA would have informed me as we need to manage the Mayor’s schedule. If he was unable to attend, a representative from the Mayor’s Office would have attended.”