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  • Writer's pictureCharles Baloyi

Makhanya & athletes left frustrated as Gauteng Dept of Sport drags feet on Covid relief funding

Prominent SA roadrunner Mapaseka Makhanya has blasted the office of the MEC for sport in Gauteng for its lack of professionalism. Makhanya claims she is being sent from pillar to post whenever she inquires about her Covid-19 relief funding. The 2015 Spar Women's 10km Grand Prix Series champion says she is told different stories daily whenever she inquires about the money which was meant to be paid last year and she is starting to run out of patience.

Makhanya representing South Africa at the 2017 World Championships in London. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

“The office of MEC Mbali Hlophe is sending me from pillar to post. They are unprofessional and I am not happy with the way they are conducting their business. To this day, I am still waiting for my relief fund money. I am fighting, inquiring, and told that this paper is missing and that piece of information is missing. It's been going on since July. First they said they needed a letter from my province, Gauteng Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) to prove that I am an athlete in good standing. I submitted that letter on top of my initial application. But nothing has happened," said the frustrated Nike-sponsored runner.

Not one to shy away from voicing her opinion "Mapasexy" said she regularly inquires about the status of her payment, but gets a new story each time. “I don't shy away from issues. You must accept me for the way I am. I do not keep quiet. I have to talk when things are not right. That is the way I am. It is tough being an athlete. I have not run since the lockdown started and they tell stories when you suppose to receive your money," said a fed-up Makhanya.

Makhanya in action during the 2013 Spar Ladies 10km Grand Prix Series. Photo Credit: Mapaseka Makhanya.

Makhanya is not alone in her frustrations as legendary runner Ofentse Mogawane also confirmed that his 400m hurdles younger brother Kefilwe Mogawane has not received his payment. “I told my younger brother to forget about the relief funding and focus on his running. He will wait forever. I do not know what is going on with this relief funding as athletes are kept in the dark. I do not believe them, as they do not pay anyway. I told him to forget about it," Mogawane told #TheTopRunner.

The office of the MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation in Gauteng Mbali Hlophe has left the province's athletes frustrated. Photo Credit: Mbali Hlophe.

The likes of Precious Mashele and Thapelo Phora have also been waiting for what was promised to them in 2020. Makhanya said she hopes that the department would do right by athletes. The spokesperson for the department of sport Nomazwe Ntlokwana said the runners in question must contact the office and they would take it from there. "Thank you for your inquiry. May you please indicate the names of the athletes you're querying about so that we avoid a general response," said Ntlokwana.

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