The Mayoral Race, despite its success, has left a bad taste in the mouth for Johanna Mashishi an athlete from Moletjie, who finished second in the 21 km woman’s walk category of the race in May.
Mashishi and fellow walkers Makhadzi Madi, the winner in a time of 2:29.52 and Elizabeth Matlala who was third were not included in the prize giving ceremony after the race and to date still have not been paid. The winner in their category was meant to receive R1 500 and the runner-up R500.
An amount of R169 000 was reserved by the Municipality to pay all the winners in the 10 km and 21.1 km run and walk distances of the race. According to the results document issued by Polokwane Municipality Communication Unit on 18 May it states that Mashishi came second in the Women Walkers race in a time of 2:51.00.
Assistant Manager Communications at Polokwane Municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo said it is correct that she has not yet been paid and the reason is that during the design of the prize money her category was not included in the report for prize payments. “However, the process for payment for her and other two participants is at an advanced stage and she will get her R1 000
prize money. It should be noted that payment is not an overnight process as the requisition should pass various stages of approval. Ms Mashishi has been kept informed of all the processes and stages and given confirmation that she will get her earned prize money once all the necessary supply chain processes have been satisfied. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to her and the other two athletes because the municipality value their participation in the road race. Mashishi and other members of the public are urged to participate in the next mayoral race where possibly the prize money would be upped,” Mothapo said.
Mashishi, a mother of two who relies on road running for a living, said she was supposed to have been paid R1 000 prize money for finishing the race in second position but she is still waiting for Polokwane Municipality to make the transaction. “My children have moved to a new school and I wanted to use the money to buy them school uniforms. It has been a long wait now. I want that money. They promised to pay me on 19 May after the race but I have been sent from pillar to post. I am baffled because we were told that there would be prizes for the overall winner of the race and the runner-up,” Mashishi said.
When approached for comment on Tuesday, overall winner of the category Makhadzi Madi referred Polokwane Observer to her club Eskom Athletic Club.
Treasurer of the Club, Solly Mokgoahloa said it is not a big deal and they know that the municipality will pay them in due course.
Story: Herbert Rachuene