Acting Minster of Sports, Art and Culture Ramokgopa congratulates the 2024 Comrades marathon participants and organisers

Newly elected Second Deputy Secretary-General Maropene Ramokgopa.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

Newly elected Second Deputy Secretary-General Maropene Ramokgopa.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/Independent Newspapers

Published Jun 10, 2024


The newly appointed Acting Minister of Sport, Arts, and Culture, Maropene Ramokgopa, congratulates all participants and organisers on a successful 2024 Comrades Marathon.

Popularly known as the “ultimate human race,” the 103rd edition of this epic endurance race took place in KwaZulu Natal on Sunday, June 9.

South African Gerda Steyn made history when she won a third Comrades Marathon in a row and broke her record to win the women’s race, while Pete Wiersma from the Netherlands won the men’s race.

“The Comrades Marathon represents the best of South Africa, and the power of sport to foster national unity and social cohesion. A signature event in South African sport, the Comrades Marathon brings together people from all walks of life, and from all parts of the world to tackle one of the world’s most famous running routes,” said Ramokgopa.

The Minister said she is pleased to see the Comrades Marathon continuing to draw runners and visitors into the country from all over the world.

“This is why this marathon is important in boosting sport tourism in the country,” she said.

As South Africa celebrates 30 years of freedom and democracy, the country’s cultural, creative, and sports sectors continue to raise the country’s flag sky high.

“Amapiano artist Kabza de Small and orchestral conductor Ofentse Pitse have collaborated for a spectacular show at the Red Bull Symphonic South Africa. DJ Black Coffee showcases the best of South African music in Ibiza, while many of the country’s creatives continue to make their mark locally and abroad.”

“In the sports sector, South African tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane recently competed in the French Open final in the women’s wheelchair doubles draw. The Proteas Men, the national men’s cricket team, are competing in the World T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies, while Bafana Bafana continues to fight for a place in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers when they face Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, June 11,” said Ramokgopa.

“On Tuesday, Bafana Bafana will play against Zimbabwe at Free State Stadium. This will be the first time Bafana Bafana plays an international match in Bloemfontein since their victory against France in the 2010 FIFA Men’s World Cup. Football supporters in the Free State are famous for their passionate support during matches. I welcome the return of international football to the Free State and call on South Africans to fill up Free State Stadium and get behind Bafana Bafana, as our national team continues its march to qualify for the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup,” she said.

During June, South Africa commemorates Youth Month under the theme, ‘Actively advancing socio-economic gains in our democracy’.

“We celebrate the socio-economic gains that have been made in our democracy, yet also acknowledge that there is more to be done. Sport, Arts, and Culture play an important role in the mood and identity of our nation. Our commitment stands to continue developing the sectors,” said Ramokgopa.

Ramokgopa said as they continue to advance the socio-economic gains of our democracy, they commit as Government to continue our endeavour to quantify, to lift and to develop the country’s sports, arts, and culture sectors.

On Sunday, June 16, the Youth Day National Commemoration takes place at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Minister Ramokgopa calls on South Africans to come together and embrace unity in our diversity to further strengthen our democracy.