The 2023 Soweto Marathon is scheduled to take place on November 5, featuring exciting developments such as a new title sponsor, a broadcasting partnership, and reduced entry fees. Organizers have expressed their goal of attracting 50,000 participants for this edition of the race.

African Bank has taken over as the title sponsor, committing to a five-year partnership following the withdrawal of Old Mutual from sponsorship a few years ago. The race will be televised by pay channel SuperSport, the contracted broadcaster for all local athletics events by Athletics South Africa (ASA). The event will offer three race categories: a full marathon, half marathon, and 10km race.

To make the event more accessible, entry fees have been lowered. Participants will now pay R380 for the marathon (previously R550), R300 for the half marathon (previously R450), and R280 for the 10km race (previously R350). The first-place prize remains a substantial R250,000.

Race director Danny Blumberg expressed confidence in accommodating the projected 50,000 entrants, emphasizing their readiness to deliver an outstanding event. Online registrations for “the People’s Race” will open at midnight on Wednesday through the official website Race collection will be available at FNB Stadium from November 2 to 4.

Despite some behind-the-scenes conflicts regarding broadcast rights between the Soweto Trust Board, ASA, and Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), the race will proceed under the slogan “Lace Up: Dare to Run Your Own Race.” The Soweto Marathon Trust had entered into their own broadcasting agreement with public broadcaster SABC, aiming to ensure accessibility for the wider South African public. However, legal disputes with ASA and SuperSport resulted in last year’s race not being televised, and attempts by an independent company to stream the event were also thwarted.

Amidst these tensions, members of the Soweto Trust Board, including Sello Khunou, Ishe Sadiki, and Pam Tainton, were suspended. Their suspension is currently under appeal, and they have been replaced on the board by Thokozani Mazibuko, James Masilo, and Watson Shilembe. Steven Khanyile and Thulani Sibisi remain as board members.

Despite the challenges faced, the Soweto Marathon is set to proceed as planned, firmly belonging to the Soweto running clubs and not any specific individuals. CGA has asserted that the race will take place in November regardless of the internal disputes. The upcoming edition of the Soweto Marathon will be officially launched, and a headline sponsor will be announced, marking the first time since Old Mutual’s withdrawal from supporting road running events, including the Soweto Marathon.