Thanks for Ironman support

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THE recent Spec-Savers Ironman was a fantastic success and I would like to thank all residents, especially those residing along the route, for their patience and tolerance of the road closures and restrictions during the event. The perfect weather and amazing public support added to the success and helped establish Nelson Mandela Bay as the Ironman city of Africa.

Brian Dowley and his team from Spec-Savers must be congratulated for what they have done to our tourism and event image. Millions of rands flowed into our tourism industry.

The next big step is to obtain live TV coverage for the full duration of the 17-hour race. This will add huge exposure to our metro and it will also highlight the Friendly City’s support given to the athletes along the entire route.

Regarding the road closures, some residents are more affected than others and it is important to get feedback on what needs to be improved for next year. While everything ran smoothly on the big day, there were some problems and these need to be reported at the forthcoming event debrief.

Should you have any suggestions or anything adverse to report, kindly e-mail items to me at stanfordslabbert@telkomsa.net as soon as possible and these matters will be raised at the debrief.

One specific problem was the traffic jams at the back of Summerstrand, due to lazy traffic officers not manning traffic light intersections. It was sad to see these officers sitting idly watching the long queues of vehicles trying both to exit and enter Summerstrand at the La Roche and Strandfontein intersection.

Another problem intersection was at Allister Miller and La Roche, where the queue was backed up all the way past the airport to Third Avenue. Metro traffic officers were oblivious to the chaos and I phoned a senior traffic official to intervene.

Soon afterwards, the intersections were being manned and traffic started flowing smoothly.

Why could the officers on duty not act diligently and keep the traffic flowing smoothly before the queues build up?

There were also some reports of traffic officers allegedly abusing and harassing some of the Ironman volunteers, and this too, is unacceptable.

The Spec-Savers Ironman organising team ably led by Keith Bowler and Paul Wolff, must be congratulated on its superb efforts. This is probably one of the finest and biggest sporting events in the country and our metro can be very proud to be hosts of this wonderful sporting spectacle.

To all metro residents, your support of Ironman is greatly appreciated.

Stanford Slabbert, DA councillor, Ward 1, NMB

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