‘Mantshwabisi’ in doubt

Presidential approval: President Masisi at the starting point of last year’s Desert Race PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Presidential approval: President Masisi at the starting point of last year’s Desert Race PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The 1000km Toyota Desert Race (TDR 1000) could move from Botswana back to South Africa this year, Mmegi Sport has learnt. The 1000km Upington Desert Race is listed in the Road to Dakar 2025.

The Road to Dakar is a series of competitions where riders earn points to qualify for the Dakar Rally 2025. The Desert Race is the only qualifier outside the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship races. The organisers of the Dakar Rally are yet to announce the dates for the Upington Desert Race but it is expected to be held on the third weekend of June, which is the usual time of the Mantshwabisi. Upington has previously hosted the Desert Race on three occasions in 2020, 2021 and 2023, which saw local enthusiasts miss out on the popular event. Competitors will earn eight points from the Upington Desert Race as the future of Mantshwabisi looks bleak.

This is despite TDR1000 making a return to Botswana after a four year hiatus in 2023. Local authorities including the Botswana Tourism Organisation and the Botswana Motor Sport (BMS) had announced that they penned a five-year contract with the South African motorsport authorities, who hold the rights to the most followed sporting event, to be held in Botswana. The five-year deal was to have Botswana host the TDR1000 for five years from 2023 until 2027. The BMS could not comment on the recent developments as they will hold a series of meetings with stakeholders on the matter.

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In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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