Mercedes - Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Buffalo City Municipality have formed a unique alliance with Surfing South Africa (SSA) that will not only result in a major boost for the annual South African Surfing Championships but will also see Buffalo City becoming the official home of the South African Surfing Team.
With Surfing gaining increased importance and exposure, due to its inclusion in the Olympic Games for 2020, Surfing South Africa, the National Governing body for the sport, is committed to developing the sport at all levels. This will ensure that South Africa not only qualifies for the 2020 Olympics in Japan but also remains a top ranked surfing nation into the future.
Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and as a member of the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) is responsible for selecting the surfers who represent South Africa at both the World Games and the Olympics in 2020.
Buffalo City see this partnership as an excellent advert for their city, with Executive Mayor, councillor Xolani Pakati explained;
“As the City we have identified Tourism, and in particular sports tourism, as one of the strategic economic sectors that have a potential to grow and thus assist in growing the regional economy and job creation. To this end, we are investing our resources in cultivating lifestyle tourism into the City and contribute to the sustainability of our hospitality industry. This event talks to this vision. This partnership is an excellent initiative aimed at developing the sport and lifestyle of surfing in BCMM and broadening our health and economic benefits to all of our communities.”
For MBSA, this partnership was about more than brand association and was a way for them to give back to the community in a manner that is close to their heart, as well as to support SSA in its quest to maintaining South African surfing’s position as the top ranked nation in Africa and top ten nation at the annual ISA World Games.
Feliciano Janneker, corporate affairs manager at Mercedes South Africa said; “As an interested corporate citizen, with our proud heritage and long history in the region, as MBSA, we continue with our commitment to support sport in our communities, and encourage it as a vehicle for transformation. We are therefore proud to be associated with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) and Surfing South Africa (SSA), through this partnership, which aims to promote Surfing as a sport of choice and help improve the image of our city.”
Robin De Kock, general manager for SSA, explained how important this sponsorship is for the sport in SA; “As is the case with many sports in South Africa, we face financial challenges to ensure we can compete on an international level. Support like this from Mercedes – Benz South Africa and Buffalo City Municipality will ensure that we improve across the board. It will allow us to run our National Championships at one of the finest surfing venues in South Africa, enable us to run coaching and judging workshops as well as National Team training camps, all of which will give our surfers the best chance of competing in 2020”.
He went on to highlight the importance of the ocean and protecting it for our future surfers; “With Buffalo City and MBSA’s commitment to making Nahoon a Blue Flag beach, it shows their passion for providing a lasting legacy. Nahoon Reef,one of the prime surfing venues in South Africa is part of a protected Nature Reserve and this partnership will see future South African surfers enjoying the beauty of Buffalo City’s waves and beaches.”