Gaborone — This year's edition of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race (TDR 1000) has been cancelled.
A press release from Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) says the event was cancelled following an outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 that has caused major disruption to societies with numerous events cancelled or postponed worldwide.
In the release, South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) chief executive officer, Archie Rutherford said health and safety of fans, teams, organisations, as well as the wider society also remain top of their priority, hence the cancellation.
"We apologise to those fans affected by the cancellation of the TDR 1000 as well as the postponement of the other races to date.
This decision has been taken in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe it is the right and necessary one," said Rutherford.
For her part, BTO chief executive officer, Myra Sekgororoane said due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, the avenue of postponement for the iconic event to take place in Botswana later in the year was not possible in view of other planned events and seasonal conditions.
"In these cautionary times we cannot distance ourselves from global developments and decisive action was needed to protect the well-being of people and economies," Sekgororoane said.
She further said decisions to cancel the event in Botswana was not taken lightly, but with guidance from stakeholders including Selebi Phikwe Economic Development Unit, Botswana National Sport Commission and Botswana Motor Sport it was a positive step under prevailing conditions.
Again, she said the timeous cancellation of the event also provided hotel service providers in the area an opportunity to engage with other activities to attract local travel to the beautiful destination.
The new date for the 2021 TDR 1000 will be announced in due course.
Source : BOPA