21 April 2019


Mahikeng hosts successful SAIMSA Games


Kleintjie Kraai


Mahikeng Local Municipality employee, Annah Kabushong, has once again dominated the ladies' marathon event of the Southern African Inter-Municipal Games (SAIMSA), when she successfully defended her title by winning gold.

Kabushong first won gold at last year's SAIMSA Games held in Lesotho's capital city, Maseru. This year, Bokone Bophirima's capital Mahikeng hosted the five-day sport event, which sees municipalities from across South Africa and neighbouring countries taking on each other to compete in different sporting codes.

In an interview after her victory run, Kabushong said she had trained hard for the event and she was happy that her hard work had again paid off.

"After winning gold in Lesotho I was determined to do well again, especially in front of my home crowd. Although it was tough with very tough competition coming from my fellow competitors, I am very happy to have come through," she told Semphete. Thousands of men and women converged in Mahikeng from several Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mozambique. Municipalities from these countries sent their best sport representatives to not only compete in the games, but to also help promote wellness in the workplace. A total of 48 municipalities competed in this year's SAIMSA Games under the "A Re Yeng Mahikeng" theme. Bokone Bophirima Premier Supra Mahumapelo, welcomed the guests on the first day of the SAIMSA Games, by stressing the importance of such games as ensuring healthy bodies and minds, which often translate into better service delivery for the people.

"As you engage in your different sporting codes, be sure to remember that a healthy body means a healthy mind and therefore better production," Premier Mahumapelo said. SAIMSA said the objective of the games is first and foremost to bring together municipal workers in the SADC region and to foster regional integration using sport and recreation as a tool.

"But more importantly, the games are meant to boost the socio-economic profile of the host country. Last year the games were held in Lesotho and this year Mahikeng hosted the games on behalf of South Africa, said SAIMSA in a statement.

Chairperson of the SAIMSA Local Organizing Committee Joseph Qelisile said the games had a positive socio-economic impact, with money spent by visiting teams boosting local businesses such as hotels and guesthouses.

"The games will also help to promote and profile Mahikeng," Qelisile said.

He also stressed the importance of collaboration with a host of local stakeholders that played a crucial role in ensuring the success of the SAIMSA Games, such as the provincial government department responsible for sport, organized sport fraternity, the business community, the South African Police Service, the Department of Health, the provincial government, youth organisations, student movements and taxi associations, among others.

The top quality sport infrastructure at North West University, the International School of South Africa, Mahikeng Stadium and Montshioa Stadium - as well as Lotlamoreng Dam and the Ratshidi Hall - were utilized throughout the games.

Defending champions - the Eastern Cape-based Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCM) - won gold medals in soccer, tennis, netball, athletics, pool and aerobics. Buffalo City Metro has been defending the SAIMSA Games champions since 2012. The municipality also won silver in table tennis and fishing, as well as a bronze in darts.

Thandy Matebese of the winning BCM team said the games helped create unity among municipalities in participating countries through


"We are happy and delighted to have participated in the games and appreciate the support, especially from the political leadership who made it possible for us to participate," she said. Picture Captions:

  1. Annah Kabushong with Mahikeng Local Municipality Chief Whip Gape Kgwadibane, Mayor Betty Diakanye, SAIMSA president Gciniwe Fakutze of Swaziland and Mahikeng Local Municipality Speaker Pontsho Tabane
  2. Premier Supra Mahumapelo sprinting to the podium during the launch of the 2016 SAIMSA Games
  3. George Nkachela of Mahikeng Local Municipality receives the shield as proof of participation in the SAIMSA Games