The Absa Cape Epic and event sponsor Absa have donated 5 896 of the two-man tents used in the race to disaster relief efforts in the Western Cape.
The move follows the devastating fire in Knysna – which have left 10 000 people homeless – and destructive winds and flooding around the Cape Peninsula.
“We are grateful to Absa and the Absa Cape Epic team for this generous donation of the famous ‘Epic Tents’,” saidColin Deiner, head of Western Cape Disaster Management in a joint statement with the Western Cape Government Emergency Medical Service’s Dr Wayne Smith.
“These tents will be kept by Disaster Management and will be available for emergency deployment and distribution in a wide range of potential situations, across the Western Cape,” they said. “We will also make these available in partnership with our colleagues at the City of Cape Town.”
The tents were loaded at the Absa Cape Epic depot on Thursday evening and Friday morning and then dropped off at Disaster Management offices.
“We have been very impressed by initiatives across the country to assist victims of these incidents and thought we would like to help out,” said Absa Cape Epic founder Kevin Vermaak. “We hope that they can provide temporary shelter to people who have been driven out of their homes by disasters.”
The Absa Cape Epic tents are traditionally used to house participants in the race and crew during the overnight stops at the eight-day event. The ‘tent towns’ at the Absa Cape Epic have become an iconic scene at race villages during the race.
“Along with the Cape Epic, at Absa we know that the donation of the tents will certainly help efforts,” said David Wingfield, head of Marketing Barclay’s Africa. “Additionally Absa has donated R10 million to disaster relief and opened an account for anybody else to donate should they want to.”
The account is the Absa National Relief Fund and the account number is 9309947520.
* The 2018 Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race takes place from 18 to 25 March.