The countdown to Johannesburg’s biggest and most popular walking event – the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 – has begun.
More than 50 000 people – from fitness fanatics to celebrities, and from seasoned athletes to politicians from all corners of the country – will throng into Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia on Sunday July 23 for the 16th edition of the event, hosted by the City of Johannesburg.
Three different walking categories with staggered starting times are on offer. The 15km category starts at 7am, followed by the 8km walk at 9am and the 5km race at 11am.
The event does not only promote a healthy lifestyle among residents, but it also helps to showcase some of the City’s infrastructure development projects, sweeping scenic views and landmarks. It will also demonstrate Johannesburg’s ability to stage events of this scale and magnitude.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba will be among high-profile personalities taking part in the event and walking for a variety of causes.
MMC Sifumba will participate in the 8km category to highlight the work of Let’s Talk Jozi, a community-based initiative aimed at tackling violence against women and children as well as drug and substance abuse.
“It is very important for the City of Johannesburg to be part of such an initiative because it helps to ensure that both the City and residents are at the same level in fighting the social ills engulfing our communities,” says Cllr Sifumba.
She says the City and its residents can work together in identifying and finding lasting solutions to the scourge of violence and drug abuse.
Sifumba says the event promotes thought-provoking conversations and helps empower citizens through constructive discussions and knowledge and learning from others.
In preparation for the event, Cllr Sifumba has of late been taking short walks and using staircases instead of lifts or escalators. “I would like to wish everyone who is taking part in the event all the best. Let’s forge partnerships and work together in finding lasting solutions to the challenges our communities are faced with. Let’s be open about these issues, let’s talk Jozi,” she says.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar says to ensure the safety of all walkers, residents and motorists, a number of roads will be closed to traffic.
“JMPD officers will man temporary road closures along the route. We ask residents to familiarise themselves with alternative routes and be patient during the duration of the event,” says Minnaar.
Entries for the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 are officially closed.