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All set for 702 Walk the Talk

Johannesburg’s first resident, Executive Mayor Mpho Parks Tau, several members of the mayoral committee and a number of senior officials will lead from the front on Sunday July 26 when the City hosts the 15th edition of the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk, one of the most popular athletics-fun events on Joburg’s calendar.

More than 55 000 people from right across the city and beyond will lace up their takkies at 7.30am at Marks Parks Sports Grounds in Emmarentia to walk for a cause, belief or charity.

Executive Mayor Tau, who will this year take part in the 15km category, said there were several benefits associated with participating in the 702 Walk the Talk.

“It is an ideal opportunity to showcase infrastructure developments that have been taking place in Johannesburg over the past few years that position us as a world-class host city of major global events,” Mayor Tau said.

He said other benefits included promoting the City’s Go Jozi Healthy Lifestyle Programme, showcasing the beauty of Johannesburg and celebrating the country’s 21 years of freedom and democracy. The Go Jozi Healthy Lifestyle Programme, championed by Mayor Tau himself, encourages residents to engage in physical activity to maintain physical fitness and mental health and good hygiene to enhance the City’s life expectancy.

This year’s 702 Walk the Talk event comes two months before the City hosts the Ecomobility World Festival in Sandton, during which certain streets will be closed off to vehicular traffic and residents encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport.

Mayor Tau, a self-confessed fitness fanatic, will be joined in the 15km walk by MMC for Community Development Councillor Chris Vondo, MMC for Economic Development Councillor Ruby Mathang and MMC for Finance Councillor Geoff Makhubo, as well as City Manager Trevor Fowler.

MMC for Environmental & Infrastructure Services Councillor Matshidiso Mfikoe, MMC for Health and Social Development Councillor Nonceba Molwele and Chief Financial Officer Gerald Dumas will take part in the 5km walk. The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk has grown in popularity over the years, attracting high-profile politicians, celebrities, businesspeople and professionals alike. It unites the residents of Johannesburg and promotes networking, social cohesion and a healthy lifestyle.

Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said preparations to ensure that this year’s event runs smoothly had been completed.

“Hundreds of officers will be on duty in Sunday morning to ensure that traffic is managed efficiently so that participants can enjoy a successful and safe event,” said Superintendent Minnaar.

There will be road closures along Barry Hertzog to Orange and from Judith to Ingelele in Emmarentia from 4am to 1pm. Parking is available at the Botanical Gardens and Roosevelt High School. Hospitality parking is available along Orange Road.

Oliphant’s Road will be turned into one-way street from Louw Geldenhuys Drive to John Mackenzie Drive, with an additional parking area available on John Mackenzie Street and Limpopo Road.

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