President Cyril Ramaphosa has thanked Capetonians for joining him early this morning on a 5km walk from Gugulethu to Athlone, saying the walk – he dubbed the Matamela march – was the cheapest way for him to lead a healthy lifestyle and interact with ordinary citizens.
“We did almost six kilometers, give yourself a round of applause. I usually do ten kilometers. One day I was crazy enough and did 16 kilometers walking nicely, breathing in the fresh air and looking at the beauty of our city and country,” Ramaphosa said speaking to reporters in Athlone, where he was joined by a jovial crowd.
With pressure mounting on him to reshuffle Cabinet and demonstrate that government under his stewardship is serious about fighting corruption, Ramaphosa said walking was invigorating and gave him a chance to “reflect even about cabinets”.
“Waking up in the morning and putting on your walking shoes. Whether your shoes are beautiful or not, whether you wear stocks or not, it’s wonderful just to get on and walk,” he quipped, referring to his infamous “happy socks” that caused frenzy on social media last month.
Ramaphosa also teased that mkhaba (belly fat) must fall, saying he wanted to lose his belly fat. He said next week he will be in another township in Cape Town to embark on one of his Matamela marches.
“I want to encourage all South Africans to start leading a healthy lifestyle… The tummy must fall. I want my tummy to fall so I am going to continue walking,” he said.
Ramaphosa is expected to respond to MPs’ debates this afternoon in parliament on his state of the nation address (Sona).