NEARLY 56 000 people walked through Joburg today in the annual Walk the Talk event.

“The event has grown into the largest mass participation walk of its kind and is known to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Joburg,” said Pippa Rowles for the walk organisers, Discovery 702 Walk the Talk.

“Walkers of all ages shapes, sizes and backgrounds came together to walk 20km, 8km and 5km.

“This year, there was a special focus on 20 years of democracy and nearly 15 000 walkers chose to walk 20km, to celebrate this milestone in our country’s history.

“They made their way through Braamfontein, passing iconic landmarks such as Mandela Bridge, Wits University and Constitution Hill. At each kilometre mark, the City of Joburg placed beautiful images of memorable events from each of the 20 years of our democracy.”

Participants in the 20km walk included Joburg mayor Parks Tau, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, former minister Trevor Manuel, his wife, Absa chief executive Maria Ramos, and 702 station manager Pheladi Gwangwa.

“Today I walked 20km through our city with 15 000 people. Both the route and the people around me were interesting and inspiring,” Gwangwa said.

“And although my body might be tired, my spirit is invigorated by what I have experienced here today. It gives me hope for our democracy and the next 20 years,” Gwangwa said.

The timed race walk was won by Lebogang Shange in 1hr 32:27sec.

Michelle Hopkins won the women’s race in 1:58:21. – Staff Reporter