MEC drums up support for healthy lifestyles

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pretoria - As he prepares for the 2011 Comrades Marathon, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has challenged the business community to support three projects that he will be raising funds for during the race on Sunday.

Dhlomo qualified for the 89-km Comrades Marathon after completing a 42-km Midmar Marathon in 4 hours 55 minutes. He will use the race to promote healthy lifestyles and physical activity as a means of prolonging life and preventing diseases.

On Thursday, Dhlomo is expected to share his preparedness for the race with the media and also challenge the business community to contribute to the projects.

The projects identified include the KwaZulu-Natal Children's Hospital, to which Dhlomo will donate 50 percent of the proceeds; Sibusisiwe Comprehensive Technical High School in uMbumbulu, where he wishes to donate 30 percent of the proceeds towards the Audio Visual and Arts Centre and/or a Science Laboratory, as well as a developing club that visits various communities to promote healthy lifestyles; and the Phumanathi Athletics Club, to which he wishes to donate 20 percent of the proceeds.

"As I will be running, I will be carrying the healthcare needs of the children of KwaZulu-Natal. This country is faced with four epidemics on the basis of which I wish to dedicate business contributions to the projects that I have identified," Dhlomo said ahead of the race.

Dhlomo's participation in this year's Comrades Marathon will be historic as he will be the first sitting member of the legislature to enter the marathon, and hopes that through his participation, he will encourage parliamentarians, leaders of business and various leaders in many sectors to join him in his campaign to raise awareness about the ills of physical inactivity in society.

Meanwhile, business people from Newcastle have already committed to building a science laboratory at Sekusile High School, which was identified as a poor performing school in 2010.

The 2011 Comrades Marathon will take place on 29 May and will be an up-run, starting in Durban and finishing in Pietermaritzburg.

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