By Madali Chibambu and Tendamudzimu Goza

  • Mr Bongani Ngomane, the Acting Head of the Gauteng Department of Social Development, extends his heartfelt wishes to over ten department employees participating in the 2024 Comrades Marathon, celebrating their determination and spirit.
  • Highlights include Simon Mudzunga, an Assistant Director who transitioned from school sports to marathons; Nombongo Ndinga, a Social Worker whose running journey transformed her health and lifestyle; Mpumi Luthuli, the Head of Institution at Desmond Tutu CYCC, balancing intense training with her professional responsibilities; and Sipho Mathusi, who is set to complete his first Comrades Marathon.
  • The department takes immense pride in its employees’ participation, viewing their dedication and perseverance as reflective of the department’s spirit and resilience, and wishing all runners strength and endurance for the race.

Mr Bongani Ngomane, the Acting Head of the Gauteng Department of Social Development, extends his best wishes to all the runners participating in the 2024 Comrades Marathon. “We trust that you will represent us well in this ultimate race. As a department, we are in awe of your determination and spirit. Wishing you strength and endurance for the marathon,” says Ngomane.

Over ten employees from the department are prepared and ready for tomorrow’s Comrades Marathon, which will take place in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province.

Employee Highlights

Simon Mudzunga

Among this year’s participants is 47-year-old Simon Mudzunga, an Assistant Director in the Finance Directorate. Mudzunga began running in primary school but focused solely on his studies during high school. His first professional race was a 10km event in 2002. Initially, he avoided the biggest races, opting for shorter distances. Today, however, he is a proud marathon runner, motivated by a desire to maintain his health and fitness.

Nombongo Ndinga

Nombongo Ndinga, a 44-year-old Social Worker from the Thokoza Social Development office, has an inspiring story of transformation. Once wearing a size 44, she now proudly fits into a size 34. Ndinga began running due to deteriorating health, and she never imagined she would enjoy marathon competitions. “I am so happy and cannot wait for Saturday. This will be my seventh marathon, and I haven’t looked back since I started,” says Ndinga.

Mpumi Luthuli

Mpumi Luthuli, the Head of Institution at the Desmond Tutu CYCC, received a surprise send-off from her staff on Wednesday. Inspired by her father, a runner, and her mother, a tennis player, Luthuli started preparing for the Comrades Marathon last December, training from Monday to Thursday. “There is less time to spend with your family for at least six months,” she notes.

Sipho Mathusi

For 41-year-old Sipho Mathusi, this will be his first Comrades Marathon. Based at the Head Office, Mathusi started running in 2016 after being inspired by watching runners on TV. He has been preparing diligently, running 70km to 80km per week, and is ready to complete the race.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development is proud of its employees participating in the Comrades Marathon. Their dedication and perseverance are a testament to the spirit and resilience of the department. Best of luck to all the runners!


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