President Cyril Ramaphosa uses exercise regime to boost local activism in his fight to free country from graft and poverty

Early on Saturday, Cyril Ramaphosa set out for his morning walk. A brisk constitutional has long been a ritual for the former freedom fighter and businessman who became president of South Africa just over six months ago. But now the 65-year-old’s daily exercise has been pressed into service as another tool in an increasingly high-stakes attempt to turn his country around.

Ramaphosa was in KwaZulu-Natal to boost a campaign that encourages citizens to get involved in civic activism. In Durban, he invited residents to join him on his stroll at 6am and to volunteer to work for their communities and the country, citing lines from a song by the late trumpeter and activist Hugh Masekela: “I want to lend a hand … Send me.”

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