Friday, 08 February 2019
Cape Town: Upon arriving at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club on Friday morning, a relaxed-looking President Cyril Ramaphosa greeted fellow golfers and did a brief warm up routine before the Presidential Golf Challenge got underway.
Behind him, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa cracked a few jokes in a bid to try to distract the President from his concentration. He soon joined others in lauding the President for what looked like an impressive tee off shortly after 9am in an overcast Cape Town.
Shortly after hitting the ball from the tee, the President told the media contingent in attendance that with a “lazy man’s handicap” of 19, his job does not allow him to play the sport as much as he would love to.
“When I was a free man I used to play nearly every weekend. Now it is infrequent and it happens when [Minister Ayanda Dlodlo] directs me to play like today. When I have free time, sometimes I sneak out to the golf course but there is no time. Sometimes I play two or three times a year. That’s what I have been reduced to with this job,” he said.
The golf challenge, which is coordinated by the Department of Public Service and Administration, is aimed at raising funds for charities designated by the sitting President, while simultaneously facilitating an opportunity for networking among decision-makers within the private sector and entities from the three spheres of government.
The tournament is a joint effort with the private sector to partake in developmental initiatives to empower society, with this year’s contributions to be made to the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.
“This is an exciting event because it is a fundraising occasion and we are grateful that the Minister and her team are able to organise this. Minister Dlodlo has been very focused in having it well-organised and helping us to get good sponsors. It is really for charity, the good work that the Cyril Ramaphosa foundation does in schools, promoting small medium enterprises.
“The way it is structured is that the President chooses a charity that he wants to support and then work with a whole number of other charities around the country supporting their work in many, many ways. So the funds that we are raising today are all going to go to good work,” he said.
Before walking the greens, he said Holomisa, who usually squares off with him in Parliament from opposition benches, will today play with him without involving the politics side of things.
“Today we don’t talk politics. Today we talk about how badly he is playing and I think I am going to beat him in the play and we will just be having a lot of fun with the General.” – SAnews.gov.za