South African citizens have been called on to be part of the social mass mobilisation movement which aims to inspire every person to act and become involved in creating a better South Africa.
The "Movement for Good, it starts with you," programme was unveiled on Thursday at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
It is founded by the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS), the City Press, Heartlines, the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), SA the Good News, the SABC, South African Tourism, the Valued Citizens Initiative and various government departments.
A technological social networking platform has been developed to enable people to join as members of the "Movement for Good" via cell phone, thus becoming part of a larger movement for positive action, Executive Director of Heartlines, Garth Japhet said while explaining the movement.
The member would then send out weekly SMS messages providing inspiring and practical information on taking action - for individuals, families and community groups, he said adding that in order to receive information most relevant to them, members would clarify their specific areas of interest and would provide basic profile information.
The vision for the social networking platform is based on the statistic that approximately 80 percent of South Africans have access to a cell phone, which inspired the concept of harnessing this communications tool "for good", Mr Japhet said.
"We encourage every person to become an active citizen, to take action, any action, to make South Africa the country we all want to live in.
"If we work together, we can transform South Africa by creating an unstoppable momentum, and ultimately a tipping point," he told the guests.
Speaking during the ceremony, GCIS Chief Executive Officer, Themba Maseko who is also the government spokesperson said the government partnered in the initiative because it wanted to mobilise communities in building safer and more secure communities.
"We want citizens to be part of the difference by giving direction to ideas to make a change," Mr Maseko told guests.
According to Mr Maseko citizens can help government by taking responsibilities to make a contribution to make a better life for all.
With this in mind he said GCIS's role in the programme would be to mobilise other government departments in making sure that they initiate the Movement for Good's vision in their campaigns.
"Such high level participation from sectors will not only contribute to safer environment but will restore confidence of citizens in their ability to act and contribute to a safer environment,"' Mr Maseko said.
The campaign's slogan is "Noka e tlatswa ke dinokana" - (Setswana phrase meaning 'A river swells from little streams').
"Each person has the capacity to change not only their community or even their family, but society as a whole, so that the whole of South Africa can benefit from our own individual actions," said SABC Chief Exeutive Officer Dali Mpofu in his video message about the programme.
"It is about personal responsibility. It is about not saying they must fix it, but I can fix it. I can help create the country I want my children to live in," said Yvonne Johnston on behalf of the IMC, custodian of Brand South Africa.
Mr Steuart Pennington from SA the Good News said "The Movement for Good is part of our healing as a nation, understanding our progress is important and it starts with you."
Other organisations involved in the programme are: the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee, City of Johannesburg, Eskom, FNB, IEC, Indalo Yethu, Kaelo, Meropa Communications, Moral Regeneration Movement, National Youth Commission, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Paula Fray & Associates.
While all these organisations are running very different campaigns, they are united by the fact that their campaigns are for the greater good of South Africa.
South Africans who want to be part of the change can sign up by SMS the word Good then their name to 32179 or alternatively registering by visiting www.itstartswithyou.co.za. - BuaNews