The City of Johannesburg’s “Get Active, Get Healthy, Feel Good” lifestyle management programme – the brainchild of Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau – is to move up a gear when the City rolls out a series of healthy lifestyle street fairs across five of its seven regions over the next eight months.
The objective of the campaign is to improve the quality of life of all residents through development initiatives that enable self-sustainability, and improved health and life expectancy. The programme also seeks to encourage residents to take responsibility of their own lives by eating healthy and engaging in physical activities to fight diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart ailments. There is a strong correlation between healthy living and improved mortality.
The healthy lifestyle street fairs which have been held since 2013, are to continue every month from October 18 this year to May 2 next year. They are aimed at promoting healthy eating, education and healthy living.
“Healthy eating and physical activity are known to benefit elderly people. But incorporating this in a social setting with younger people seems to be especially valuable,” says Councillor Nonceba Molwele, City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development, which is implementing the programme.
The programme is being introduced on several levels and at early childhood development centres (ECD), faith-based organisations, traditional healers’ organisations, youth, older persons, sports bodies and social clubs, as well as in restaurants and canteens.
The MMC says applying the programme at ECD level is an important opportunity for the City.
“The focus will be to help children in these centres achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and enjoy the improved quality of life that follows,” says MMC Molwele.
The City is also collaborating with informal traders to promote healthy lifestyle choices.
According to Statistics South Africa’s 2014 annual demographics report, South Africa’s life expectancy at birth is 59 years for men and 63 years for women.
The “Get Active, Get Healthy, Feel Good” was initiated by the Executive Mayor in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040), which notes that South Africa is confronted by the “quadruple burden of disease” made up of high levels of injuries associated with trauma and violence, HIV-Aids, communicable and non-communicable diseases.
The objective is to minimise the risk of non-communicable diseases associated with lifestyle and to ensure that there is a lifestyle change that will lead to the adoption of a healthy living regime by residents and an improvement in life expectancy.
The following is the full forthcoming healthy lifestyle street fairs programme:
18 October - Region F
22 November - Region E
24 January 2015 - Region A
21 February 2015 - Region A
7 March 2015 - Region C
28 March 2015 - Region C
18 April 2015 - Region G
2 May 2015 - Region G