n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Physical activity advocacy and promotion : the South African experience : original research

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



The global mandate by the WHO World Health Report of 2002, Global Strategy for Diet, Physical Activity and Health, were mirrored by the policy environment in South Africa. The 'Vuka South Africa - Move for your Health' campaign was an example of an initiative adopted by national government, promoting physical activity (PA) for health.

This manuscript describes the process, events and lessons learned during the initial phase of Vuka SA from 2004 to 2010. Data were obtained from the grey literature, minutes and reports of meetings and from stakeholders.
Utilising a multi-sectoral approach, this initiative was partnered by governmental and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and tertiary institutions. The main anticipated short-term outcome was an increased awareness of the message ('move for your health'), with a view to achieving increased population levels of participation in health-enhancing physical activity over the long term. Vuka SA was initiated by the National Department of Health and launched in 2005. Subsequently, 36 partner organisations participated in two national workshops, who together with provincial health promoters undertook to promote the campaign. This was followed by an international training course on PA and public health for policy makers and programme implementers, and the subsequent call for the development of an African Physical Activity Network.
Although the campaign has not yet undergone rigorous evaluation and participation at present appears to be modest, there are promising examples of multi-sectoral awareness and advocacy activities resulting in some national dissemination of the role of PA in health promotion.

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