Building caring communities together
Showing respect and concern for other people regardless of race, religion or culture is important to create a harmonious and peaceful society for everyone. By recognising our diverse backgrounds and cultures, we can commit ourselves to the ideals and ethical values that unite us as a country.
Moral Regeneration Month is celebrated in July every year. July is the birth month of former President Nelson Mandela, who convened the first Moral Summit to discuss the spiralling moral decay that was becoming pervasive in our country. And as he rightfully said, “Corruption, criminality, tax evasion, venality, theft, disrespect for human life, fraud, rape, the abuse of women and children, unbridled self-gratification, drunkenness, extortion and family breakdown, much of it touched by violence, the outward forms of a diseased social climate which affects all of us.”
Moral Regeneration Month gives all South Africans the opportunity to reflect on the state of the nation regarding our moral and ethical behaviour. We need to encourage one another to be better citizens for the sake of attaining a sustainable moral, just, humane, stable and prosperous nation.
July is also the month in which the Charter of Positive Values was adopted in 2008.
As former President Nelson Mandela said, "what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
Caring for our families, communities and the environment is a central part of being human. We shouldn't let the stress of our fast-paced lives take away our respect for each other.
Parenthood is one of the most difficult and fulfilling roles. Raising children to become responsible and productive citizens should be a very important focus of any parent.
Who we are as adults is largely based on the manners, discipline and morals that are instilled by our parents and teachers while growing up. Children learn through what we say and teach them - but more importantly by the attitudes and behaviours we display.
Children should be taught to:
- Respect themselves, their friends and classmates.
- Learn boundaries of what's acceptable behaviour at home and in public.
- Show respect for older persons.
- Use good social manners (please, thank you, greetings).
- Offer their seat to older persons, disabled and pregnant commuters on public transport.
- Respect their school, teachers and uniform by adhering to the school’s code of conduct.
- Always be honest, and help those less fortunate than they are.
Children who know that they’re loved by their parents and are positively encouraged and taught to love and respect themselves are better equipped to face life’s challenges. These children will know their self-worth and will in all likelihood make better decisions that are not based on peer pressure.
Find out about family planning to better prepare you for when you're ready to have a family.
We all seem to be rushing somewhere in our cars. This often leads to inconsiderate road behaviour which can escalate to road rage.
It’s important to remember that we share the roads, and we should never allow our emotions to place our lives and the lives of others in harm’s way. The rules of the road are meant to ensure your safety. Ignoring these rules more often than not places lives at risk.
Do’s and don’ts for motorists:
- Always be patient. Speed limits are an indication of the speed you shouldn’t exceed. Many accidents are caused by impatient drivers who drive recklessly behind other motorists who obey the speed limit.
- Give yourself more time. By leaving earlier you won’t have the need to rush.
- Be patient and show consideration. Allow merging traffic to merge into your lane. Move out of the way for emergency vehicles, and respect the safety of cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians who are more vulnerable to injury than you.
- Always indicate and ensure it’s safe before turning, changing lanes and while in a traffic circle.
- Obey the road signs. These signs are meant to ensure our safety, ignoring signs only places you and other road users at risk.
- Remember, always wear your seatbelt. Statistics show that the likelihood of surviving an accident substantially increases when you and your passengers are buckled up.
- Don't weave in and out of lanes as it doesn't allow other road users enough reaction time.
- Never tailgate someone (drive closely behind someone in an aggressive manner), flash your lights or hoot at someone who drives too slowly for your liking.
- Driving while texting or talking on your phone diminishes your ability to make quick judgement calls in an emergency. It also dramatically limits your concentration that’s needed to safely navigate traffic and road conditions, remember #ItCanWait.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol, heavy medication or illegal drugs.
Other road users:
- Always walk on the pavement and remember that pedestrians aren't allowed on the highway.
- Look both ways before crossing a road.
- Where there are pedestrian crossings, wait for cars to stop before you cross.
- Cross the road quickly and remain observant until you’ve reached the other side.
- Alcohol and drugs diminish your judgement when walking on pavements and crossing roads.
- Stay as close to the side of the road as possible.
- Use hand signals to indicate if you're turning.
- Cycle in single file and never alongside other cyclists.
- Be aware and considerate of pedestrians and other road users.
- Follow the rules of the road
- Follow speed limits and obey restrictions.
- Be extra cautious during wet and foggy weather, as visibility is reduced and more reaction time is needed.
- Always wear a helmet. This applies to passengers too.
- Do not to ride behind big vans and trucks as it’s difficult to see around the vehicle and the driver might not be able to see you.
- Always use your indicators to signal your intended direction.
- Although weaving in between cars (also called lane-splitting), isn’t illegal, it’s best to do it when it’s safe. When a motorist blocks you from lane-splitting, it’s within their rights to do so as they have no legal obligation to allow lane-splitting. Motorcyclists and motorists shouldn’t make reckless moves that may endanger the lives of other road users.
Visit our Safely Home site for more road safety information.
For many of us, public transport is a daily part of our lives. Thousands of people make use of a train, bus or taxi to get from point A to point B. With so many of us sharing our personal space we need to be mindful of the following to avoid unnecessary discomfort:
- Don't eat when you’re using public transport.
- Don’t throw litter out of the windows of public transport. Throw litter in the bins at the station or bus terminus. If there’s no place to dispose of the items, keep it and throw it away in the nearest bin or at home.
- Avoid your comfort from becoming the discomfort of fellow commuters.
- Don’t take up 2 seats.
- Don't place your bag on an open seat.
- If you're about to board a bus or train, allow boarded passengers to exit first.
- Be respectful to the driver and other staff.
- Respect the privacy of other commuters, what they’re doing is none of your business.
- Use headphones/earphones when listening to music and keep the volume at a level that only you can hear.
- Give up your seat to those who really need it, like the elderly or pregnant women.
- Don’t vandalise the trains, busses or infrastructure.
- Don’t use the train as your soapbox or to evangelise other commuters.
- Cough into the inside of your elbow to limit the spread of germs.
- If you’re travelling by train, sit in the carriage that your ticket indicates e.g. metro or metro plus.
- If you’re using MyCiti busses, don’t sit on the red seats marked for the elderly, disabled or frail. Read more about etiquette on board MyCiti busses.
Let’s play our part and make public transport a better experience for everyone.
We all share a beautiful country with many public spaces made available for us to enjoy the tranquil and scenic outdoors. We also share areas such as pavements, malls and stadiums. To ensure that we all enjoy these spaces equally, remember to be considerate of others by:
- Not playing loud music.
- Ensuring that any activities such as playing with balls or a frisbee don’t disturb anyone else.
- Close taps after using it. Don’t waste water.
- Keeping your area clean by removing any rubbish such as paper plates, plastic containers and packets.
- Not blocking pavements or passageways for others to pass by.
- Not bumping into others in shopping centres, and always being mindful of others around you.
When we're respectful, considerate and helpful toward each other, then we are truly Better Together.
Visit one of our tranquil reserves managed by CapeNature.