Speeches

WoW! Pilot Media Launch

31 March 2015

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
A special welcome to our special guests and to the representatives of our partners who are present here this morning:

Western Cape Government Departments:
• Health
• Education
• Cultural Affairs and Sport
• The Department of the Premier
Universities:
• University of Cape Town
• University of the Western Cape
• University of Stellenbosch
Organisations:
• 44ten Media
• The Heart & Stroke Foundation South Africa
• Biokinetics Association of South Africa (BASA)
• Eskom
• Pharma Dynamics
• Discovery Vitality
• And SiyaGyma-SA
Additional sponsors:
• Virgin Active
• And Ubuntu Touch

Nothing warms my heart more than being able to list the litany of partners who have joined us in taking Wellness outside the boardroom discussions, into our communities.
This is an absolutely crucial exercise that allows us to not only treat the symptoms of unhealthy South Africans, but to put an end to diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyles.
Ladies and gentlemen the number of people whose lives are destroyed by not looking after their health in astronomical.
The amount of money that we spend curing illnesses that could have been prevented through healthy living is immeasurable.
This is why I like to say, it is time that we stop just mopping the floor, we must close the tap.
We need to stop just curing diseases of lifestyles, we need to start changing behaviours.

Let me give you some insight on the magnitude of the problem that we face in South Africa and the in the province:
Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating are the major causes of diseases like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other cardio vascular diseases.
In South Africa, non-communicable diseases (NCDS) account for 40% of all deaths.
In the Western Cape alone, 17-25% of the burden of disease is attributed to NCDs.
In accordance with the Provincial Strategic Goal which is aimed at building healthy and resilient communities, our Healthcare 2030 strategy and my vision for health in the Western Cape, wellness should no longer be optional it must be mandatory.

It must be the kind of change that needs the buy in of all South Africans.
Gone are the days when governments and organisation are fighting the battle of healthy communities alone.
Every single individual must begin to take responsibility of their own life so that we can prevent millions of people dying senselessly or depending on the public healthcare system for the rest of their lives.
This is why the WOW initiative is something very close to my vision of closing the tap instead of mopping the floor perpetually.
Healthy lifestyles through exercise and healthy eating will be encouraged at schools, in communities and at the work place.
I am excited to get the message of wellness across all communities in the Western Cape.
I am prepared to join our foot soldiers who will be preaching this gospel because it is the only way we can build healthy and resilient communities.
Through the adoption of an “all government” and “all society” approach, the overarching goal is together to co-create and sustain a culture of wellness at all levels of society in the Western Cape in order to prevent, reduce and better manage NCDs.

I thank you.
 

Media Enquiries: 

Colleen Smart
 Media Liaison Officer
 Western Cape Ministry of Health
 Tel: 021 483 5862
 Email: Colleen.Smart@westerncape.gov.za
www.westerncape.gov.za