Displays of active citizenry deserve recognition

If there is one thing that this newsroom is reminded of constantly, it’s that Joburg North residents take charge in their communities.

So it was unsurprising and wonderfully powerful to see community members out in numbers, united in a wave of purple at Mushroom Park in Sandton recently, to walk and raise awareness about epilepsy for Purple Day.

The efforts of Parkmore resident Tania van Heerden and her son, Max, who is a Purple Day Youth Ambassador, in organising the walk in aid of several homes – as reported by the Sandton Chronicle – are inspiring.

The two are an example of the many community members actively making a difference in their communities that this newsroom is witness to daily. They are active citizenry, who the Department of Arts and Culture describes as ‘Members of society who take charge of their future and are the agents of what they want to happen in their communities’.

Take, for example, the Samaritan – who the Fourways Review has since identified as David Robertson – photographed stopping his vehicle to help a visually impaired man who was in the middle of the road. A community member uploaded the photo to the eblockwatch CommUnity Facebook group and the post received a flurry of positive comments.

Yet, Robertson told our journalist he was surprised at the reactions his ‘small’ act received.

It showcases the ripple effect of inspiration that even small acts of kindness can have. Sometimes, such acts help the community at large.

In March, a united effort and quick response by police officers, security companies and community members to a robbery at the Kyalami Country Club resulted in many arrests.

Chairperson of the Johannesburg North Cluster Community Police Board and deputy chairperson of the Midrand Community Policing Forum, Takis Michalakis, noted, “We are lucky to have a very active community who responded to the incident.”

The forum handed out 49 certificates to thank those involved for their efforts.

Michalakis described the sacrifice made, saying, “Many of us are volunteers who give up time with families to work in the community.”

It goes to shows active citizenry is not easy, which makes it essential that we acknowledge just how powerful the efforts of those who are making a positive impact in our communities are and the knock-on effect they can have to inspire others.

Would you like to write a letter to the editor? You can send yours to [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Daniella Potter
Group Editor

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