A moment for responsible active citizenship

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global health and societal emergency that requires effective immediate action by every person. Everyone has a moral responsibility and critical role to play in reducing the transmission of the disease. Heeding to the various calls from our government is a demonstration of the true spirit of nationhood and patriotism.

This is our clarion call – to practice active citizenship, which essentially entails embracing civic responsibility for societal good, which arises as a result of interrelated behaviours and attitudes that contribute towards the development of self and society. It arises when people make informed decisions about their lives and then mobilise one another towards a common goal, agreeing to participate voluntarily and actively in all efforts aimed at promoting a sense of compassion and belonging in society. In his second address to the nation in relation to Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated the purpose of the national lockdown and urged all citizens to adhere to the measures in place so we can together win this battle.

What must every citizen do at this time of need in our country?

Empower yourself with must-know facts and regular updates on this illness. Learn all about its symptoms, spread, prevention and treatment, keeping healthy and other important information.

  • Heed all travel alerts the government has issued;
  • Heed the call for physical distancing and the ban on gatherings;
  • Observe good hygiene and effective prevention behaviour — washing and sanitising hands in particular;
  • Practice respiratory etiquette; and
  • Stay at home if you’re feeling ill and seek medical assistance.

As we grapple with the enormity of this pandemic and its effect on humankind, including economies, our collective action is key to curbing its further spread. As responsible citizens, our goal is to foster a spirit of collective action to protect ourselves and fellow citizens. This is a moment for true active citizenship as we stand together to lessen the effect of the pandemic on our nation. We can do it.


Dr Paul Kariuki is the executive director of the Democracy Development Programme in Durban. He writes in his personal capacity

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Paul Kariuki
Paul Kariuki

Dr Paul Kariuki is the director of the Democracy Development Programme in Durban. These are his own views.

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