The immense socio-economic impact under one of the world’s most extreme lockdown’s during the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in thousands of South Africans taking to the streets and uniting for their voices to be heard under a grassroots movement founded by Jarette Petzer and Joanita Van Wyk, called Move One Million.
The movement, launched in July 2020, has garnered interest from half a million South Africans to date and organisers are using a combination of online and on foot methods to engage, educate and empower South Africans across all communities.
Their aim is to encourage at least 1 million South Africans, locally and internationally, to stand united at protests, in-vehicle convoy’s and on street corners on Saturday 5th September 2020.
They wish to express to the South African government and the world that ordinary citizens are no longer prepared to accept the longstanding status quo of various issues including crime, poverty, corruption, lack of job creation, lack of access to basic housing, healthcare, education and food security.
The #MoveOneMillion movement is also working on a mass campaign for direct elections.
In June 2020, the South African Constitutional High Court ruled that the current Electoral Act is unconstitutional as it does not allow for individuals to stand as independent candidates in local and national elections.
This campaign seeks to empower SA citizens to stand united in ensuring all relevant changes are made to the Electoral Act within the 24-month time frame issued by the court.
The Move One Million team believe that this will set precedence for future generations by providing a legal process that will give more power to the people of South Africa to ‘hire and fire’ those who represent them in government.
This is in contrast to the current legislature which provides for indirect elections whereby citizens vote for a party and each party’s select committee chooses who they wish to put forward as MP’s or MPL’s to represent their party at national or provincial government respectively.
The draconian laws implemented under the National Disaster Act between March to August 2020 have resulted in an estimated further 2 million citizens facing starvation, bringing that number up to 15 million people. It has also further decimated the country’s economy after it was downgraded to full junk status at the start of lockdown.
LISTEN: An empowering speech by Move One Million International Spokesperson, Hayley Reichert:
Petzer states, ‘We will continue to mobilize more of the country through a number of national ground campaigns over the next 20 months ahead of the next elections, bringing more of our country onto its feet in a united effort to challenge the system. We also demand that the public both locally and internationally enjoys total transparency into the revision of our direct electoral process. We demand that those in government be accountable to the true custodians of this land, the people of South Africa.’
It has been 26 years since South Africa achieved democracy however millions of citizens have lost hope as South Africa continues to be labeled as one of the most unequal countries globally.
Mounting issues such as SA being dubbed both the rape and murder capital of the world, human rights violations such as the Life Esidimeni tragedy, unemployment rate expected to exceed 40% by December 2020 and abject poverty across the country continue to haunt the South African narrative and severely impact foreign investment.
Numerous reports of ongoing corruption scandals before and during Covid-19 highlight serious issues of leadership and management at national, provincial, and local municipal level across the country – It’s time to take action.
In Pictures: South Africans in peaceful protest
South Africans living abroad arranged various protests and gatherings to stand in solidarity with the movement in more than 16 countries including Portugal, Mexico, Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the UAE, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Uganda, Madagascar and the U.K.
Join Move One Million on Facebook
“We are about to enter phase two of the preparation for our next upcoming global event on the 24th of October 2020. We once again call on support from members to assist us with our travel, campaigning, marketing, and communications leading up to the event.” – Move One Million
Donate to support Move One Million’s next peaceful protest: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/move-one-million-24-oct
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