The South African Guild of Motoring Journalists (SAGMJ) is a voluntary, non-profit organisation and was formed in the 1960s.
The SAGMJ gives representation to more than 75% of the country’s motoring writers, broadcasters, photographers and commentators as Full Members, and a large percentage of the motoring public relations and communications fraternity as Associate Members.
The activities of the Guild are prescribed through a constitution and handled by a committee, elected by Guild members. Portfolios are assigned to Committee members and include Bursars, South African Car of the Year, Membership, Motor Sportsman of the Year, and Motoring Journalist of the Year, Motorsport, Road Safety and Skills development.
The aims and objective of the Guild are to:
Endeavour constantly to achieve the highest possible standards of motoring journalism.
Enhance and protect the integrity of the profession;
Encourage greater general awareness of the significance of motoring, road safety, motorsport, and the motor industry;
Recognise with appropriate awards examples of excellence and noteworthy achievements in motoring, especially those which further the aims of the Guild;
Seek improved efficiencies for working motoring journalists; and
Establish links with fellow motoring journalists and like organisations around the world.
The Guild has a Benevolent Fund for members and their families that provide loans to those in distress. The fund is under the sole and confidential administration of three trustees of the Guild.
The Guild sponsors a pre-graduate student's studies in journalism.
The Guild runs a unique training programme where a junior journalist is selected to spend a year working at various motoring publications and public relations of a motor company.
As part of the Guild's ongoing commitment towards road safety the Guild supports the Wheel Well's Car Seats for Kids campaign.
One of the steps the Guild has taken to adopt a more proactive approach to road safety a Pledge has been implemented and Guild members are urged to support the following pledge: I pledge to act in support of road safety initiatives which are associated with and / or arranged by the SAGMJ.
These will be evidenced in my driving style, my adherence to road rules and the manner in which my conduct may impact on the safety of other motorists.
I further pledge to use the platform made available to me as a journalist to positively influence all whom I have contact with.
The Guild has various sponsorship opportunities allowing for further exposure of companies.
The SAGMJ offers different membership types which include individual membership (Full and Associate) and Corporate membership.
Full Membership of the SAGMJ is reserved for those people who are directly involved in the various kinds of motoring journalism, making regular, significant and current contributions to motoring journalism in areas of writing, broadcasting and/or photography to such a degree that the Committee considers them worthy of the status of Full Membership. This membership varies from journalists who focus solely on cars to journalists who focus on commercial vehicles and motorcycles, as well as the country's top automotive photographers. Only Full members have voting rights.
Associate Membership of the SAGMJ is reserved for parties who work in related fields but who are not directly involved in journalism, i.e. people who make contributions to motoring journalism in other ways apart from direct writing, broadcasting or photography; and/or show a particular interest in the work and activities of the Guild to such a degree that the Committee considers them worthy of the status of Associate Membership.
Corporate membership of the SAGMJ is reserved for companies in the broader automotive industry, and includes Gold, Silver and Bronze. Gold is reserved for the motoring manufacturers, and silver and bronze for tyre companies, PR agencies, banks, petroleum companies etc.