The necessity to have healthy individuals and populations, and for countries to take concerted actions to optimise health, is largely self-evident and also strongly reinforced by a robust international evidence base. In South Africa, this need is urgent due to a growing disease prevalence and burden, especially from non-communicable diseases (NCDs)2 . This report outlines three vital reasons to promote good health: individuals themselves desire to be healthy; good population health is essential for economic and social development and unhealthy people place unnecessary burden on health services. It then sketches three broad areas that require rigorous actions to achieve good health outcomes: political and economic interventions; combatting the behavioural determinants of ill health; and quality and accessible health care, treatment and rehabilitation. The critical question of whether everything that promotes health can or should fall within the discipline/domain of health promotion is then posed. If it should, what are the implications of this, and if not, where should the boundaries be drawn, and why? The paper then examines and assesses where South Africa currently is with health promotion (particularly in relation to NCDs); where it should be and what is needed to get from where we are currently to where we need to be. This paper is informed by interviews with key health promotion experts. There is a special focus on health promotion research to be conducted by the SAMRC in order for the SAMRC to be able to assist the country to move to where it needs to be in this area.