Deputy President Paul Mashatile says churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious platforms are pillars of society, doing valuable work in education, feeding the poor and the needy, and being a consistent and powerful voice that speaks out against injustices in our country.
JOHANNESBURG – Deputy President Paul Mashatile says churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious platforms are pillars of society, doing valuable work in education, feeding the poor and the needy, and being a consistent and powerful voice that speaks out against injustices in our country.
Mashatile was speaking at the engagement between government and inter-faith leaders at the Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Ekurhuleni.
He said that as a government, they appreciated the role of faith communities in guiding when they have strayed from their mission, which is to unite and develop the country.
“As faith leaders, you have an important role to play in the renewal of our society and in using your positions and influence to restore basic human values in our society.
“The men and women of the faith community have never faltered in their willingness to do their part. For the betterment of their congregants, yes, but also for the betterment of communities and for the country as a whole. It is the excellent work you are already doing in our communities that we want to harness and build upon,” Mashatile said.
The deputy president added that they valued partners in seeking to address these social problems.
“What we want to do here today is to deepen our partnership and to collectively come up with workable solutions on how we can better address the challenges that our country faces.
“When we conclude our deliberations today, we want to have planted the seeds for a new era of collaboration. It is an era that must be characterised not by words but by deeds.”
Also at the event was Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, who said the engagement put at its centre the need to develop the resilience and prosperity of families, owing to the fact that people are members of families.
“When we partner to eradicate the causes of the social ills that are plaguing families, these families will truly grow to be resilient. From this intentional development of resilience in families, they certainly will increase their prospects and strengthen their immediate communities’ common prosperity,” she said.
Zulu said the inter-faith community and government were recommitting to “trampling on” the causes of fears, anxieties, uneasiness, worries, insecurity and disempowerment that undermine families.