KZN Church Leaders Group Resolutions-12 July 2021

KZNCLG Resolutions 12.7.2021 (1)

KZN Church Leaders Group Resolutions
12 July 2021
The KZN Church Leaders Group met this morning to evaluate the current situation of violence and
unrest and to discuss the latest Covid-19 regulations. As a group we made the following resolutions:
1. Regarding the violence and instability in the province we resolve:
1.1. That we condemn, in the strongest possible terms the violence that has wreaked havoc
across our province: destroying property, infrastructure and businesses, intimidating
innocent people and causing widespread fear and anxiety. We state that this is totally
unacceptable and cannot, under any circumstances be tolerated.
1.2. That we appreciate that people have different viewpoints and opinions on the sociopolitical issues of the day, and we therefore urgently call for dialogue and practical
interventions from all parties and stakeholders rather than violence.
1.3. That we are concerned and anxious about the level of historic inequality we continue to
experience today. We call upon Government to urgently reduce the glaring and immoral
chasm between the rich and the people in the margins.
1.4. That we urge our political, social and community leaders to call and stand for peace and
calmness, so that the issues of the day can be addressed with the participation of leaders
from all sectors of society.
1.5. That we urge faith leaders to be visible in offering support wherever it is needed. As the
Church we have a key role to play in offering pastoral care, peace monitoring and peace
building at this time.
1.6. That we call on government, as the elected representatives of the people, to find solutions
which will meet the needs of the poor and needy, and which will protect communities and
businesses from thuggery. We also call directly on law enforcement agencies to play their
part in this regard.
1.7. That Government, the Faith and Business sectors and Civil Society together have an urgent
role to play in responding to those who are destitute and hungry; a situation which has only
been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past 18 months. Poverty and dire hunger
cannot be ignored and must be addressed immediately. Leaving these lived realities
unaddressed is not only immoral but will also prepare fertile ground for unrest.
1.8. That we urge those who are calling for and resorting to violence to reconsider your strategy.
Let us be clear; it is the poorest and most marginalised in our society – those who have
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already been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and its related lockdown restrictions –
who will again bear the brunt and feel the real pain of this violent unrest.
1.9. That we call all people of faith to urgent prayer. Prayer for peace and stability; for wisdom
and courage, for vision and leadership.
1.10. Finally, that we do everything possible to protect children, the elderly, the sick and the
vulnerable by actions which build faith, hope and love in the world around us.
2. Regarding the continuation of Adjusted Lockdown level 4 we resolve:
2.1. That we, the Church, have been supportive and highly cooperative of Governments’
restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic and our commitment has been, and remains to
be, to protect people from the spread of this virus.
2.2. That notwithstanding the above, we are deeply disappointed with the Government’s latest
pronouncement that churches must remain closed. We object in the strongest terms to the
continued closure of Churches given the rigorous safety precautions we are committed to
operating under. We also note the contradiction between some Churches operating as
vaccination centres, serving hundreds of people, but then not being allowed to open as
places of worship and other types of service to our communities.
2.3. That the current restrictions are no longer sustainable. They severely hamper the Church’s
financial sustainability as well as our ability to perform our multiple roles in the lives of
individuals and communities (including but not limited to the key roles we play in
spirituality, community development, community safety and protection, peace keeping and
mediation, employment, psycho-social support and care for the most vulnerable)
2.4. That in order to continue offering these essential services at this critical moment in our
province, we need to at least 50% of a Church’s capacity. We as the Provincial Councils
of Churches commit to establishing guidelines and rigorous self-regulation processes,
through our existing ecumenical structures, to ensure that these safety measures are adhered
to.