SOUTH AFRICA: Address Economic Inequality, Council Urges Government

By Njoki Githinji

KWAZULU-NATAL, JULY 13, 2021(CISA)-The KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) has called for urgent resolution of the historic rich-poor economic gap that has been exposed by massive stealing and looting of businesses during protests in KwaZulu-Natal.

“…We are concerned and anxious about the level of historic inequality we continue to experience today. We call upon government to urgently reduce glaring chasm between the rich and the people in the margin,” the council said in a July 12 statement.

“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 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 realities unaddressed is not only immoral but will also prepare fertile ground for unrest,” the council added.

Addressing the ongoing violence during protests for the release of former president Jacob Zuma, the council recognized that people have varied viewpoints on socio- political issues but must address them through dialogue and practical solutions.

“We urge our political, social and economic 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,” the council said.

The council asked church to continue offering needful support and government to find solutions that will meet the needs of the poor while also protecting businesses from violence.

“As the Church we have  a key role to play in offering pastoral care ,peace monitoring and peace building at this time…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,” the council urged.

Protesters demanding the release of former president Jacob Zuma who was jailed last week have been attacking and looting businesses in Kwazulu-Natal and other places since last week.

The statement was signed by Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, chairman of KZN Church leaders group and Bishop Nkosinathi Myaka, KZNCC chairperson