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Deputy President Paul Mashatile has today, 26 September 2023, concluded a successful engagement between Government and Inter-Faith Leaders which was aimed at strengthening existing partnerships with the faith sector, towards the country’s social cohesion and nation-building project.
The Deputy President was supported by the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Zizi Kodwa, Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu. Speaking during the question-and-answer session, Minister Zulu assured the meeting that the Department of Social Development remained dedicated to working with Inter-Faith Leaders: “There are many social ills which affect each and every one of us sitting in the room. Government alone cannot solve all the problems being faced by South Africa. Through working with this collective, we can be assured that we will make South Africa a better country. Inter-Faith Leaders play a significant role in affecting positive change in communities,” she said.
The engagement considered practical steps towards institutionalizing partnership between Government and Inter-Faith Leaders as part of the Deputy President’s Delegated Responsibilities with one of the outcomes of the engagement being the decision to bring together other critical departments such as the Department of Basic Education and organise the grouping along the lines of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) and the Human Resource Development Council (HRDC).
Deputy President Mashatile also committed to establish a Secretariat, which will coordinate the work between Government and the Interfaith Sector. “We have agreed to meet quarterly, with the next meeting around March next year,” said the Deputy President. In the meantime, he said, the interaction between Government and Inter-Faith Leaders should be cascaded to the provinces as soon as possible.
“We have also heeded the call from this meeting that we should consolidate the database of all Inter-Faith organisations and the work they do in communities, so that we are able to work together in profiling and supporting the work we all do. That will assist us in reporting on that work regularly when we meet, so that we are able to hold each other accountable,” the Deputy President concluded.
Issued by the Presidency