Zuma: Religious groups helped shape SA

2015-02-06 20:13
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - Religious groups helped shape South Africa into the country it is today, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"I wish to reiterate the gratitude of our people for the role you played for making us the country that we are today," Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at the first interfaith working group meeting in Pretoria.

"It is these historic bonds of partnership born of a collective struggle for justice that we are meeting today to reaffirm."

The president said six decades ago, the Freedom Charter was developed with a vision for a democratic, non-racial and united South Africa where all citizens would live in peace and prosperity.

"The faith-based sector was at the forefront of the struggle to realise the vision of the Freedom Charter," Zuma said.

"Last year we met at the Regina Mundi Church in Soweto to celebrate 20 years of our freedom and democracy. I had the opportunity to thank religious leaders and the faith-based community for the sterling role they played in the liberation of our country."

The purpose of the working group was to ensure government and the faith-based community worked together to create a South Africa as envisioned in the Freedom Charter and National Development Plan.

"The faith-based sector plays an important role in the development of society, bringing together people and instilling important values of respect, caring, compassion and selflessness," Zuma said.

"You play an important role as in assisting us to reach many communities throughout our country."

Many religious leaders alerted government when there were child-headed households, orphans, vulnerable children, the sick, and the poor in their communities so that government could intervene.

"Last year in September I announced the establishment of various presidential working groups, including the interfaith working group," said Zuma.

"The purpose of the working groups is to promote and strengthen partnerships between government and important stakeholders in society in order to work together for development and prosperity for all."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  pretoria  |  religion

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