Johannesburg - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has named the 41 new members of a ministerial advisory committee on social change, which is aimed at driving social behaviour change in communities.
Mkhize named the new MAC on Youth Day during a Zoom meeting, alongside Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.
Mkhize said Covid-19 infections, hospitalised patients and deaths would continue to rise, imploring South Africans to take responsibility and play their part in stemming the virus.
“All South Africans must be prepared for the battle. We want to say to our people: this is the time to be more united. It is no longer about what the government has said, it is now about you as the individual.
“We need to change the behaviour of our people. We need to wear masks, observe physical social distancing at the banks, at the shops, at the shisanyama, everywhere. We need to build this new culture,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize said as the country was faced with economic distress, it did not have the option to remain closed for much longer and said the economy had to be reopened to ensure that livelihoods were built.
He said South Africa had to learn to co-exist with the virus because of the economic and social distress it faced.
Members of the new MAC:
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana of the SA Council of Churches, committee chairperson
Steve Letsike, South African National AIDS Council
Mr Thulani Tshefuta, NEDLAC
Dr Lydia Cairncross, People's Health Movement of SA
Mluleki Zazini, NAPWA National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS
Lauren Pretorius, Health Users Sector Network Member
Lucas Qhakaza, National Working Committee for the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO)
Lawrence Bale, South African National Apex Cooperative (SANACO)
Dan Kekane, Disabled People South Africa (DPSA)
Tebello Radebe, National Coordinator Financial Sector Campaign Coalition
Solly Nduku National Unitary Professionals for African Tradition Health Practitioners of SA
Phephisile Maseko, Traditional Healers Organisation
Ingrid Cupido, Age-in-Action Organisation
Sasha Stevenson, Section27
Rev Bafana Khumalo, Sonke Gender Justice
Jannie Oosthuizen, Public Servants Association of South Africa
Susan Ntlatleng, HOSPERSA
Khaya Xaba, National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union
Cassim Lekhoathi, DENOSA
Inkosi Sipho Etwell Mahlangu National House of Traditional Leaders
Zolani Mkiva, CONTRALESA
Pastor Ray McCauley, Rhema Family Church
Elder Ephraim Msane, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, Jewish community
Moulana Ebrahim Bham, Muslim community
Pundit Ashwin Trikamjee, Hindu community
Apostle Collins Dhlomo, Alliance of Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of SA
Bishop Mosa Sono, Grace Bible Church
Mary Kluk, SA Jewish Board of Deputies
Yamkela Makupula, Diaz Rues Africa
Sulosh Pillay, Daughters of Africa
Joseph Mbereni, Maada Mudzi Religious Organization
Buti Joseph Tlhagale, SA Catholic Bishops
Lisa Vetten, Activist - Violence against Women
Nokuzola Ndende, Icamacu Institute
Jacob Skosana, Older Persons Forum Chairperson
Bernard Molokoane, ZCC
Piet Lekganyane, ZCC
Avhasei Mulovhedzi, SA Interfaith Council
Abdul Khaliq Allie, Moslem Judicial Council
Vilal Vaid, Council of Muslim Theologians
Mkhize said the MAC was a story of "emancipation and empowerment".
“This social compact is a transition from relying on enforcement to relying on the sheer goodwill and tenacity of South Africans to do what it takes to save lives and livelihoods.
“I am very excited to open this official launch of the MAC on social behaviour on such an auspicious day.
“Whilst the most urgent work of the MAC will be to facilitate diverse stakeholder co-operation in our Covid-19 national response, the work naturally extends into the tenets of the Health Compact and ultimately NHI in that it also facilitates action for fair access to quality health care and a long and healthy life for all.
“This MAC is actually inspired by you, our fellow South Africans. It was South Africans who stayed at home for 5 weeks. South Africans who sacrificed their places of worship, their sport, their favourite restaurant, the Sunday surfs, seeing family and friends, the shisanyamas - the touch of another human.
“That collective discipline and co-operation is what allowed us to flatten the curve, push the peak out by a few months, save many lives and balance our resources,” said Mkhize.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, speaking at the launch, called on women to show their scars of abuse and emotional trauma as gender-based violence has resurfaced in the country.
She said it was time for everyone to say "No" to any form of violence, including physical abuse and raising your voice in strife.
Mpumlwana also spoke out against gender-based violence.
“This committee will take the opportunity to drive down the spread of the virus and also the ill-treatment of women in our society,” he said.