South Africa's poorest citizens are feeling the impact of not having any income for almost three weeks. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA
South Africa's poorest citizens are feeling the impact of not having any income for almost three weeks. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency/ANA

Religious leaders asked to 'practise charity', help the poor during Covid-19 lockdown

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Apr 15, 2020

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Pretoria - The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) on Wednesday called on leaders of religious and cultural societies to support South African communities economically and psychologically as South Africa goes through an extended lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

“The national lockdown presents an opportunity for cultural, religious and linguistic leaders to mobilise resources – monetary, spiritually, psychologically, in kind and so forth – to support this morally justifiable social cause,” the CRL Rights Commission said in a statement. 

“The CRL Rights Commission urges the cultural, religious and linguistic communities to practise benevolence and true charity in order to enhance the dignity of the vulnerable people in our society, for dignity is a gift to all and earned by none.” 

The commission said as South Africa navigates through the deadly pandemic, “we are called upon more than ever before to draw from our rich and diverse cultural, religious and linguistic values and virtues of giving, care and support as practical expressions of human empathy and our concern for the welfare of others”. 

The CRL Rights Commission said the national lockdown imposed by the government to curtail the spread of the coronavirus comes at a great cost, particularly among the country’s poor majority. 

“The lockdown has come at a great cost for our country, especially the disruption of normal economic activities in such a way that the country is faced with unemployment, poverty, homelessness, economic deprivation, water provision and loss of income,” the organisation said. 

Chairman of the CRL Rights Commission Professor David Mosoma appealed to South Africa’s cultural and linguistic communities to respond generously to ongoing national efforts to help the poor “because the greatness of a nation is judged or measured by how justice is meted out to the vulnerable members of society”. 

South Africa has at least 2,415 confirmed coronavirus infections and at least 27 fatalities.

Several religious groups have been joining ongoing government efforts to provide food and other necessities to impoverished communities across South Africa.

African News Agency (ANA)

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za 

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