President Cyril Ramaphosa. FILE PHOTO: Karen Sandison/ African News Agency (ANA).

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Wednesday hold discussions with interfaith religious leaders who are developing a values-based initiative to engender social cohesion, nation-building and societal renewal.

In a statement, the presidency said the engagement between the Ramaphosa and religious leaders from a broad range of denominations and African traditional religions is aimed at enabling leaders of different faith groups to take leadership in renewing South African society and to “develop positive values that advance our country to the South Africa we want”.

Interfaith leaders will present the initiative to Ramaphosa in response to the Thuma Mina call for all sectors of society and individuals to contribute to improving social and economic conditions in the country. They believe social renewal and the positive framing of South Africa’s national character was at the heart of South Africa’s growth and renewal.

This initiative will focus on addressing disturbing social phenomena such as unemployment, inequality, gender-based violence, crime and lawlessness and violence against foreign nationals. 

This movement will motivate South Africans to coalesce around the values of tolerance and ubuntu, which are shared across the entire spectrum of South Africa’s diverse society.

The statement added that the religious sector foresees itself playing a critical role within communities and in assisting government in restoring the moral fibre of society, in the restoration of common values and in advancing social cohesion.

Interfaith religious leaders wish to see this sector replicate the role the faith community played during the anti-apartheid struggle in mobilising communities, in building resilience through the provision of community-based and other services, and in giving a voice to citizens.

The meeting will conclude with the adoption of a presidential declaration for societal renewal.

African News Agency (ANA)