Our Churches Should Be Listed As ‘essential services’ – Kenneth Meshoe

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The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) party leader Rev. Kenneth Meshoe wants churches to be declared an essential service, Rev. Kenneth Meshoe was recently tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a church service in Bloemfontein.

Under COVID-19 lockdown regulations, public gatherings are prohibited in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

ACDP wants churches deemed as essential service providers

Meshoe was on PowerFM on Friday morning, where he argued that some churches have been providing essential services.

“Government must recognise that some churches have been involved in education, feeding schemes and helping hospitals for decades…churches have been involved in helping the poor and that is an essential service.”

Kenneth Meshoe, Leader of the African Christian Democratic Party

Meshoe said this should apply to churches that have been registered as non-profit organisations.

“We are saying ‘let them be allowed to help with distribution programmes’, because the President, himself, has said to the nation ‘Government does not have the capacity to do food distribution’.”

Kenneth Meshoe, Leader of the African Christian Democratic Party

Petition launched to allow churches to reopen

The ACDP says this is accordance with Section 31 of the Bill of Rights of the SA Constitution, which states that no one may be denied the right to enjoy their culture, practice their religion or use their language.

The party has also tabled a petition directed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

In the petition, the ACDP says it wants to see to it that;

  • Will be deemed to be Essential Service Providers, even during a State of Disaster, such as was declared in South Africa as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Will have the same rights as other institutions recognised to be Essential Service Providers, while strictly adhering to all the necessary restrictions and precautions that apply.
  • Have the right to minister to the spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical needs of their members and community.
  • May participate in feeding schemes, and the supply and distribution of groceries, shelter and other essential items to their members and the underprivileged in their communities.

Meshoe, along with ACDP chief whip Steve Swart are two of the 8 232 people in South Africa who have been infected with COVID-19

The pair tested positive for the coronavirus after attending a church service in Bloemfontein.

The virus has since claimed 161 lives in the country, and close to 300 000 globally.

Kenneth Meshoe

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