Delegates from the South African Council of Churches' (SACC) 24 member
denominations yesterday discussed plans to celebrate South Africa's first decade of
democracy, which concludes at the end of April 2004.
The annual meeting of the SACC Central Committee lauded the many important gains
that have been won since 1994, particularly with respect to the entrenchment of human
rights and personal freedoms. Dramatic progress has also been made in certain aspects of
social delivery and investment, although significant backlogs remain in many areas.
The Central Committee emphasised, however, that rights come with responsibilities.
Citing concerns about poverty and unemployment, moral decline and unacceptable levels
of crime and violence, the Central Committee urged churches to commemorate a decade
of democracy by playing a more active role in promoting responsible citizenship.
A resolution adopted by the meeting said: "Our nation is still on a journey toward
economic and social justice and democracy. … We believe that the church can most
appropriately promote the moral and spiritual development of our people to enable them
to be responsible citizens, and we commit ourselves to taking this duty seriously."
"As we embark on a our second decade of democracy, our focus must be on how we can
build both freedom and responsibility," said Dr Molefe Tsele, General Secretary of the
The SACC plans to invite members of the international ecumenical election observer
teams that took part in the first democratic election to visit the areas where they were
deployed in 1994 to assess the progress achieved over the past decade.
For further information contact Dr Molefe Tsele 011 241 7817
13 August 2003