This morning the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI), with faith leaders and citizens, held their weekly Wednesday vigil outside Parliament in Cape Town. Faith leaders prayed together and called on those in leadership positions within the South African government to practice good governance and commit to a just future for all South Africans.
According to SAFCEI and faith leaders, “At this time of transition, we appeal for a commitment to ethical, transparent decisions that are in the interests of all the people of the country and not for short term gain for the few.”
As Rabbi Greg Alexander of Temple Israel, states: “Responsible leadership means looking at the wholeness of society, both the people in it and the environment in which we live. Sustainability is a religious and ethical commandment, for us to be shomrei adamah – guardians of the earth. The kind of leadership we are looking for in our country right now are fearless individuals who are not susceptible to corruption.
“As a religious community we call on our government to take seriously – not just to win an election – but to govern with integrity to uphold the principles of our Constitution and our responsibility to the earth and all of its people.”
Just energy future for all
Although ANC President Ramaphosa was quoted at Davos as saying that nuclear energy procurement is not affordable or necessary at present, we call for the nuclear power programme to be permanently removed as an energy option, forever.
Inqua leader of the Khoisan, Joey Dearling, from the Karoo said: “It’s very important for us to be here so that people can see that the Khoisan community of the Eastern Cape are engaged against uranium mining and fracking.”
“Our area is experiencing water scarcity due to climate change area as we are already dependant on underground and borehole water. We hope the nuclear deal does not go through because it will affect the people of the Karoo badly in terms of the drought, and impact on their health,” says Dearling.
SAFCEI and faith leaders are calling for investment in sustainable renewable energy, offering the opportunity for development of the economy in sectors like manufacturing and transport, and job creation. According to research, renewables could employ up to 1 million people.
Reverend Michael Weeder said: “The Earth’s resources are not finite yet the sun, the wind, water is there as sources to be harvested, we as people who love Mother Earth have a responsibility in our daily lives to reflect that commitment.”
For further comment please contact SAFCEI spokespersons:
Liziwe McDaid 0827315643
Francesca de Gasparis 078 7395 272