Empowering individuals and communities in South Africa
Empowering the Community through the Gospel of Jesus Christ
We want to bring the Gospel to the marketplace in the widest possible sense. We proclaim the reconciliation message of Jesus Christ but also strive to give this message a concrete form in the most topical issues we face. We seek to promote conversation and dialogue at the local level and increase the church's contact and networks with the media, government and business.
The Work We Do
We visit towns all over South Africa to facilitate discussions with the community and its leaders to cultivate a culture of unity and mural respect.
The Centre drives public theology with a specific focus on the issues affecting South Africa: housing, poverty alleviation, ecology, skills and faith development in a modern context.
The Hope and Reconciliation Trust is an NPO focused on promoting hope in South Africa. This trust gives South Africans the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of the country.
News & Events
In discussion with Eskom
André de Ruyter met some representatives of green organisations in Cape Town recently. De Ruyter gave an overview of the current state of affairs at Eskom and especially the so-called "just transition" to green energy. Braam Hanekom attended the event as chairman of the board of SAFCEI (South African Faith Communities' Environment Institute).
The church's response to homelessness
The Centre for Public Witness, in collaboration with MES, Straatwerk and Groote Kerk, presented an informative conference about the homelessness crisis in May. This event was attended by several experts and active role players regarding the homeless, including Rev. De La Harpe le Roux of the Towers of Hope Congregation in Bloemfontein. The voices of formerly homeless people were also heard.
Ecumenical network talks about church and nation
The Western Cape Ecumenical Network recently met at the Andrew Murray Center in Wellington. The network consists of representatives of a large number of churches and faith-based non-governmental organizations. During the meeting, the state of the church and the nation was considered from a church perspective.
It takes a village to raise a child
In a recent Godsdiens Aktueel, Braam Hanekom writes about the events at the Huis Marais residence in Stellenbosch. "The reaction has illustrated anew how divided our society truly is. You just have to look at the different reactions, especially on social media, to come to this conclusion.
"More than ever before, South Africa needs a new social compact and much greater social cohesion. This will lead to greater mutual trust, without which we will no longer be able to cope since the country is currently financially and morally bankrupt."
A resilient social compact requires a dynamic agreement between the state and society on how to live together, and how to address issues of power and resources.
For such an agreement to contribute to peace and societal well-being, it must be reflected in the mechanisms, policies and responses that uphold the agreement. This needs to be done in a way that’s flexible and responsive, especially in times of crisis.
Research across nine countries, including South Africa, found that social cohesion is a key driver. Social cohesion builds on the concept of social solidarity, which lies in areas of trust and respect, belonging and identity, and participation.