The newly formed political party CHANGE has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow churches and other religious institutions to open under level three of the lockdown regulations.
CHANGE says people suspected of being infected with COVID-19 at churches would be easy to trace.
In March, the government had to undertake one of the largest tracking and tracing of over 1600 people who had come into contact with people who attended a prayer service at the Divine Restoration Ministries in Bloemfontein.
That is where five overseas visitors had been found to have been infected with the coronavirus, as outlined in the video below:
Party president Lesiba Molokomme says: “We view this as a serious miscalculation by the government. The truth of the matter must be told. People get infected at the taxi rank, in the trains as well. Those travellers cannot be traced but if that happens in the church or in the mosques, it will be easy to trace the sufferers. We, therefore, call on the president to rethink and to reconsider and reopen the church and the mosques at least at level 3 of this lockdown.”
Churches hosting virtual gatherings
Many churches across South Africa and the rest of the world have resorted to virtual services as religious gatherings remain banned.
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During the Easter period last month, more than 40 congregants of the Sunrise City Church International conducted their service via ZOOM video conferencing.
In the video below, churches turn to alternative channels to celebrate the spirit of Easter:
-Additional reporting by SABC.