Govt, faith leaders have a shared responsibility: Mashatile

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Deputy President Paul Mashatile says the government and faith leaders have a shared responsibility to unite all religions and promote national unity and social cohesion.

He was leading discussions with faith leaders in Cape Town.

The engagement forms part of efforts to enhance the relationship between government and the faith community.

Mashatile says faith leaders have demonstrated a willingness to promote unity in South Africa.

He says, “We believe that the interfaith community and the government must work in partnership to address the challenges in our communities. So we are saying to the interfaith, as government as we deal with these issues you should be there. You should be our partners because you have always been. Let’s work on these things together.”

Meaningful engagements

Leaders from different faith organisations in the Western Cape have called for more meaningful engagements with the government to tackle various societal challenges.

They have raised concerns about unemployment, drugs and teenage pregnancy.

President of the Cape Town Ulama Board, Mufti Sayed Haroon Al Alzhari says, “So we thank government for these things. As the Cape Town Ulama Board when we engage with our people, we talk to them. We see the hurt in their eyes, how much pain they are suffering, parents are being abused by their children.”

“All these things happen, and when we engage with the government sometimes, we have meaningful engagements, sometimes not. So what we are looking for as the Cape Town Ulama Board is the meaningful engagements. We don’t want just it as the formality. We want government to listen to us, not just sit in the meeting and then listen and throw it out without listening,” he adds.

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