During a live briefing this evening [May 26] regarding the calls of members of the faith community to reopen places of worship, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that religious gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed on Level 3 of the lockdown.

“Even at this time of crisis, we have cared for each other. The pandemic has taken its toll emotionally and spiritually on all of us. Many of us are anxious, and we have a responsibility to take care of our spiritual and psychological wellbeing,” he said.

Many religious leaders have made suggestions as to gradual resumption of worship gatherings.

“Our faith is what has seen us through many dark times,” Ramaphosa said. “The faith community has made a great contribution in the fight against the virus.”

Places of worship may thus reopen, subject to strict regulations and restrictions. Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other places of worship may resume services limited to 50 people or less.

Social distancing and other hygiene regulations muse be observed at all times.

The president also expressed his thanks to religious institutions who made available their spaces as medical facilities, schools, quarantine sites and shelter for victims of GBV.

Government will continue to engage with various stakeholders around their suggestions and deal with their concerns around the faith community.

President Ramaphosa also welcomed the proposal of a national day of prayer on Sunday May 31.

“Pray for the healing of our land and the protection of our people. Let’s turn our thoughts to all affected by this pandemic and those who lost loved ones, those who are suffering and grieving. Our belief in South Africa and its people unites us.”

Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Anita Froneman