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Churches form part of the solution to eradicate poverty and inequality in SA

Thursday, 16th February 2012  I  For immediate release

Religious groups should claim the same responsibility as politicians and local decision makers to reduce poverty and inequality in South Africa, says The Salvation Army’s Territorial Commander for Southern Africa.

In a statement commemorating the World Day for Social Justice (20 February 2012), Commissioner André Cox, Territorial Commander for the organisation, said that poverty, inequality and unemployment are the main problems facing South Africa currently.

He said that this day may not be a public holiday or marketed widely, but its objective is important: to encourage the international community to recognise the need to promote efforts to eradicate poverty, to uphold equality and to focus on achieving higher levels of employment and support for social integration.

“Churches and religious organisations like The Salvation Army, as well as other religious communities, have the responsibility to participate in all the efforts, led by local government and other institutions, against poverty,” he said.

“The aim should be to ensure social welfare and sustainable developmental programmes for the communities affected by poverty.”

Commissioner Cox suggested that religious groups should form joint ventures with different departments of the government, with the intention to create policy frameworks that are crucial in combating poverty, exclusion and unemployment.

In doing so, these ventures will provide consistent developmental programmes for members of communities around South Africa.

“The process of eradicating poverty and inequality in our communities requires thinking from all – religious groups, affected communities and the state – in order to deal with the difficulties involved,” said Commissioner Cox.

“However, the infinite moral capital of churches should not be wasted on a single basic analysis and thinking. It should be used to push the debate, relating to poverty and inequality, forward towards a more holistic approach.”

He added that social justice is more than an ethical imperative; it is the groundwork for national stability and global prosperity.

“It is everyone’s duty to help make South Africa a better and safer place, especially for the vulnerable members of our society,” Commissioner Cox said. “As a result, The Salvation Army will continue to address the core issues rooted in poverty, unemployment and inadequate education.”

Through the help of the public, the faith-based organisation has managed to offer communities the opportunity to enjoy a better life by fighting human trafficking and domestic abuse, providing disaster relief to those affected by floods, a family tracing service, as well as food and shelter for the needy members of the public.

He said: “South Africans have helped us unlock the full productive potential of this country and its people.”

To assist in supporting The Salvation Army’s work concerning impoverished communities around South Africa, please contact their offices on 011 718 6746.

Financial donations can be made by depositing contributions directly in the following account:

The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal,

First National Bank, Braamfontein branch (251905),

Account number 50540087604.

Deposit slips should be faxed to 011-718-6796.

Donations to The Salvation Army are exempt from donations tax. This means that members of the public and companies wishing to make a once-off or regular donation to the Army are able to make claims for rebate from the South African Revenue Service.

The work of The Salvation Army includes homes for babies and children with HIV/Aids, pre-schools, shelters for the homeless, emergency services, feeding schemes, centres for abused women and children, prevention of human trafficking, the protection of the victims and the lawful prosecution of the perpetrators.


The Salvation Army is an international movement and evangelical part of the universal Christian Church and has a professional record in rehabilitating and accommodating trafficking trade victims and addressing social injustice in a systematic, measured, proactive and Christian manner through its International Social Justice Commission.


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