President stresses importance of faith organisations in SA

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cape Town - President Kgalema Motlanthe, delivering a brief address following a Sunday morning service in the Groote Kerk, told the congregation of the importance of faith organisations in South Africa.

Speaking in Afrikaans and English the President said he is aware of the role the church plays in providing assistance to people and communities in need.

While the government can supply things such as water, housing, sanitation, roads, electricity and other basic services, it is the church that provides the moral fibre of society.

"The faith community must play an active role in being a force for good in South African homes and communities ... and the invitation extended to me to be here today shows the spirit of partnership between government and the church," Mr Motlanthe said.

The service was given by Reverend Johan Botes who at the end of the service handed over a book detailing the history of the NG Dutch Reformed Church.

Reverend Botes thanked the President for attending the service and bestowed his blessing upon Mr Motlanthe as he continues to lead the country ahead of the general elections in the coming months.

The President, who delivered his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to a joint sitting of National Assembly on Friday, said he will be announcing the date of elections in the week to come.

The Groote Kerk, built in 1678, is a significant historical landmark as it is the birthplace of the Dutch Reformed denomination, and also the oldest church in Southern Africa.