The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has launched a petition directed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and CoGTA Ministre Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to allow churches to be declared an essential during the lockdown period.
The party says they want the Government of the Republic of South Africa to henceforth officially and publicly declare that, in accordance with Section 31 of Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution, Churches registered as Non-Profit Organisations and/or Non-Profit Companies (Public Benefit Organisations):
The party quotes Section 31 of the Bill of Rights of the SA Constitution that states that persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community to enjoy their culture, practice their religion and use their language; and to form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.
Ivor Temlett who also signed the petition says if funerals can have 50 people attend, churches can too. We can hold multiple services if necessary.
Sue Townsend who also signed said for some people this is the only place where they can fellowship with others. Isolation is so demoralizing and harmful to many. Churches will abide by the regulations of masks and social distancing as they mostly comply with the law.
The petition has gained close to 25K signatures at the time of publishing.