Thousands of protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis and economic woes on 20 March, in a national shutdown organised by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EEF), a large South African opposition party.
Prior to this, several member churches of The South African Conference of Churches (SACC) had expressed concern over the public protests due to apprehension from the July 2021 shutdown, which had led to destruction and looting that left communities destitute.
The SACC General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana issued a media statement on 17 March, where he had acknowledged the constitutional right of Economic Freedom Fighters (EEF) to protest, but emphasized that such rights should be exercised in a peaceful manner and with “due regard to the rights of others”.
With the protests as a sign of the social and political disintegration of a fragmented society, SACC appealed to faith communities to pray and “propagate standards of public engagement that advance the common good and invigorate hope”.
SACC stated: “It is our prayer that all South Africans including our political leaders can put aside our narrow interests and work together to solve the problems we face as a country.”