Meeting of Religious Leaders with President Mbeki

Issued by: Office of the Presidency


The leaders of 30 of South Africa's major religious communities met with President Mbeki at Union Buildings this afternoon.

Christian denominations, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Bahai's , and African Traditional beliefs were all represented.

The President raised five central issues which focused the discussion on the common quest of government and religion to transform South African society. These included accelerating the process of building a non racial united nation; to enhance programmes to eradicate poverty; to develop the capacity of government; moral regeneration; and to participate in the renewal of the African continent.

Discussion ranged over a wide range of related subjects including:

* ways to accomplish the moral regeneration of our society demanded by crime, corruption and violence; * a commitment to social and spiritual transformation of the nation which goes beyond party or denominational differences; * the necessity of close co-operation between government and religious bodies in analysing the causes and seeking the solution to poverty, racism and moral regeneration.

Differences and difficulties were frankly recognised, as were ways in which common supportive activities could be undertaken.

There was unanimous agreement that much closer communication be established between Government and the Religious Communities on specific matters affecting the transformation of our country. More structured interaction is envisaged to this end between the Presidency and the National Religious Leaders Forum

Enquiries: Bheki Khumalo on 083 200 1900 or 012 337 5227