November 2012 Newsletter

From Bishop Mike Vorster – KZNCC Chairperson
When KZN sneezes …. !                              .    

“When KZN sneezes the rest of the country catches a cold”,  these are sentiments expressed both by HM King Goodwill Zwelithini and the Premier of KZN Dr Zweli Mkhize. When violence broke out in the 80’s it spilled over into other parts of our country. When HIV and AIDS became more visible it was discovered that KZN had the largest infection rate. When peace was brokered in KZN in the 90’s, the rest of the country became more peaceful.

 

Today we are faced with murders linked to political parties. Therefore if we make peace in KZN the rest of the country will benefit. This means we need political will and statesman-like leadership. Fortunately in this province we do have such leadership in the persons of King, the Premier and the IEC Provincial CEO, Mawethu Mosery. The recent initiative by His Majesty to bring together traditional and religious leaders, as well as provincial government and all political parties is commendable. All these groups have pledged themselves to tolerance and peace and to be part of the KZN Provincial Peace Program (KZNPPP).

What makes KZN PPP different to others peace programs is that it is to be facilitated by the traditional and religious leaders under the patronage of Isilo. Two meetings have been held thus far. It was most encouraging to witness every political party commit themselves to peace and tolerance of one another. The honesty by parties was impressive when they openly admitted internal and external strife. They have taken action against criminal elements within their membership by expelling them.

We are by no means out of the woods. The violence and killings have complex layers which are gradually being unraveled.  The establishment of the KZN PPP is most welcome at this time. May its peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace building actions be very successful not only for our beloved province but for the sake of our beloved country.


FROM THE CEO’S DESK KZNCC CEO – Dr Douglas Dziva

Dear Friends, 
As always, we are very interested to know your thoughts on how we could best serve member churches as well as the broader ecumenical movement in KwaZulu-Natal with relevant information, capacity building services, networking and partnership development.  We appreciate your feedback on our previous newsletter; please continue to send us your views, comments and suggestions.


Some thoughts on collaboration and development practice

In these times of financial cuts experienced by civil society, it seems imperative for civil society to create partnerships and strategic networks so as to maximise the impact of our development work. Where ever possible, KZNCC is keen to create strategic collaboration, networking and partnership as a way to improve its functions as a provincial council of churches.  Our most recent strategic review suggested a shift from KZNCC implementing its own activities to mobilising member churches and supporting them in their own work and expanding it to other areas as well as creating spaces for ecumenical collaboration.               

This understanding about the need for  strategic ecumenical networking and partnerships on social transformation influences who we mobilise for participation in development and how we do it; the weight we give to advocacy campaigning; and how to strategically link church leaders and church activists to the poor and  marginalised – and, ultimately, how much impact we have on transformation and development.

As we plan for the “16 days of Activism Against the Abuse of Women and Children” we urge churches and ecumenical organisations to join us on the provincial “16-days of activism campaign” in Eshowe, Ladysmith and Pietermaritzburg. Churches in KZN will soon receive invitations to participate in the campaign.   For full details please contact Dr Lucas Ngoetjana on 033-3454819,  lngoetjana@kzncc.org.za .

We will be more effective in thinking and acting together as churches and faith-based organisations if we also collaborate with social movements, support groups. If you know a church or an organisation interested to work with KZNCC on social, economic and political interventions please do contact me on  033-3454819 or ddziva@kzncc.org.za .


The KZN Church Leaders’ Group (KZNCLG)

We thank Bishop Rubin Philip for convening the KZN Church Leaders’ Group meetings. The last meeting was at St John’s Sydenham, on Wednesday 12thSeptember.  Critical issues discussed included the state of the province, the current Zimbabwean situation, and reflections on the KZN Premier’s meeting with church leaders. Among the key decisions taken during this meeting were that the KZN Church Leaders’ Group should be composed of heads of churches, the directors of Ecumenical Organisations and chairpersons of ecumenical organisations.   Among the agreed activities to take place soon are;  a Church leaders’ social analysis  imbizo,  as well as organise field exposure trips for the KZN Church Leaders Group.

  • Should you have issues that you believe are urgent and need the attention of the KZN Church Leaders’ Group please contact Bishop Rubin Philip or kindly inform me so that your issues are tabled for church leaders to discuss and act on.   033-3454819 or ddziva@kzncc.org.za .


TAMCC working with selected youth leaders on drug abuse, criminal violence and teenage pregnancies and HIV and Aids


Forum for Directors of Ecumenical Organisations in KZN

The directors of ecumenical organisations  (KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC), Diakonia Council of Churches (DC of C) , KwaZulu Regional Christian Council (KRCC), Thukela-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council (TAMCC), Southern KwaZulu Natal Christian Council (SKZNCC), Midlands Council of Churches (MCC) and Vuleka Trust (VT)decided to create spaces where they meet regularly to network, share and learn from each other. The first meeting was held at KZNCC, and the 2nd at Diakonia. Each of the organisations takes a turn in hosting the Directors’ meeting. During these meetings the KZN social, economic, and political landscape is discussed and a broad and common understanding of what is happening and what needs to be done by ecumenical organisations and the broader civil society is attained.  These meetings are also significant in that they strengthen relations of the directors as well as of the ecumenical organisations in the province.

  • The 3rd Ecumenical Directors’ meeting is scheduled to take place at Vuleka Trust on the 7th and 8th of November 2012

South African Council of Churches (SACC) saga:

The SACC story continues to be a familiar epic whose conclusion is not easy to speculate. At the moment all SACC staff received a letter from the General Secretary reminding them that they were no longer in the employ of SACC and that, if found in the SACC premises, they should be able to indicate who invited them. There is a lack of information and clarity about the retrenchment processes – for us some of the unanswered questions are: when will the SACC pay out the retrenchment packages? How will this happen? What will happen to the SACC after all the retrenched staff (except the General Secretary)? What is the new vision?

In KwaZulu-Natal, the KZNCC Executive Committee deliberated on the SACC crisis and continues to pray for SACC in this very difficult situation. The following concrete decisions were taken: none of our staff will be retrenched; the Executive is consulting with local heads of churches to look for resources so that we can keep all our staff and with ecumenical ministry; we are liaising with local charities and local business people in church for support, as well as seeking support at KZNCC offices from self-supporting church people who are keen and able to offer voluntary time and expertise..

Should you be able to offer any form of support please contact the KZNCC CEO Dr Douglas Dziva on ddziva@kzncc.org.za


Premier meets church leaders

On the 16th of August, the Premier of KwaZulu Natal, Hon Dr Zweli Mkhize met with KZN Church leaders and expressed his desire for greater networking and partnership between Churches and Government at provincial, district, and local government levels.

  • The presentations on the Government’s 12 outcomes and on the Operation Sukumasakhe Service Delivery Programme were highly informative.
  • Church leaders very much welcome and appreciate the Premier’s gesture to reach out to them.

Way forward: (i) the ecumenical organisations are inviting the Premier’s office to make presentations to the grassroots church constituency, and (ii) the church leaders plan to meet urgently to further analyse and discuss what emerged out of the meeting and decide on what action to take.


People on the Move:

  • Congratulations to Rev. Thulani Ndlazi, the former UCSSA Moderator, for his new appointment as National Secretary (CEO) of the UCCSA, South African Synod. We wish him well as he relocates to Johannesburg on 1 January 2013.
  • Mr Eddy Makue has made a huge contribution to the ecumenical movement in South Africa especially through his work with the South African Council Churches (SACC) for well over 20 years. We wish him well in his next appointment with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the National Lotteries Board (Lotto). 
  • Congratulations to Bishop Mvume Dandala who was appointed as the new President of Seth Mokitimi Theological Seminary. We wish him success in this challenging position. 
  • Mr Paddy Kearney is a consultant to the KZNCC with a special focus on supporting the formation and nurturing of ecumenical structures. Midlands Council of Churches (MCC) and Southern kwaZulu Natal Christian Council (SKZNCC) are areas of focus. KRCC and TAMCC continue to benefit immensely from Paddy’s expertise. -Paddy also does voluntary work for the Denis Hurley Centre Project at Emmanuel Cathedral in Durban. This Centre will focus on three priorities: Care, Education/Training, and Community Building in one of the most challenging inner-city areas of the eThekwini Municipality. -If you would like to contribute to this work at Emmanuel Cathedral please contact Paddy at pkearney@saol.com 
  • Rev Phumzile Zondi Mabizela the former KZNCC CEO now works for Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) Southern African Desk where she heads the Gender justice Advocacy work. She has been very gracious and remains in touch with KZNCC advising and offering technical support on gender justice issues. We wish Phumzile success as she continues to serve the wider ecumenical movement.

News in Brief from KZN Regional Offices

KwaZulu Regional Christian Council 
KwaZulu Regional Christian Council 4th Anniversary of Independence: On 3 September 2008, the KZNCC handed over all administrative and management duties, making the KwaZulu Regional Council of Churches a wholly independent body. In the fourth year of their independence, credit was given to the commitment of the staff and board, who have carried out their respective tasks with dedication and perseverance.

In celebration of the occasion, the KRCC handed over a new television and desktop to our Youth Desk for the benefit of local youth. These facilities will allow for educational shows to be watched and the development of computer literacy after school and during the holidays – something that will be hugely advantageous for the youth such as that of Nkanini Village who attend under-resourced schools.

KRCC thanks go out to Terre des Hommes and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund for helping to make the day a success.

Diakonia Council of Churches: THURSDAY IN BLACK CAMPAIGN 
Following the human rights campaign originally started by the World Council of Churches during the 80s, South Africa has instituted its own Thursday in Black Campaign against rape and violence. This campaign was launched in South Africa by the Diakonia Council of Churches during the 16 Days of Activism initiative at the end of 2008.

Local churches and communities are encouraged to join the world in wearing black on Thursdays in solidarity against verbal and physical abuse, rape, and sexual and gender discrimination. The black clothing symbolises mourning for women who have died at the hands of abusive partners, and the commitment to making a difference in light of the unacceptably high levels of abuse.

For more information, or if you would like someone to talk about this programme at your church or organisation, please contact the Diakonia Council of Churches on 031-310 3500.

Thukela-Amajuba-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council 
The TAMCC Regional Manager Rev Gugu Shelembe resigned from the organisation for personal reasons, and the office administrator also left to pursue a nursing career. Reverend Muzi Dumakude was appointed as interim Regional Manager for 6 months, and Ann Rajoo started as administrator. Reverend Isaac Ngema and Ms Thoko Zulu continue in the organisation with their responsibilities as programme staff.

What: Sheila’s Day 
TAMCC is mobilising women to come together for prayers every Thursday. TAMCC is also using this Sheila’s Day to Support the Thursdays in Black Campaign. The Sheila’s Day is also used to promote the famous SOFIA campaign. Approximately 3 400 women have been mobilised for the Thursday campaign in the TAMCC region. For more information please contact: Rev. Muzi Dumakude:  muzidumakude@yahoo.com 0720690836

What: TAMCC is holding its annual Covenant Sunday. 
When: 29 November 2012 
For more information contact: Mrs Thoko Zulu - mail123930@telkomsa.net  Cell 072 106 3044


Working with local business and supporting local efforts to give love, warmth and education to vulnerable children in the Dundee rural areas.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO INFLUENCE POLICY!KZNCC has ways to enable your voice to be heard by policy makers in the KZN legislature. We invite you to come and meet policy makers and present issues for their attention. The KZN Legislature was very kind and shared with us the November and December 2012 dates for Parliament and Portfolio Committee meetings:


13 November 2012
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

CAUCUS DAY FOR:

  • Finance at 09:00
  • Agriculture at 09:00
  • SCOPA at 13:00
  • Conservation at 13:00

16 November 2012
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

COMMONWEALTH WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTARIANS


2 December 2012
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

PARLIAMENT FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DISABILITIES


4 to 6 December
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

LEGISLATURE SITTING


10 to 14 December
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT VISIT THEIR CONSTITUENCIES


17 December to January
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ARE ON LEAVE


20 December 2012
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

CAUCUS DAY FOR:

  • Works at 09:00
  • Social Development at 09:00
  • Human Settlement at 13:00
  • Health at 13:00

23 December 2012
KZN Parliament
244 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg

CAUCUS DAY FOR:

  • Community Safety at 09:00
  • Education at 09:00
  • Transport at 13:00 PPP at 13:00

ANNOUNCEMENT

OFFICE SPACE AVAILABLE AT KZNCC

CONVENIENCE
Very accessible for public and private transport users.

SPACE AVAILABLE:
4 spacious offices, a boardroom which comfortably takes about 20 people, ablutions, and a kitchen with built-in cupboards.  50 Langalibalele Street (former Longmarket Street).

RENTAL FEE:
R 6 500. Contact Ms Estelle Lundall on 033-3454819 or info@kzncc.org.za
elundall@kzncc.org.za

NEW APPOINTMENTS

  • Ms Samkelisiwe Mhlongo has been appointed KZNCC receptionist with effect from 1 November 2012. She has been working on youth issues at KZNCC on a voluntary basis over the past years. She is a team player with a great personality. Efficiency and self-initiative are other assets she brings to KZNCC and the ecumenical movement.
  • Reverend Muzi Dumakude was appointed TAMCC Regional Manager after the resignation of Reverend Gugu Shelembe. Dumakude is a dynamic activist whose commitment to social justice is unshakeable. He is a hard-worker committed to bringing a fresh vision and growth to TAMCC.

Favourite quote of the month “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” - Nelson Mandela