Diocese of George calls for action on conflict & service delivery
Statement by the Right Revd Brian Marajh, Anglican Bishop of George
The Anglican Church in George has issued an urgent call to all leaders in the community to hold peaceful negotiations aimed at ending conflict over transport in the area and restoring proper service delivery.
In an open letter issued to the leaders, the Anglican Bishop of George, the Right Revd Brian Marajh, said:
“We are not prepared to sit by idly and allow the lives of the people of this community to be disrupted in the manner that has been seen over the past few days and weeks.”
He said leaders and civil servants “are in the employ of the people and should serve the interests of all the people, especially the poorest amongst the poor.”
The full text of the open letter follows:
Open letter by the Leadership of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of George
We, the leadership of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of George in general and the Town of George in particular, note with concern:
1. The instability caused by happenings in the George Municipality against the background of reports on Investigations by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, and what can subsequently be described as instability in service delivery that has resulted in a spate of protest action in communities in and around George.
2. The crisis caused by the inability of authorities to deal with the ongoing saga between the Go-George bus services and Taxi Associations in rendering a service to the community of George, and the resulting inconvenience suffered by commuters. This has resulted in strained relationships between employees and employers and continues to cause damage to a frail and struggling local economy.
The proverb that states “When elephants fight, it is the grass and trees that suffer” comes to mind. Our leadership and other role-players in these events should be reminded that they depend on the toil and labour of the most vulnerable in society. The people of the region and town should be treated with respect and dignity, since they secure the profits and income of the town in general and these service providers in particular.
We therefore call on all parties concerned to:
1. Address these issues in an amicable manner through peaceful negotiations that will facilitate the provision of services to those most in need.
2. Realise that the Leadership of our Town and their employees as civil servants are in the employ of the people and should serve the interests of all the people, especially the poorest amongst the poor.
The people we refer to represent our constituent members as well of those of other faith-based organisations. We are not prepared to sit by idly and allow the lives of the people of this community to be disrupted in the manner that has been seen over the past few days and weeks.
We simply wish to afford you the opportunity to bring about redress. We are making an objective, non-partisan call on all involved to do what is best for our Town and its people.
We will continue to soak the situation in prayer and will issue this statement to be read in divine services throughout the Diocese of George.
We are more than willing to meet with you in your search for a sustainable and lasting solution to this crisis.
Be assured of our continued prayer support for all role-players.
Yours faithfully in his Master’s service
The Right Reverend Brian Melvin Marajh
Bishop of George