Free State Arts, Culture and Recreation hosts Social Cohesion Summit
Social Cohesion Summit
On 7 June 2017, the Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation convened a Social Cohesion Church Leaders Summit at the Kingdom Ministries in Welkom where over 1000 delegates dressed in black and red from various church denominations, community and public sector institutions attended.
This summit was convened after the department noted with great concern, the recent outcry of our society as a result of the continuous acts of women and children abuse across our country and our province.
Believing that the abuse of women and children is a societal problem, the department then took a decision to convene a Social Cohesion Church Leaders Summit.
We should at all times seek to promote our national identity and protect the rights of vulnerable citizens towards achieving the goal for a social cohesive nation.
The unity of all South Africans is sacrosanct in defeating the patriarchal patterns that are still found in many quarters of our society said MEC Mathabo Leeto.
The objective of the summit was to create an opportunity for all sectors to present their programs and campaigns that focus on combating the abuse of women and children.
This summit received messages from the Free State Premier as well as Member of the Executive Council. Part of the presentations included the role of the church in the fight against crime in communities.
In general, the summit served as a platform where messages of hope and concrete experiences were shared by various sectors on how victims and perpetrators are assisted through institutions such as the South African Police Service, Correctional Services, Social Development victim support centers etc.
A pledge by the Free State Executive Council was also signed which committed the Free State Provincial Government to be active in combating all forms of abuse.
The pledge read as follows:
As the Free State Provincial Government, we are firmly committed to combating all forms of abuse against women, children, and elderly citizens of our province.
We therefore promise to mobilise our society to act against abuse wherever it occurs.
We shall utilise the Constitution of South Africa and all legislations to fight this scourge. We will strive to promote peace and harmony throughout the Free State province and South Africa.
Furthermore, we commit ourselves to protect the rights, freedom, and human dignity of all our citizens. We strongly condemn the abuse of our mothers, sisters, and daughters.
This is our pledge to the women and children in the Free State and South Africa.
Source: Government of South Africa