City of Joburg and Anglican Church make peace in the spirit of Mandela.
Courtesy Star Newspaper. Story by Itumeleng Mafisa.
Johannesburg – The Anglican Church and the City of Joburg have mended fences in the spirit of Mandela Day.
This comes after a number of complaints from the episcopal leader of the church, Bishop Stephen Moreo, who complained about the dirtiness of the inner City and the area around the historic St Mary’s Cathedral, where Bishop Desmond Tutu was ordained as a minister.
According to church authorities, Tutu later changed his wish to be buried in St Mary’s Cathedral after seeing the decay of the inner City of Joburg.
The speaker of the Johannesburg Municipal Council, Colleen Makhubele, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), and students from Wits University, the University of Johannesburg, and Hope Restoration Centre’s reformed youth attended to the needs of the church with a clean-up campaign.
St Mary’s Cathedral is one of Joburg’s heritage sites and is situated on Wanderers and Plein streets.
Before the clean-up campaign commenced, Bishop Moreo took the speaker and city officials on a tour around the church, where he showed them how littering made the environment unbearable for church members. There was also a giant pothole on De Villiers Street, which created problems for taxis and those who used that road.
Moreo said he was over the moon with the initiative by the City of Joburg to help clean up around the church.
“I feel good that the city is responding. I feel good because that has moved me to say that I must also make my contribution as a Christian. I am grateful, and I am hoping that this is the beginning of a partnership between us and the city,” Moreo said.
He also lambasted ordinary residents of the city for not looking after their surroundings. He said it was a Christian duty to ensure that the environment was clean. The cleric also expressed the importance of paying rates to ensure that the city is able to deliver services.
“We have to do these things because we have to; we have to do them beyond Mandela Day. How do we expect services if we are not living up to our own obligations,” he asked.
Makhubele said she was excited to be part of the clean-up process. She said it was important to look after the heritage sites in the city.
“Joburg is not only rich in gold, but rich in history as well. The church is an important stakeholder, and they are closer to our people, so projects like these should happen often,” she said.
Makhubele said she had noted a number of problems around the church precinct that needed the attention of various departments in the City of Joburg.