Prayer meeting in Imbali appeals for an end to disasters in KZN

Women from Imbali gather for a prayer meeting called by Cogta MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi. | SIBUSISO MBOTO

Women from Imbali gather for a prayer meeting called by Cogta MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi. | SIBUSISO MBOTO

Published Apr 14, 2024


Durban — KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi has called for community members to continue demonstrating the spirit of humanity to those affected by disasters normally associated with bad weather.

She was speaking at a prayer meeting in Imbali Township this week, meant to appeal for an end to the disasters that have affected different parts of the province in recent times.

Sithole-Moloi said they had chosen to hold the prayer in April as they had noted that the province had been affected by disasters in this month.

She said it was painful to observe the extent of the damage to properties and loss of lives in recent times owing to climate change, adding that this had left many families with scars that would take a long time to heal. She noted that while the province had witnessed the harsh side of nature, it was encouraging to see citizens and NGOs lending a helping hand to the affected families, ensuring that they had shelter and meals.

“We want to applaud the efforts of the NGOs and community members … as it demonstrates a sense of co-operation and humanity,” said the MEC.

She said it was important for the public to follow the advice of the Disaster Management teams, adding that their alerts were aimed at ensuring everyone’s safety.

“We have lost many lives in the past and therefore urge everyone to heed our call when alerts are issued,” said Sithole-Moloi.

She also called on Pietermaritzburg community members to go out in their numbers to vote so that the current government remained in power.

“My appeal to you is to ensure that our government remains in power,” she said.

Responding to news of the prayer meeting, IFP leader Blessed Gwala laughed off the event, questioning the sincerity of it. He also noted how the department had seen some of the funds meant to deal with disasters being returned to the Treasury, saying this illustrated Cogta’s incapacity to spend funds.

“We were not aware of the event and the fact of the matter is (that it’s odd) if you are not going to do what is expected of you in terms of spending funds for what they are required and expect this to be resolved by prayer.”

The DA spokesperson on local government, Martin Meyer, said while they noted that many community members were deeply religious, the department should not use this to conceal its own weaknesses.

“The fact is prayer alone does not solve problems but requires some form of action to go along with it. Right now the department’s Disaster Management Unit is unable to respond adequately and this speaks to the leadership at Cogta,” Meyer said.

He accused the MEC of abusing state resources in her call for people to vote for the government to remain in power.

Sunday Tribune