The SACC is an instrument and servant of its members.

Joint Statement

24 September 2021

  1. The effects of COVID-19 have been devastating in South African and the world over, and have caused exceedingly abrupt shifts in our lives. The Religious Forum Against COVID-19, which was convened earlier this year, continues in its advocacy work against the scourge of COVID-19.
  2. In the almost two years since the first COVID-19 infection in South Africa,
    religious communities have witnessed the fall of thousands of members and religious leaders to COVID-19. The virus has stolen the lives of loved ones forever.
  3. As the religious sector there is a desperate need to fight for our people and help protect them from the virus – especially because there is hope, through the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, we stand before you fighting concertedly towards reducing the impact of a possible 4th wave.
  4. Today we launch a national campaign targeted at addressing vaccine
    hesitancy in our country, by building pillars of support for the COVID-19
    vaccine in religious circles.
  5. #VaxuMzansi is a campaign rooted on the premise of being a positive
    change-agent, with the goal to get at least 70%; 7 out of 10 people in our faith congregations and their communities vaccinated.
  6. The #VaxuMzansi campaign has already created vaccine teams in our
    member church branches, that will continuously share COVID-19 content with their congregants. In addition, these vaccine teams will coordinate vaccine drives that target youth groups, women’s and men’s groups and cell structures to assist in closing the vaccine access gap among members of their congregations.
  7. The teams will also have the responsibility of surveying their congregation on religious service days, and aggregating data of vaccinated members and identifying the reasons why any members may not be vaccinated.
  8. Each of our vaccine teams will analyse the vaccine uptake challenges in their congregation and community, and report back with their communication and access needs.
  9. One of the reasons for vaccine hesitancy remains misinformation. Our people have many questions about the vaccine and it is our duty to equip them with the information they may not have received or understood, and provide vaccine assurance.
  10. As the religious sector, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide both
    scientific and spiritual understanding to our congregations to assist them in making the decisions that can save their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
  11. At a practical level the #VaxuMzansi campaign will use religious infrastructure as vaccination sites, in partnership with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and other commercial partners. Right now, across South Africa, we have vaccine teams already at work in places like Grace Bible Church in Soweto and the Methodist Church in Mitchell’s Plain among others. If any of these areas are close to you, please visit those centres today. If you are in or around Phoenix and have not been vaccinated, please make your way here, and get vaccinated.
  12. Through these teams, the Religious Forum Against COVID-19 serves as a
    champion for vaccination, working actively towards leveraging our combined resources and influence within society to participate in bringing South Africans closer towards population-wide immunity. Once a good percentage of the people are vaccinated, such as two-thirds, the spread of the virus will be arrested, saving lives and freeing up our social and economic life as a society.
  13. Hosting the launch of the #VaxuMzansi campaign on Heritage Day is a
    deliberate message for us to re-frame our heritage as a country. In the past, we’ve previously enjoyed family time in what some have called the “Braai Day”; however the fabric of our society has been so deeply transformed by COVID-19 that many braais around the country today will be painful reminders of the losses we have all suffered because of COVID-19.
  14. Our call, therefore, is for South Africans to accept 24 September 2021 as
    National Vaccine Day. We encourage you to get vaccinated as a public act of unity in fighting COVID-19. We are calling on all those eligible to get
    vaccinated, if they want to spice up the Heritage Day, dress up in their
    traditional, cultural or their faith’s religious regalia, and get vaccinated. And in so-doing, change the trajectory of COVID-19 in South Africa. Let us work for a Heritage of Lives and Livelihoods not constrained by COVID-19. This we can only do together.
  15. #VaxuMzansi starts here – today – and will run right through to January 2022. We will work everyday to make sure that we do everything that is physically possible to reduce the risk of the loss of more lives.
  16. We have decided to launch our campaign in Phoenix, KZN as a means of
    extending the ministry of healing to the local communities of Nanda, Phoenix and surrounding areas. We witnessed brutality in this area in July 2021, and acknowledge the deep pain experienced by so many.
  17. The Hindu and Christian religious leaders have been working jointly to pursue justice in the area, and cover Phoenix with a blanket of healing and prayer. We are joined today by those same leaders, whose aim is to restore equilibrium to the community.
  18. This interfaith process that has been ongoing since July is working towards a national day of prayer to be coordinated by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) in November 2021. We want to thank all of those who have agreed to work on re-establishing peace in Kwa-Zulu Natal and acknowledge all the religious and provincial leaders who are here today in solidarity with this peace-building initiative.
  19. We plead with the entire community of Phoenix, and indeed with all South Africa, to prioritise peace over violence. And now we say let us work for a Heritage of Justice, Peace and Mutual Respect. Again this we can only do together.
  20. As the Religious Forum Against COVID-19, we call for a Heritage of Justice, Peace and Mutual Respect, here, and throughout South Africa; we call for a Heritage of Lives and Livelihoods, not to be hindered by COVID-19.
  21. For this Heritage of Lives and Livelihoods we invite and join with all sectors of our society, city society, labour, business, sporting communities, the arts, and government, especially the latest government call for the VOOMA Vaccination weekends beginning next week; that we should all put our shoulder to the wheel to get to the goal of vaccinating a good 20 million people by the December festive season.
  22. The COVID-19 vaccine is the long term answer, but even so, we must continue with the mask, distance, hand hygiene and ventilation. For even though I am vaccinated, and protected from serious illness and death, I can still pick up the virus and pass it on to others. All our faiths call for the sanctity of life! Let us work together to preserve life and restore livelihoods, and live life more abundantly.


Media enquiries:
Khuthalani Khumalo
SACC Communications Consultant
South African Council of Churches
Tel: 084 074 1285 | Email: