Sithembiso S. Zwane
Lecturer in Theology and Development, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Covid-19 Solidarity Assurance: Reality, Faith and Action
First the article argues that the ‘Reality’ of Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem of poverty and food insecurity in South Africa affecting mostly the working-class poor communities. The pandemic has contributed to the loss of employment and business opportunities compromising food security for households of the poor and vulnerable.
Second the article argues that the ‘Faith’ communities have not been spurred during this crisis. The lockdown curfew regulations prohibiting public worship has severely affected the church. The pastors who depend on contributions from their congregations are affected by the regulations prohibiting gatherings depriving the church of income. Despite these challenges, the church has shown solidarity with those affected by the pandemic by complying with regulations in disrupting the transmission of the virus. Furthermore, the church has provided spiritual support to the faith communities through virtual and digital platform.
Third the article argues that the pragmatic ‘Action’ by the church in responding to Covid-19 challenges of loss of employment and businesses resulting in food insecurity was a demonstration of solidarity and assurance of God’s omnipresent for both the community and the church at large. The solidarity fund which assisted poor working-class communities and the church was an initiative by government, businesses and individuals in support of the poor working class. The ecumenical church was tasked with the responsibility of identifying the most vulnerable families in the community to benefit from this noble gesture by South Africans.