The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government led by KZN Premier Willies Mchunu invites members of the media to attend the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration Summit scheduled to take place from the 1st June to the 2nd June 2017 in Kwa-Mashu Christian Centre starting at 09h00.
Held under the theme “Deepening Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration towards a united and prosperous KwaZulu Natal and Nation Building”, the summit will reflect on the latest xenophobic attacks in KwaMashu and various parts of the province.
Importantly, summit is aimed at developing a comprehensive provincial social cohesion and moral regeneration strategy that will address issues related the following issues:
· Feelings of marginalization and exclusion, based on race, from participating and benefiting from social and economic opportunities in this province;
· Perceptions that foreign and African nationals are benefiting more than local citizens. And dealing with violence resulting from directed towards foreign nationals based on such perceptions;
· Declining morals which aggravate social ills in the province which are generally created by socio-economic challenges;
· Sustainable solutions to bring about radical socio-economic transformation to address socio-economic inequalities
· Dealing with social instability, political intolerance and politically related violence.
The Summit will be addressed by leading figures in the Social Cohesion and Moral Regeneration movements such as Judge Navi Pillay, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, former SA Ambassador to the United Nations Welile Nhlapho amongst many other speakers.
The summit will be attended by all Members of the Executive Council including leaders of political parties, organised labour, traditional leaders and religious leaders. An invitation has also been extended to the leaders of civic society representing all sectors of our communities across all racial lines.
Premier Mchunu explained: “As stated yesterday, on the 6th April 2016, the provincial government released a report of the Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration and a report of a Study Group that was assembled to investigate the causes of xenophobic attacks and threats to Social Cohesion.”
“The mandate of the reference group was to assess reported causes and socio economic impacts of attacks against foreign nationals. The focus was on attacks that took place between March and May in 2015. The reference group found that the triple challenges of poverty, socio-economic inequality and unemployment contributed to an environment of heightened tensions within and between many communities. The resulting tensions were then exploited by individuals or groups with narrow self-interests and this contributed to violence.”
“In addition the provincial executive committee also appointed a Special Committee on Social Cohesion which was chaired by Professor Paulus Zulu. The investigation of the committee showed that structural threats present urgent challenges to mutual acceptance in this province and this is one of the definitive goals of social cohesion.
“The Committee amongst other things recommended that the province revamp its Social Cohesion Strategy and strengthen its communication and dialogue with KZN citizens.”
“Critically, the committee directed that this strategy must take into account, cultural, social, political and economic dimensions. We were also directed to strengthen our communication with our citizens especially during the period of policy formulations and to revitalise our policy provisions to promote more equitable economic development and promote peace, education and building a culture of mutual acceptance and encouraging trauma and healing.
Our convening of this summit is part of the implementations of the recommendations of both the report of the Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration and of the Social Cohesion Committee.”
Mchunu concluded: “We cannot deny that the recent ongoing political killings, instabilities we witnessed at the Glebe hostel in KwaMashu racial incidents such as the Penny Sparrow incident shows that our social cohesion efforts still lag behind. Our province still has high statistics of people living with HIV/Aids, teenage pregnancy and drug usage. This proves that a lot of work still needs to be done in order to rebuild our moral fibre and fight social ills. We want to use this summit to instil long lasting measures that will rebuild our society, promote social inclusion, nation building and help to eradicate racism.”