We wish to congratulate all the new councillors who took the oath of office on the 18th August 2016. Our citizens have given you five years in which to demonstrate how you act on their behalf. We also wish to congratulate the new mayoral team and specifically the new speaker, Jonathan Lawack, the new deputy-mayor, Mongameli Bobani and our new mayor, Athol Trollip, on their election. As our newly elected leadership we urge you to lead by example, to demonstrate how values and principles – not self-interest – are the true marks of any leader. We expect you to put the interests of our citizens above any party-political considerations; you have been elected to serve each and every citizen.

Ours is a divided city, a city that delivers below its potential, and a city in which the poor and the unemployed remain trapped in an ongoing cycle of hopelessness. This must end. We will work with your team and all the councillors to find ways to restore faith in our city and to reverse the habit of failure that has prevailed. We are capable of far more.

As the Church, we believe our city’s priorities should be focused on six key areas: youth development; the tri-headed challenge of poverty/inequality/unemployment; the wellness and safety of our people; healing and reconciliation; good governance; and restoring values as the driver of behaviour (not self-enrichment). We may differ on where the focus lies, but we must certainly agree it is time to get our city working for the benefit of all its citizens.

As promised we will regularly be knocking on your door, to pray for you, to find ways to work with you and, when needed, to challenge your leadership into doing better. We do not expect miracles; that is the sole privilege of our Lord, but we do expect you to do your best and to go beyond the normal call of duty. Again, we urge you not to become embroiled in petty conflict, but to act in wisdom and with dignity, to reach across the divides and to lead our city in fulfilling its great potential.

It is time to turn faith into action. We pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all.

Issued by the SACC on behalf of: Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Vincent Zungu, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Bishop Andile Mbete, Apostle Neville Goldman, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry, Ds Danie Mouton, Rev. Rory Spence, Pastor’s Daan Botha, Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom