The urgent need for the churches and civil society to step in where the politicians are failing the Nelson Mandela Metro has been highlighted through the first Nehemiah Prayer Walk through all 60 municipal wards. Former Anglican bishop Eric Pike, accompanied at various stages by around 200 other residents of the metro, inaugurated the 200 km Nelson Mandela Bay prayer walk, which will also serve as a tourist route as it links many of the metro’s historic sites. “I think one of the things that really hit me hardest is amount of rubbish lying around in the townships,” says Pike. “It is not only plastic bags and paper, but builder’s rubble and all other types of rubbish. “The rubbish is a symptom of the hopelessness that people feel. They simply do not have the energy or motivation to pick it up,” he says. Route developer Trevor Jennings of Transformation Christian says “this walk is aimed at helping people living in the wealthier suburbs to see what the actual problems are in our community, because if you have never experienced and seen the problem for yourself, then how can you appreciate the terrible conditions under which so many people live”. The route is designed to be covered by foot, bicycle, motorcycle and car. “As you walk around you have to be very careful that you don't get into a feeling of hopelessness when you see the magnitude of the challenges facing the people of the metro,” he says. Churches are being encouraged by TCN to be involved practically and in prayer. “We South Africans have proven that we can rise above all challenges. We have seen miracles in the past. “The church has got to play a role in changing lives for the better,” he says. The walk started in Ward 1 at St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Summerstrand. Included in the route during the week were the Catholic Diocese in Park Lane, St Stephens Anglican to Missionvale Care Centre where they were welcomed by Sister Ethel, St Mathews in KwaMagxaki and …
Ed Richardson is the managing director and brain behind the Siyathetha brand and is rumoured to be one of the most effective weapons of mass communication in the Eastern Cape.
See more articles by Siyathetha.