Why Kairos SA wrote the Centenary letter to the ANC in 2012
We were primarily responding to the “moment” (kairos) that we sensed in the ANC centenary celebrations, and to two questions we constantly heard:
a. Where is the (prophetic) voice of the Church in society today?
b. Are we facing a new Kairos?
(Using the letter C to frame our response to the question about why we wrote the letter)
- We wrote it to clarify the role that the churches/ Christian community has played over the years, even in and prior to the establishment of the ANC, and the kind of choices the church made and need to think about now as we move forward.
- We wrote to communicate some of our concerns, particularly about corruption.
- We also wrote it as a confidence-building excercise, to assist the Christian community to regain its confidence after almost 20 years of almost complete silence and ineffective witness in the new democracy.
- In the process we also took co-responsibility for what is happening in South Africa. From our perspective, this is really the most honest and most responsible position for the faith community to take.
- We wrote because we wanted the ANC to see the need for change in direction and to focus not so much on the past, but on the present and the future.
Some results we have seen and possible future actions:
- We have now seen how the Kairos SA letter to the ANC is acting as a catalyst for discussion and action
- We are also hoping that the faith community will more and more see itself as part of progressive civil Society and strengthen itself in order to link with and work more with the rest of civil society. But if the faith community does not, it must understand that “even the stones will begin to cry out”.
We now think there is another “moment” approaching, viz. the 20th anniversary of our democracy, and for this we aim to begin a process of listening to at least 50 focus groups throughout the country. We cannot wait until 2014 to start this process. But first we are “loosening the ground” with the above process and campaign.
The 20th Anniversary of the democracy will of course be preceded by intense discussions about land ownership in South Africa since we will commemorate the centenary of the 1913 Land Act in 2013.