To change how people treat one another begins with small groups - Malusi Mpumlwana
A change in how South Africans treat each other can be achieved if more focus is given to small groups such as families‚ schools and churches.
This is according to SA Council of Churches general secretary Rev Malusi Mpumlwana.
He spoke to TimesLIVE at the end of the 100 Men March in Pretoria on Tuesday. The march was aimed at rallying society to fight violence against women and children.
Mpumlwana said the timing of the campaign was good as the country remembers Mama Albertina Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.
"When we remember people who have been of value‚ it is also a time where we need to say ‘where have we gone wrong or embarrassed them?’ It is a good time to say ‘let's rethink our lives’‚" said Mpumlwana.
He said violence against women and children had become common in society.
"We no longer flinch or react when it happens. As churches‚ our point is that this is something that has to be dealt with at the community level. That means at a family level. But we also recognise that families do not have both parents in many cases.
"As a result of that‚ there will be one parent who has to work double hard to put food on the table. That parent doesn't have enough time to support‚ bring values and bring up the children. They grow up in an environment where you survive by being bossy. We need to create systems for churches‚ homes schools‚ initiation schools for boys to change the mindset so that we can have a better society‚" he said.
Mpumlwana said the SACC was committed to a ward level ministry across the country.
He said research done by the council showed that there were at least 20 churches per ward in different municipalities.
Churches needed to work in their community to teach people how to relate to each other and establish in society what behaviour was unacceptable.
People from different organisations marched to the Union Buildings where they made a pledge to protect and respect women and children in society. The march was attended by various ministers and leaders in sport‚ business and civil society.