Chair, Tinyiko Sam Maluleke's essay, "Urban Black Townships: a Challenge to Christian Mission", is a challenge to all of us. Quoting Mongane Serote, Maluleke points out that:
Townships and their not so distant cousins - squatter areas - remain therefore for better or for worse, containers of the largest number of people in most South African cities.
As such, he says, we must take account of them as an "odd mixture of death, squalor, poverty and community". To meet the challenge, we are urged: to come face to face with township issues - good, bad, wholesome, disgusting and debilitating ...
Cope, being a patriotic opposition, urges all patriots who care never to "wash the township off (our) skins". We take Maluleke's message to heart and call on mayors, premiers, Ministers and the President to walk the township streets to see first-hand the uncollected trash, the litter, the overflowing sewage and the uncovered drains, which impugn the dignity of all those who live in townships.
Failure to fix these must require the offending mayors to forfeit a month's salary for every month the problem remains unaddressed in a given township. Thank you.