Remembrance and renewal : exploring the role of the church as an agent of welfare after 15 years of democracy
CITATION: Bowers-Du Toit, N. 2012. Remembrance and renewal : exploring the role of the church as an agent of welfare after 15 years of democracy. Nederduitse Gereformeerde Teologiese Tydskrif, 53:205-216, doi:10.5952/53-0-207.
The original publication is available at http://ngtt.journals.ac.za
This paper explores the contributions made by the church in the past towards welfare provision in South Africa, and current challenges faced by the church in acting as a welfare provider after 15 years of democracy. The church is wellplaced to affect societal transformation and has played a significant historical role as a welfare agent in South Africa, as evidenced by the establishment of soft infrastructure during colonialism and in the advocacy and the formation of social capital that took place during the apartheid era. In a post-apartheid era, many churches continue to wrestle with issues such as: reconciliation and redistribution in an unequal society; bringing holism to social welfare; redefining their prophetic role; lack of capacity in delivery; and relief mode delivery. This paper, therefore, also proposes paths of renewal for the future, and draws from the WGRIP case study of the town of Paarl, Western Cape, in particular.