Resilience of faith communities on the Cape Flats [SA] : a pastoral theological perspective

MacMaster, Llewellyn L. M. (2009)

CITATION: MacMaster, L. L. M. 2009. Resilience of faith communities on the Cape Flats [SA] : a pastoral theological perspective. Scriptura, 101:288-300, doi:10.7833/101-0-640.

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Coloured and Black communities on the Cape Flats were established on the Cape Flats as part of Verwoerdian Apartheid, a massive programme of social engineering implemented by the National Party which came to power in 1948 in South Africa (Schärf, 1990:233). Through legislation such as the Population Registration Act (1950) and its ‘twin partner’, the Group Areas Act (1950), people were forcibly removed and uprooted from homes and communities where they had been living for generations. Old, ordered communities were disrupted, families were forcefully removed from communities where they knew their neighbours and where social life was in many instances organised around the church, to new neighbourhoods where people were strangers to one another – ‘to soulless townships across the Cape Flats’. In these new townships on the Cape Flats, faith communities had to reestablish, re-align and re-invent themselves to face the new challenges presented to the people of the Cape Flats. Faith communities have indeed continued to play a vital role of healing, sustaining, guiding, reconciling, nurturing and empowering people throughout years of oppression and suppression, trials and tribulations. This paper looks at the resilience shown by faith communities on the Cape Flats over many years from a pastoral theological perspective and at some of the lessons we can learn with regard to congregational care.

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